Argos thrilled with Stubler's coaching style

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

The philosophies that Rich Stubler used to make the Argos' defence the most feared in the CFL can be applied to the club's sub-par offence.

At least, that was the hope yesterday of a handful of Argos players who turned out yesterday at the club's Erindale practice facility to watch as Stubler officially was named Toronto's new coach.

As defensive coordinator the past five seasons, Stubler made the Argos defence a well-oiled machine. But his teachings go well beyond drawing up plays. His ability to appeal to his players' emotions and intelligence has been a major source of the Argos' success.

"I'm ecstatic," defensive tackle Adriano Belli said. "He is one of the reasons I came home. He brings a lot of confidence to the table and he knows how to deal with guys in the locker room."

Added receiver Andre Talbot: "This is going to give us that consistency and edge we need from a head coach. Coach Stubler knows what the guys on the offensive side can do. He will put people in the right place to make plays."

Stubler's 38-year coaching odyssey has included CFL stints with Hamilton, Edmonton and B.C., as well as numerous U.S. colleges and the Arena Football League, but never has he been the man in charge. As such, Stubler, who will not be as cozy with his charges as was his predecessor, Michael Clemons, will yield a new level of power.

"Part of my deal was to have the control over who plays on the field," Stubler said. "I'll make the final decisions."

Stubler will continue to have a hand in the club's defensive machinations, but it would not be surprising if defensive assistant Kavis Reed fills his vacated post.

ALREADY LOOKING

Stubler also said he has given offensive coordinator Steve Buratto, who is in the running to take over as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes, a deadline of next week, hinting he already may be looking for a replacement.

Stubler didn't buy the idea there was a rift between the Argos' offence and defence when the 2007 season ended.

"There was never a rift. There was emotion at the end of the year," Stubler said. "If you don't win your last game, the year is a failure. We have a defensive group we've kept together for as many years as we can, and we have not done the same on offence."

A native of Colorado, Stubler was sporting a gash on his left eyebrow, the result of a fall on the ice in front of his home Wednesday morning.

"I whacked my head and now I feel like a Canadian," Stubler said. "I decided it did not look too bad."


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