Kickin' it old school

After a season away from football, Argos kicker Mike Vanderjagt is pleased to be back on the field....

After a season away from football, Argos kicker Mike Vanderjagt is pleased to be back on the field. SUN MEDIA/Mark O'Neill

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

On the first day of his second go-round in Double Blue, Mike Vanderjagt trotted across a familiar practice field and experienced a sensation not felt in quite some time.

A year away from the gridiron and 11 years removed from his decorated days as an Argo, Vanderjagt felt a little discomfort in his legs while warming up.

It was all Vanderjagt needed to remind him that his return to the Argos and football is complete.

"Just running across the field, I thought to myself: 'Wow! I'm back here, all ready.'

"It has been a while since I've been on a practice field, but I don't feel out of my realm. It was a bit of a shock to my system.

"My legs felt a little wobbly just from warming up."

Give him time and Vanderjagt will warm up to his surroundings and to his new teammates.

But leave it to Vanderjagt to attract a media gathering not seen in Argoland since the ill-fated days of Ricky Williams.

After winning back-to-back Grey Cup titles, Vanderjagt bolted for the NFL, where he spent eight seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, earning a reputation as a proficient placekicker and a bit of a loose cannon.

In 2006, the Oakville native signed a three-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, but was released three months into the season after nursing groin and leg injuries. He hasn't played since.

While he insists he has no regrets, Vanderjagt is not turning his back on the NFL.

"If some team came calling, I'd listen,'' he said. "But I'm not using Toronto as a stepping stone."

The itch to play and the pursuit of history lured Vanderjagt to Toronto, where his arrival forced the Argos to trade Noel Prefontaine, one of the more popular Boatmen, to the Edmonton Eskimos.

Vanderjagt has established a legacy of accuracy that is second to none.

His aim is to become the most accurate placekicker on both sides of the border, to become the first to eclipse 1,000 points in both leagues and one day be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

"Obviously, they're lofty goals, but if you don't set goals for yourself you're going to be out there running around and doing nothing.

"I'm not here to collect a paycheque. I certainly want to perform as well as I can.

"The perception is you're not going to miss often and I don't want to let people down."

Much like he did when he played for the Argos in 1996 and '97, Vanderjagt will handle both the placekicking and punting duties.

While some would argue he has been blackballed by NFL teams for his outspoken nature, Vanderjagt maintains every word he has uttered has been truthful.

"I don't know if I'm outspoken or not,'' he said. "My mom raised me to be honest.

"When I'm asked a question, I answer it honestly. That might be my only fault, but I've certainly learned from answering honestly."

BOSTON IN BALTIMORE

Wide receiver David Boston has flown to Baltimore to visit a foot specialist. The Argos medical staff noticed a weakness in Boston's right foot that may require surgery.

The team will know by the end of next week if Boston will need to go under the knife.

If surgery is required, Boston will be sidelined for as many as 12 weeks. If there's no surgery, he may return to the field in a couple of weeks.


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