Despite a year of disasters, not many of the Argonauts want to abandon ship when the season comes to a merciful end in 10 days.
Receiver Arland Bruce will be a free agent but doesn't want to test those waters; quarterback Kerry Joseph would rather rectify what has happened in Double Blue than start fresh somewhere else; even veteran Mike O'Shea, who has been banging his body around CFL fields since 1993 and turned 38 last month, doesn't want his career to end seeped in futility.
"Of course," Bruce said when asked if he wants to re-sign in Toronto. "To be nominated as an all-time Argo (last year), I think about that every day. (Free agency) is something that is far from my mind.
"Not to use it as an excuse, but we went through a lot. It's like we had open-heart surgery, a blood transfusion, dealt with chemo. Our family has been damaged. We ran out of time to get everyone on the same page."
Bruce hit 1,000 yards during a 43-34 loss to the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday for the fourth time in his career. During the game, Joseph passed for 400 yards, his most prolific outing as an Argo, and with just two games left, it seems the 2007 CFL most outstanding player finally has found his mojo. "I am looking forward to being back here," Joseph said. "Hopefully we will see some deja-vu. It took me two years in Saskatchewan (to get rolling), so I'll take two here to get one."
There's no doubt the 2009 Argos club will look different than this one, which, even if it beats the B.C. Lions and Saskatchewan in its final two games, is guaranteed of registering the organization's worst record since 1995. Co-owner David Cynamon has said he favours bringing back general manager Adam Rita and head coach Don Matthews. But if Matthews has made a big difference since he was hired Sept. 9, he has not made a dent in the win column, where it matters most.
Whether Matthews wants to come back -- he has not said either way, but there have been subtle indications that's what he wants to do -- really is not the point. Certainly, few would question Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski if they decided to revamp the front office.
O'Shea was asked after the loss to Montreal where he sees this team going.
"To B.C. next week," O'Shea said. "The big picture is for coaches, the GM. The biggest picture you get as a player is the width of the field, how spread out the formation is, how many receivers are to one side. I guess lots of people would say that is pretty narrow-minded, but that is the only information you need."
Even though he has had nothing to prove in pro football for years, O'Shea's first inclination is to say he wants to return.
"It would take a lot of effort, which I am willing to give," O'Shea said. "Looking at my personal play, it has been a bad season and I have not played well. I have not played up to my expectations."