Argos to be dissected

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

No playoffs for his Argonauts and David Cynamon is not happy about it.

Cynamon, who co-owns the Argos with Howard Sokolowski, said the CFL team's front office will be dissected and scrutinized in the coming weeks after the Boatman finished 4-14, their worst record in 13 years. Don't be surprised if changes happen, as Cynamon didn't give ringing endorsements to anyone in the management group.

"We can't say that anyone is safe," Cynamon said yesterday. "For the first time in five years (that he and Sokolowski have owned the Argos), we need to assess the situation with every mind involved in the football operations."

Does the front office need to be blown up and rebuilt from scratch?

"I really don't know," Cynamon said. "You hope you don't have to do that. Every piece of the puzzle determines the next. We have to put it all on the white board and see if the chemistry is there."

The evaluation will start at the top with CEO Michael (Pinball) Clemons, who moved into the front office after spending the previous five seasons as head coach. General manager Adam Rita and his assistant, Greg Mohns, also will be given a chance to explain themselves. The belief is Clemons and Rita did not see eye-to-eye on everything, and Cynamon stressed that chemistry is as important off the field as it is on.

"I think (Clemons) had a great year as CEO, but it was a learning curve for everyone," Cynamon said. "We'll re-assess if that is the right position for Michael."

Cynamon, who indicated he has no interest in selling his share of the Argos, could not have been more clear on one major move during the season: In hindsight, he thought the hiring of Don Matthews, a close friend of Rita, was a big mistake.

Matthews, out of coaching for almost two years after leaving the Montreal Alouettes for health reasons, came aboard on Sept. 9 when Rich Stubler was fired. The winningest coach in CFL history with 231 victories, Matthews steered the Argos out of playoff contention with an 0-8 record. He resigned on Friday.

NEEDED TIME

"Don didn't understand or know our football team and he needed three or four weeks (before he had a grasp)," Cynamon said. "He didn't know who was who. He had been out of football for two years. You learn from that."

The firing of Stubler, who had the Argos at 4-6 and holding on to a playoff berth, was not a mistake, Cynamon figured.

"No regrets," Cynamon said. "He is the greatest defensive co-ordinator we have ever seen, but I don't think Rich was in the right place at the right time."

A new coach, Cynamon said, ideally would be in place by January. But that's probably only if the team decides to go with someone not employed in the NFL. If the Argos look to the NFL, a hiring could come later.

Cynamon didn't think the whole season was a wash. Among the positives he took were the improved play of quarterback Kerry Joseph, the performances of newcomers Claude Harriott, Walt Curry and P.K. Sam and the emergence of Dominique Dorsey.

Still, though, the off-season could be busy.

"We need to be patient," Cynamon said. "But we need to create a new identity."


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