Argos narrow search for coach

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

If the Argonauts hire Bart Andrus as their next head coach, they will get a glowing endorsement from their most recent acquisition.

Cornerback Jordan Younger, signed yesterday by the Argos, played for Andrus and against him in NFL Europa and can't say enough good things about the Tennessee Titans' 50-year-old offensive assistant.

"He's definitely a dynamic offensive mind," Younger said. "It was always a challenge when I played against his team.

"I would look forward to seeing what he could bring to the offence in Toronto. He is a creative mind."

An end to the Argos' search for a head coach that began on Halloween when Don Matthews quit finally could have an end in sight, with the possibility of an announcement in the coming days. Andrus, who coached Younger with the Amsterdam Admirals in 2003, is said to be at the top of the short list and there is some belief that serious negotiations to bring him aboard have started. Others who have been bandied about as part of the short list include former Kansas City Chiefs head coach John Mackovic and former Rutgers coach Doug Graber, and Sportsnet reported yesterday that Carolina Panthers assistant Jim Skipper could be in the mix.

The Argos have been interested in Andrus for several months and he became available on Saturday when the Titans were eliminated from the NFL playoffs.

Andrus was a quarterback in college at the University of Montana and a man with a background on the offensive side of the ball, as Andrus has, is what the Argos need desperately.

The Argos won't give full autonomy to the new head coach. General manager Adam Rita and his staff went that route with Rich Stubler last year and it backfired when Stubler was let go after going 4-6.

Meanwhile, Rita has a few other things to worry about. Among the six Argos bound to become free agents on Feb. 16, two of them -- special teams magician/running back Dominique Dorsey and defensive back Willie Pile -- would represent massive holes if they are not re-signed.

"I don't know," Rita said when asked if he thinks he can re-sign Dorsey. "It's an on-going process. We would like to but he might get pursued by the NFL."

Also destined for free agency are linebackers Kevin Eiben and Michael Fletcher, defensive end Ronald Flemons and defensive back Adrian Mayes. Fletcher and Mayes probably will be let go, while Eiben and Flemons stand a better chance of returning.

Younger was an Argo for four seasons, beginning in 2004, and twice was named an all-star. Released last week by the Edmonton Eskimos, Younger was traded to Edmonton by the Argos last February.

"Toronto is as close to (a football) home as anything gets for me," Younger said from his off-season home in Trenton, N.J. "I have a lot of good relationships on and off the field and it's a good fit for me."


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