Andrus to provide offensive spark

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

Fitting that the Argonauts have settled on a head coach who knows his way around the end zone.

The Argos offence needs all the help it can get, and Bart Andrus should help provide a much-needed punch.

Andrus, 50, will be introduced as the Argos' new head coach at a news conference this morning at the Rogers Centre.

The hiring ends a searching odyssey that began on Halloween when Don Matthews quit, involved several dozen candidates and was whittled down to three after some possible choices indicated they were not interested.

An offensive assistant with the Tennessee Titans this past season, Andrus, a native of Los Angeles, was not the Argos' first choice.

B.C. Lions defensive co-ordinator Mike Benevides, a Toronto native, was offered the job a few weeks ago but turned it down.

Doug Graber, who was hired by Ball State to be an assistant head coach and defensive co-ordinator, had been in the running along with former Kansas City Chiefs coach John Mackovic.

In 1996, Andrus turned Rocky Mountain College into a winning team after it had gone four seasons without tasting victory.

Rocky Mountain led all of U.S. college football in offence that year and when Andrus was a head coach in NFL Europe for six seasons with the Amsterdam Admirals, he earned a reputation for giving opposing defences plenty of different looks with a variety of offensive schemes.

Argos' newly acquired cornerback Jordan Younger, who played for and against Andrus overseas, said earlier this week that incoming coach was a "dynamic offensive mind."

Andrus was known for letting his players use their talents on offence, rather than controlling them strictly, and that could help.

As far as his coaching style goes, Andrus is not going to get in players' faces and scream at them, but knows where to draw the line in the relationship between player and coach.

JOSEPH STRUGGLED

The Argos have languished at or near the bottom of the CFL for several years in offence, and quarterback Kerry Joseph, fresh off an MVP season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders a year earlier, struggled badly with Toronto in 2008.

Whether offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto is retained with Andrus running the show is not yet known.

One drawback with Andrus is that he has no CFL experience, and there are rumours that the Argos could add a CFL coaching veteran to the staff, such as Dave Ritchie, to help Andrus along.


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