Joseph thrilled with Andrus

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

The happiest man with the Argonauts' hiring of Bart Andrus as head coach was hundreds of kilometres away from the official announcement yesterday, well into his training regimen at his off-season home in Orlando, Fla.

Quarterback Kerry Joseph hasn't forgotten that his first season under centre with the Argos was a disaster, and knows that with Andrus, whose football background is on the offensive side of the ball, the potential for a brighter outlook in 2009 is abundant.

"We want to play with a lot of intelligence and keep defences guessing, and I am excited by this," Joseph said in a telephone interview. "When I think about all of the things that happened in 2008, I get ticked off. It's great to hear that (Andrus) is going to be willing to try different things."

That's one aspect Andrus, most recently an offensive assistant with the Tennessee Titans of the NFL, stressed during a morning news conference. The man who has become the 40th coach in Argos history called himself "an adventurer," and though he has never patrolled the sideline in a CFL game, realizes that football north of the border is more open than its U.S. cousin.

"As an offensive coach, this league is heaven because you can do all the things you could not do in other leagues," said Andrus, who left a positive first impression on many of those in attendance at the Founders Club in the Rogers Centre. "I am looking forward to the tinkering part of the job.

"I like to spring things on people. I think it's interesting for me and the players, and they never get bored that way. I don't put in massive changes every week because that is not a good way to teach. I will make adjustments here and there to keep people off-balance."

Andrus was a quarterback in college with the University of Montana, and among his many stops in pro and college football, was the quarterbacks coach for the Titans in 1999 when they made an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV with Steve McNair taking the snaps. As the head coach of Rocky Mountain College in 1996, Andrus revamped a program that had not won a game in four years, leading Rocky Mountain to a 6-4 record with an offence that was tops in the U.S. In NFL Europa, Andrus won a World Bowl with Amsterdam.

To get a better handle on the CFL, Andrus called Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman. Also steeped in offence in the U.S., Trestman led the Alouettes to the Grey Cup while invigorating the career of quarterback Anthony Calvillo. Trestman told Andrus he was comfortable calling plays by the end of training camp and that's what Andrus hopes to achieve.

Andrus, who has yet to meet Joseph, is anticipating a close relationship with his No. 1 quarterback.

"Because of my experience at coaching at that position, I feel like I will be able to help him," Andrus said. "(Quarterbacks) need to be natural leaders, and they need to be accurate in their passing."

The Argos were last in the CFL in offence last year, something Joseph desperately wants to change.

"When you're allowed to go out and play your game and not be handcuffed, good things happen," Joseph said. "I plan to be a lot more vocal this year. Last season was really tough on me from the get go. But it's in the past."


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