Argos on hunt for talent

TERRY KOSHAN

, Last Updated: 4:35 AM ET

Adam Rita and other members of the Argonauts' front office might be the only people who went to Orlando, Fla., during the cold months for a week of work and more work.

Forget about rest and relaxation for the Argos general manager and his staff in the town that Disney World put on the map. The Canadian Football League club held a free-agent camp for kickers and punters on Sunday and this Saturday will get a look at more than 100 players in an open free-agent camp, not far from the home of Mickey Mouse.

"Without (a chance to scout players in the now-defunct) NFL Europe, these camps are something we need to do," Rita said, noting that most of the other seven CFL camps hold similar tryouts. "A lot of guys are looking for jobs, and our job is to get players who will help us win. We will probably bring back a couple of kickers (for training camp), a defensive back, a receiver and maybe a running back."

Kicker Mike Vanderjagt, who returned to the Argos last season after a long and fairly successful tenure in the National Football League, is under contract for 2009 and firmly is in the Argos' plans. But they need more bodies for training camp, hence the open call for kickers.

Rita, assistant GM Greg Mohns, co-ordinator of Canadian scouting Miles Gorrell and head coach Bart Andrus spent yesterday watching video of players eligible for the 2009 draft scheduled for May 2. The rest of the coaching staff is slated to arrive in Florida later in the week.

"This will be the first time the staff will be on the field together," Rita said. "It's good for us to all be in the same place.

Rita said he expects to keep the Argos' first overall selection, which happens to come second in the draft, after the Hamilton Tiger-Cats pick first overall, unless "we get someone who can play right now."

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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