Andrus wipes the slate clean

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

There won't be many signs of the recession when Argonauts training camp goes full-bore on Sunday.

In the eyes of Bart Andrus, plenty of jobs are up for grabs.

"There will be battles for every position in camp," the Argos' new head coach said yesterday. "The game at the pro level is about competition, about getting the best 52 players (including scratches and injuries) that we can at the end of this camp.

"It's a clean slate. Guys who were here last year, we have analyzed on video. We have a pretty good idea of what returning players can and can't do."

Still, it's not as though players such as quarterback Kerry Joseph, offensive tackle Rob Murphy or receiver Arland Bruce, among a group of veterans, have much to worry about. But, as Andrus indicated, expect competition to be fierce. No fewer than nine starters in the Argos' last game in 2008 are gone.

OFFENCE

- QUARTERBACK -- Joseph has the job behind centre, with Cody Pickett in a backup role. One of Stephen Reaves or Kinsmon Lancaster will be the third-stringer.

- WIDE RECEIVER --No fewer than 17 are vying for jobs. Bruce, Andre Talbot and Reggie McNeal are safe. Tyler Scott had good spurts as a rookie and Obed Cetoute will be looking to leave behind his injury woes. Mike Bradwell, James Robinson and Brad Smith are in the mix.

- RUNNING BACK -- Tyler Ebell and Jamal Robertson (below) should have the inside track, though Andre Durie and Jeff Johnson won't go down easily.

- OFFENSIVE LINE -- Left tackle Rob Murphy and centre Dominic Picard help shore up an O-line that did not provide much protection last season for Joseph. Right tackle Brian Ramsay and guard Taylor Robertson aren't going anywhere, which leaves the left guard spot. Sophomore Mark Dewit and Jeff Keeping should be in the running; ditto for Shannon Boatman, Brandon Joyce and Scott Evans.

DEFENCE

- DEFENSIVE LINE -- It's worth keeping an eye on the front wall with 13 linemen competing for jobs. End Jonathan Brown was an all-star last year, but could have been better. Tackles Adriano Belli, Walter Curry and end Claude Harriott were the other starters as the season ended, but all will be pushed. First-rounder Etienne Legare will get in at some point. Adrian Davis, rookie Kevin Huntley, Ronald Flemons and Ray Fontaine are in the hunt.

- LINEBACKER -- Zeke Moreno, Willie Pile and Kevin Eiben have the three starting jobs to lose.

- SECONDARY -- Willie Middlebrooks and Jordan Younger will be the cornerbacks, but the defensive back spots and that of safety are open. Cory Peoples impressed in camp last year and will gun for the safety job. Jason Shivers, Pete Hunter, Kenny Heatly and Delroy Clarke are seeking a full-time job.

SPECIAL TEAMS

- KICKER -- It's a pair of former NFLers in Justin Medlock and Eddie Johnson in competition for the kicking/punting spot with the release of Mike Vanderjagt. "They're looking for a guy who can do all three things," Medlock said. "I want to be tops in the league, not just get the job done."

- KICK RETURNER -- It's goodbye Dominique Dorsey, and hello, who? Jerome Mathis is the guy the Argos want to run back the ball, and he will be challenged by two other newcomers, Will Judson and Kenny O'Neal. Bruce will return as well.


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