Argos not so special

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

Eddie Johnson couldn't remember the previous time he had two punts blocked in the same game.

And Johnson, competing for all of the Argonauts kicking duties with Justin Medlock, doesn't want to see it happen again.

"Getting blocked twice, that sucks," Johnson said after the Argos lost 37-24 to Montreal Alouettes in a pre-season game last night at the Rogers Centre. "I really don't know what happened on a couple of those. But we're going to get better."

Johnson was a punter in the NFL, while Medlock was a place-kicker. The one who does better in the pre-season in the area he is not accustomed to will win the job.

"Just off the cuff, I thought from a place-kicking standpoint they were pretty even, and from a punting standpoint Johnson was probably better but he works slower," Argos head coach Bart Andrus said. "Punt protection was a serious problem."

The snapping of Jean-Nicholas Carriere was not good. The Argos hope Steve Schmidt, who is nursing a sprained ankle but should be ready for the regular-season opener on July 1, will become their full-time long snapper. But GM Adam Rita wouldn't be faulted for trying to coax Randy Srochenski, the team's long-snapper for the past five years, out of retirement.

Andrus won't make any cuts until after the Argos' second pre-season game, Tuesday night in Hamilton against the Tiger-Cats.

The Argos know they're not going to completely replace the talent of special teams whiz Dominique Dorsey, who signed with the Washington Redskins in the off-season. Dovonte Edwards led the Argos with 49 yards on three kick-off returns and had the longest punt return at 29 yards, but Andrus was not convinced.

"I'm not sure that we have the right guy back there yet," Andrus said.

And the receivers -- incumbents Arland Bruce and Tyler Scott had touchdowns -- were not up to snuff. Argos quarterbacks completed 18 of 36 passes combined.

The Argos defence did not have to deal with Alouettes stars Anthony Calvillo and Ben Cahoon, but struggled as a group. The Als had 462 total yards, including 274 on the ground.


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