The Argonauts jettisoned a man many think was their most talented receiver and now they've asked their leading receiver to take a back seat.
Reggie McNeal, who leads the Argos with 15 receptions and 231 receiving yards, has been relegated to backup duties with the additions this week of Chad Lucas and Cory Rodgers. This after Arland Bruce was traded to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Wednesday.
"I was not making enough plays," McNeal said after the team practised at the University of Toronto's Erindale campus. "With me, I feel so confident in myself that I tend to turn my head before (actually catching the ball), because once the ball is in my hands, I feel like I got it. I turn my head too quick. It's about focusing and paying attention."
Though head coach Bart Andrus said he is happy with the way McNeal has responded in practice this week, it has been a difficult few days for the converted quarterback. Bruce and McNeal were tight, and McNeal said it was "tough" to see his best pal on the team traded. Also, McNeal's name has surfaced in trade rumours, but he said that has not been an issue.
On the whole, Andrus wants to see a vast improvement in his offence against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday. The Argos have one touchdown in their past two games, and it came on the ground, via a one-yard leap by Jamal Robertson against Winnipeg last week.
"We need to score more touchdowns than we are scoring," Andrus said. "We have been down there (in the red zone), but we have not come away with the six points that we are all after when we get down there."
The Argos have not had much success with their return game, and Andrus said he would keep former Argo Tyler Ebell, released this week by the B.C. Lions, in mind, but "right now we don't have any room at that position."
Defensive back Will Poole and Rodgers will handle return duties against Winnipeg on Saturday.