Argos' Andrus has high goals

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

The reminders of the past aren't what you would call subtle.

The walls of the meeting room where the Argonauts gather to watch game film feature enlarged front pages of newspapers sports sections from November 2004, marking the team's most recent Grey Cup victory.

"We want to return this franchise to where it has been in the past," head coach Bart Andrus said yesterday afternoon, a day after the club suffered its 10th loss of the season.

"That's what we want to do. We want to be the best team in the league. It does not happen overnight. It's going to take some time. It is a painful process."

Trouble is, the Argos aren't making a ton of progress. Andrus figured the team that lost by 19 points to the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday was improved over the one that was shut out in Montreal two months ago, but that doesn't help explain a loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers just over a week ago.

Speaking of the Blue Bombers, they're a newsworthy item for positive reasons and look like they will give the Hamilton Tiger-Cats a run for second place in the East Division.

The two clubs hook up on Thanksgiving Day in Steeltown for a match that will have large playoff implications. Meanwhile, the Alouettes, who clinched the East Division when Hamilton lost to Calgary on Saturday, announced yesterday that tickets for the East final will go on sale tomorrow.

In Toronto, Andrus isn't even sure who will start at quarterback on Saturday in Regina against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Cody Pickett was yanked after the first half against Montreal, and usually Andrus has been quick to say that Pickett remains the No. 1 guy.

But the door is open for Kerry Joseph to start against the Roughriders, the team with which in 2007 he won the Grey Cup and was named the Canadian Football League's most outstanding player.

"I have not made that decision yet," Andrus said. "I have to look and see game-wise what fits best. Right now neither of them are perfect, and we have to play that one by ear."

With five games left, it's too late for the Argos to bring in any fresh faces and hope for them to have an impact.

"It gets to a point where you start looking at personnel and what we can do to make this better," Andrus said. "It's all part of the process of reloading and revamping and rebuilding the franchise ... You can't totally, at this point, on a wide-scale basis, re-tool. Our path right now is to continue to try to get this group as good as we can."

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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