Argos autopsy draws closer

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

Bart Andrus has spent his first year as head coach of the Argonauts living in a hotel suite not far from the club's practice facility in Mississauga.

No decision has been made on Andrus' future with the club, but he might not want to think about buying a place for 2010.

Though Andrus often has said he has seen improvement in his team -- an idea that has not been supported in the win column -- those who will have input on whether Andrus stays or is fired don't necessarily agree.

"It's not a year anyone really anticipated," Argos president Bob Nicholson said yesterday. "Certainly, we believed we would improve over the course of the season, and that has not been the case."

With just a home date with the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday afternoon left on the Argos' schedule, the end to the season-long embarrassment that the Argos have been almost is here. By this point, three wins and 17 games after it all began on Canada Day, there should have been several areas that the coaching staff could hang its collective hat on for next year. But it's hard to see what Andrus would use to state his case if he is given that opportunity in the days after the season finale.

Sure, the defence is better, but the 2008 Argos allowed 627 points, an amount that any club could have improved upon. The offence stinks, but it's not as if the Argos are losing by scores of 9-6 or 14-10. Opposing offences usually have not had a lot of trouble scoring when they absolutely needed to.

Had there been something tangible to grasp in the way of positives, wouldn't at least one or two victories have happened since the most recent win, an overtime triumph against Hamilton on Sept. 11?

Toronto leads the CFL in penalties and took a stupefying 23 for 155 yards during a 36-10 loss to the Eskimos in Edmonton on Friday night. If Andrus has a message, it's not getting through.

Andrus keeps talking like he will be back, saying that he knows where the personnel changes have to be made and that he wants to start that process fairly quickly. But if the assumption that general manager Adam Rita and his assistant, Greg Mohns, will be let go becomes fact, it would not be wise to tell a new GM that he can't hire his own coach.

"Nothing has been said to anyone," Nicholson said. "We will evaluate all options at the end of the season."

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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