Andrus, Rita safe ... for now

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

No garbage bags for Bart Andrus and Adam Rita, yet.

As the Toronto Argonauts players hauled away their belongings in the black sacks yesterday after locker cleanout at the team's Erindale training facility, Andrus, the head coach, and Rita, the general manager, still possessed the keys to their respective offices.

But with the 2009 season trashed thanks to a 3-15 record, the Argos' worst showing in 16 years, Andrus and Rita know their jobs aren't safe.

It's expected little will be determined until the ownership picture becomes clear. David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski are said to be mulling the idea of selling to David Braley, and perhaps it's a transaction that has been set in motion.

Andrus understands he could get the phone call that informs him his services no longer are required.

"That's totally within the realm of possibilities," he said. "It's not something I am up at night thinking about. You work at the things to get yourself better and that is what we will do until somebody says you're not doing it anymore."

Rita said Andrus is his coach "thus far" but might not get a directive when his own job is under scrutiny. One theory has Rita keeping his job if Braley does take over.

"I don't know," Rita said. "I have not talked to Braley. I don't even know if he is the owner or what is going on."

Rita wouldn't say whether he and assistant GM Greg Mohns provided enough talent for Andrus.

"I'm not sure," Rita said. "At times we were (okay), and at other times we weren't. If I point the finger, and it is easy for you guys to do, there are three of them pointed right back at me. I was not perfect, neither were the coaches, neither were the players."

Argos president Bob Nicholson said again yesterday no changes would be made until after the Grey Cup, if at all.

Plenty went wrong, as the Argos won once in their final 14 games and were the most penalized team in the league. Defensive end Jonathan Brown, who is a free agent but wants to return, said the trading of all-star receiver Arland Bruce to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats was the beginning of the end.

"When Arland got traded, our offence started sliding," Brown said. "Arland is a big-play threat and we never could recover from that. In this league, you need to have a perennial all-star at the receiver position.

"That's the (route) Bart wanted to take us in, and the guys backed him up 100%."

Quarterback Kerry Joseph's game could not be resurrected under Andrus, Cody Pickett is not the guy and Stephen Reaves remains an unknown.

"People talk about my age but that's just a number," Joseph, 36, said. "I still feel the same as I did (in 2007, when he was the CFL's most outstanding player). I still have the energy."

WILL SEEK HELP

Andrus reiterated he will hire an offensive co-ordinator if he still is at the helm.

One big difference from the end of last season, when the Argos were 4-14, is there was no underlying feeling of resentment among the players yesterday. So why didn't the fact they liked each other translate on to the field?

"Good question," running back Jeff Johnson said. "It's a good group of guys. There are going to be changes, but I hope a lot of the guys are back."


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