Argos shuffle front office

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:57 PM ET

The shakeup of the Argonauts continues off the field.

The Argos are moving ahead without assistant general manager/director of player personnel Greg Mohns and Canadian scouting co-ordinator Miles Gorrell, informing the pair on Wednesday their services no longer are required.

“When there is a change in ownership, there tends to be changes in staff and they were caught up in it,” Argos GM Adam Rita said. “With the evaluation camp (for 2010 draft-eligible players) coming up (in mid-March), the decision was made and we’re moving on.”

David Braley bought the Argos from David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski last week, and mere hours before that was announced, Jim Barker was introduced as the new head coach.

Barker brought with him an extensive resume, and he most recently had been the director of player personnel for the Calgary Stampeders.

Though Rita indicated last week that Mohns and Gorrell were going to be safe, the fact that Barker was told he would have plenty of input on personnel decisions might have served as writing on the wall for Mohns and Gorrell. Their contracts expired at the end of 2009, but they were being kept on the payroll until it became clear how the team would go forward. But that could not happen until the ownership issue was resolved.

Rita said he “is not sure what we are going to do” regarding the front-office department, but when Barker reveals his coaching staff, an announcement that is expected on Friday, the new hires will know that their opinions on player moves will be valued.

With Barker’s personnel background, Rita might have more time to devote to scouting.

“I imagine I will add to my duties,” Rita said. “I think our philosophy has changed a little bit.”

Mohns had been with the Argos since 2003, and was promoted to assistant GM in 2005. Gorrell was hired in 2006.

Mohns exited with his head high, saying on Wednesday night that he was glad for his seven years with the Argos.

“I’m disappointed, but that is life in pro sports,” Mohns said. “I want to thank David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski for all of their efforts in bringing this team back from the brink of extinction. We had a good run.”

Mohns also had kind words for Michael (Pinball) Clemons, Rita, and even Bart Andrus, saying the head coach last year was “a good football man with a lot of good ideas, but was in a situation that was tough.”

As the Argos fell to a combined 7-29 record in the past two seasons, their relatively poor drafting record in recent years was exposed, with exceptions being special teams ace Bryan Crawford, drafted in 2005, and offensive tackle Brian Ramsay, who was selected in 2006.

Mohns has a solid history of finding players, but it did not bear a lot of fruit in the past two years.

“Contrary to what some people thought, we had a lot of good talent in the seven years,” Mohns said.

But what went wrong in 2008 and 2009?

“I’m not going there,” Mohns said.

“I don’t want to comment about the past.”


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