Positive outlook in Argos camp

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:44 PM ET

For the second year in a row, Jeff Johnson is buoyed by a feeling of optimism during the off-season.

But this time, it’s different for Johnson, the second-longest current serving Argo after linebacker Kevin Eiben.

“There has just been a lot of positive change,” Johnson, one of a handful of Argos players who attended the official unveiling of the coaching staff on Friday.

“The last two years have been absolute disappointments.”

While having a coaching staff with real CFL experience is paramount, part of Johnson’s ebullience lies in the acquisitions of receiver Jeremaine Copeland and cornerback Byron Parker. In two swift moves, the Argos got playmakers on both sides of the ball.

“Copeland is what we were missing last year,” Johnson said. “It’s crucial, especially with our young group of receivers. We needed to have a veteran like that. And bringing back Parker speaks to itself.”

Johnson, a running back, is an integral special teams player for the Argos but also gets touches on offence. The Argos don’t have a bona fide No. 1 back, but general manager Adam Rita said he remains interested in Jamal Robertson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards for Toronto last year.

Rita indicated that if the Argos don’t sign another running back, he “is fine with that.”

But that won’t happen. The club is in play for at least one more man to carry the ball, but Rita is not overly interested in another free agent, Wes Cates.

“Robertson would be my guy if we can settle on the price,” Rita said. “Jamal is looking for the ideal contract ... but we need to invest in our receivers.

“We think Amos Allen is special, but is he an everyday back? I don’t know. We need a big, durable back who is different than the guys we have.”


Videos

Photos