Barker wild about wet return

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:02 AM ET

TORONTO - Never mind the rookies and rehabbing veterans on the Argonauts’ first day on the field.

Head coach Jim Barker ran his first practice since 2003 and clearly enjoyed every minute.

“It was a blast,” Barker, 53, said.

“I absolutely had a blast. It was just fun to get out and I feel like I need a little lemon juice for my voice. This is what it’s about, being out here with the players.”

Barker’s enthusiasm was obvious.

When defensive back Josh Abrams nearly made what would have been his second interception of the afternoon, Barker let out a whoop and yelled encouragement at the 24-year-old, who spent the 2008 season on the Green Bay Packers’ practice roster.

That was Barker’s tone for the day, as he consistently gave his players positive feedback.

That Barker, who had not coached since the 2003 season with the Calgary Stampeders, wore a towel around his neck to wipe away the rain didn’t bother the California native.

Barker most recently was in the Stamps’ front office, but sitting behind a desk had run its course.

“The rain is a perfect omen,” Barker said with a smile.

“It’s like I told the players about the thunder and lightning at the beginning of practice. The man upstairs is a huge Argos supporter, and he sent that down to show us it’s a whole new deal.”

Besides, the wet conditions gave Barker a chance to see the players confront adversity.

“I talked to our guys about adversity and how it is important to deal with this stuff,” Barker said.

“You did not hear anyone complaining.

“That’s not going to happen. No excuses.”


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