TORONTO -- When the Argonauts lured Cedric Gagne-Marcoux away from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats via free agency in February, they knew they were adding depth to the offensive line.
As it turns out, they appear to have a starter in Gagne-Marcoux, who has been taking reps with the first team at left guard.
Jeff Keeping made 10 starts at that spot in 2009, but lost the job when he suffered a shoulder injury in Week 15.
“He’s just a guy who loves to play the game,” Argonauts head coach Jim Barker said of the 6-foot-2, 290-pound Gagne-Marcoux.
“He has a great technique and I think he communicates well with (centre Dominic) Picard.”
Gagne-Marcoux played junior football with Picard and fellow Argos lineman Taylor Robertson, so there’s a familiarity that was formed years ago.
The Argos’ offensive line struggled in 2009, but with holdovers Rob Murphy, Picard and Robertson joined by Gagne-Marcoux and Chris Van Zeyl, there’s a refreshed attitude among the five.
Part of that comes in the direction the players are getting from offensive line coach Steve McAdoo, who replaced Ron Heller.
“McAdoo is as good as it gets,” Barker said. “He’s the reason those guys are playing at the level they are now.”
Gagne-Marcoux, despite being a former Ticat, has fit in.
“The chemistry is the best I have seen and we have not even started yet,” Gagne-Marcoux said as Robertson and Murphy gave him playful verbal jabs.
“We’re a group that picks on each other the most. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you are going to be miserable. I’m an Argo through and through.”
Meanwhile, offensive lineman Mark DeWit, who was released by the Argos last week, signed on Saturday with the Ticats. Hamilton also signed import running back/kick returner Marcus Thigpen.
— Terry Koshan