TORONTO - Kevin Eiben, as Pierre McGuire might say, was a monster for the Argonauts in their season opener in Calgary.
The 30-year-old is in his 10th Canadian Football League season, all with the Argos, but against the Stampeders did something he has not done before. Eiben recorded 11 defensive tackles, a personal high for one game, and leads all CFL players in that category after Week 1.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ Brandon Stewart had 10 against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, while Lin-J Shell of the Argos and the Ticats’ Jamall Johnson had nine each.
“In the first game, you’re always excited as hell,” Eiben said. “You’re flying around and you are happy to be back on the field. I felt good out there.
“You always want to improve from the year before. Everyone was in the right position.”
Eiben has been a continuous presence for the Argos on defence for years, but has not led the CFL in defensive tackles since 2005, when he had a career-high 113 in 18 games.
Against the Stampeders, Eiben was playing alongside Jason Pottinger, who made his first start at middle linebacker for the Argos.
“He is such a pro,” Barker said of Eiben.
“Having a rookie next to him in Jason Pottinger, at least a rookie in the sense that he played every down (for the first time), he played well. Those two held their own and made the kind of plays we expected them to make.”