Argos' feeling: anything's possible

Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:57 PM ET

Quarterback Cleo Lemon stated the obvious when he discussed the need to cut down on turnovers, be it forced by the opposition or self-inflicted.

The mood in Argoland is understandably upbeat in the wake of three consecutive victories and a 3-1 beginning to a season that hasn't been seen since the days of Doug Flutie.

At the same time, the Argos know they are flirting with disaster if they don't somehow find a way to avoid shooting themselves in the foot.

Whether it's the by-product of a misread, miscommunication with his receivers or a breakdown in protection, Lemon knows he can't afford to be picked off twice and commit another turnover on a forced fumble.

Every week, Lemon has noticed a new wrinkle get thrown his way by the opposing defence.

As the Argos get ready to play the Alouettes this Thursday in Montreal, what awaits is a daunting challenge, an opponent that isn't likely to beat itself and one that seldom loses at home.

If the Argos repeat Friday's folly of taking foolish penalties and getting behind, the Als are more than capable of producing a one-sided result.

"We're moving in the right direction,'' Lemon said following Toronto's 24-20 comeback win over the B.C. Lions at the Rogers Centre. "The biggest key, by far, is to cut down on our turnovers.

"We're all accountable and I'm accountable. I take full responsibility."

Lemon shouldn't shoulder all the burden, but it begins, for obvious reasons, with him.

When the Lions squeezed the pocket, Lemon was flushed to his right, unaware of a weak-side defender on one play that resulted in a fumble.

"I was trying to make a play and I just never felt the guy behind me,'' Lemon confided. "That's just one example of where I have to get better."

There were instances when Lemon held on to the football too long or simply became the victim of a defensive scheme completely foreign to him.

The bottom line with these Argos is that they are 3-1, regardless of how ugly they've looked in arriving at a point no one thought was possible.

In an eight-team league, though, anything should be possible when the right people are hired and are surrounded by competent pieces.

Jim Barker should be applauded, not so much for his in-game management but for his insistence on being accountable.

The word "grinder" best describes Barker, whose personality his team clearly has embraced. He's got the Argos believing that no deficit is large enough to overcome, that eventually someone will step up in a decisive moment to make a play.

When Lemon steps up to make a play that wins a game, then you know the Argos have truly arrived.

For now, he is learning on the fly, but some of these lessons have been painful.

No one, however, should ever question his toughness and his commitment.

"It's a good feeling to be 3-1, but there's still plenty of work that needs to be done,'' Lemon said.


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