Boatmen need to upgrade receiving corps

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:12 AM ET

MONTREAL — Some random observations from Thursday night at Molson Stadium, where the Argos thudded back to earth with a 41-10 beating at the hands of the Montreal Alouettes.

More savvy needed

This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched each of the Argos’ first five games, but this club desperately needs more savvy at the receiver position.

Whether it’s through a trade or picking up a player or two when NFL teams start making their cuts, the Argos need some fresh blood.

Brandon Rideau was the lone Argos receiver in the top 20 in the CFL at 17th, with Jeremaine Copeland 22nd. Copeland, brought in to be a leader, has just 14 receptions in five games.

Somehow, the Argos have to get him more involved.

Ring the Bell

Dalton Bell keeps getting little looks whenever Cleo Lemon goes off with an injury, and has not shown much rust. Bell should have been given a shot when the game was out of hand, but Lemon trotted out for the Argos’ final possessions with less than three minutes remaining.

It didn’t make much sense.

Crowd-pleaser

Some of the shine has come off Chad Owens, who has gone three games without a touchdown on special teams. Still, Owens gives fans shots of adrenalin each time he fields the football.

No sacks

The Argos were unable to penetrate the Alouettes’ offensive line, despite the fact Montreal went into the game with 13 sacks against, tied for most in the CFL. Toronto did not sack Anthony Calvillo once, while Lemon was brought down three times.

Positive point

One positive point for the Argos: They turned the ball over only once.

Canadians needed

The lack of Canadians among the Argos’ receivers is startling. Mike Bradwell and Chad Rempel are backing up, but have had no effect. Bradwell, who had 350 yards receiving last year, has been playing almost exclusively on special teams.

No knock downs

Lemon got out of the game with no passes knocked down.

Hard on the eyes

It can be hard to watch Cory Boyd at times, only because the Argos running back gets most of his yardage by running through people.

Boyd left the game twice after he got hurt and returned both times.

But he has had injury issues in the past, and is it just a matter of time before he gets knocked out of the lineup for an extended period because of an injury, if only because he is such a physical player?

Tackling woes

Tackling again became a problem for the Argos, and lack of it was one major reason why the Als’ Avon Cobourne had his most productive game in the CFL. On more than a few occasions, Calvillo completed short passes to Cobourne, who then used his ability to evade defenders to get more yards.

Can they bounce back?

One big factor to watch for in the next week is how the Argos rebound from such a thorough thrashing. This team has been resilient, but coming off such a lopsided loss will put that to the test. The Argos were feeling pretty good about themselves up until the middle of the third quarter.

Imaginative offence

Watching the Als offence, it’s difficult to ignore what could have been had offensive co-ordinator Scott Milanovich said yes to the Argos’ head coaching offer during the winter. Calvillo not only has a slew of targets, but various inventive ways of moving the ball down the field. It’s the kind of imaginative offence Argos head coach Jim Barker would like, but he needs more experienced players to put theory into practice.

Big night

Partly because the Argos defence was on the field for nearly two-thirds of the game, defensive back Lin-J Shell had a career-high 11 tackles. Rookie Evan McCollough was second on the Argos with 10.


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