Argos not panicking just yet
By FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency
|Eskimos linebacker J.C. Sherritt reaches for Argos kick returner Chad Owens on Friday night. The Argos play host to the Alouettes on Thursday.
TORONTO - By hook or by crook, by throwing the football or pounding it along the ground, whether it’s produced in an ugly fashion or engineered to perfection, the Argos simply need to get a win.
At their current rate, all the Argos will manage to achieve is lead the CFL in ways to lose football games.
Remarkably, the Argos have been able to maintain some semblance of sanity in these insanely bizarre times, but eventually the boiling point will be reached and there’s no telling what might happen.
Eventually, they maintain, the worm will turn, but as they enter Week 6 with a 1-4 record there have been more turns for the worse.
“In football, you’re going to have things that you don’t like,’’ defensive lineman Kevin Huntley began. “In football, you’re going to have ups and downs, you’re going to get calls you don’t agree with, but what can you do.
“You can either complain about it or you can say forget it and play your butts off. And that’s what we’re going to do because those are the kinds of guys we have in our locker room. There can be no excuses, no complaining when you lose.
“Nowhere does it say in the loss column why you lost or how you lost. The bottom line is that the guys in our locker room are going to get together and find a way to win.”
But how and when.
At this point, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Dalton Bell or Cleo Lemon taking the first-team snaps as the Argos, losers of four in a row, get set to play host to the Als this Thursday.
At this point, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Andre Durie making a play or Chad Kackert or whether Matt Black is producing another special teams touchdown.
At this point, the Argos are so desperate for a win that it’s of little meaning how it’s done or what area, offence, defence or special teams, is winning a game.
“At some point we have to start making things happen,’’ safety Willie Pile said. “That’s what we need to do.
“As coach (Jim Barker) has been preaching all week, the good calls will come our way as we make good plays. We keep doing what we’ve been taught, what we’ve been coached to do, and it’s going to turn around eventually because it can’t keep going like this.”
The law of averages will tell you that misfortune will turn into fortune, losses into wins, but only when the Argos are able to play with a sustained level, rather than play in spurts.
Friday night in Edmonton, the Argos had a chance to beat the previously unbeaten Eskimos, jumping out to a 17-1 lead, only to self-destruct.
Whether it was Grant Shaw shanking punts that gave the hosts a short field, a defensive back getting called for pass interference, an offside by the goal line in a confusing moment just as time was about to expire at half time, fumbles and interceptions inside the scoring zone, the Argos did more to beat themselves than anything Edmonton would do.
Bell, at least statistically, had a Lemon-like performance in making only his second start.
What Bell did that Lemon has yet to show is manage the run game by recognizing when to pull in the football.
Kackert would become the first opponent to rush for more than 100 yards against the Eskimos and score two touchdowns to give him five in the three games he’s played for an injured Cory Boyd.
Offensively, though, the Argos produced zero second-half points.
No play summed up the offence’s night better than a Bell interception in the end zone when he threw to the pylon and Jeremaine Copeland ran to the inside.
“It was miscommunication,’’ Bell would reveal. “And those are the little things that kill you.”