Argos’ Barker still feeling the love

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:18 PM ET

VANCOUVER - If Jim Barker is feeling any heat to right the Argos’ ship, he isn’t showing any signs, not outwardly or inwardly.

If Barker is asked to step down from his dual role as head coach and general manager, he’ll accept it as part of the ruthless business of pro football.

For now and until that day arrives, he’ll continue to make decisions that benefit the long-term future of the franchise.

Whether it was releasing his defensive co-ordinator or parting ways with his starting quarterback, Barker’s goal is to position the Argos into Grey Cup contenders, a level that seems far-fetched with Toronto reeling at 2-7 heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Lions.

“No,’’ an emphatic Barker said when asked of any pressure to turn things around or risk the possibility of getting the boot. “I’m not feeling that.

“I feel I was hired to do a job. You run into things that come up and I have an owner (David Braley) who understands that. If he wants to let me go and bring someone else, that’s his prerogative. I don’t worry about any of that stuff.”

Braley also owns the Lions, a team that struggled earlier in the season.

Braley made a rare visit with Lions head coach/GM Wally Buono.

According to Barker, Braley has never had any conversations with Braley, except for the occasion pre-game chats.

“What’s important to him is that our guys play hard,” Barker said. “Not just for 45 minutes or 30 minutes, but for the entire 60 minutes. That’s what he expects and it’s what I expect.”

Argos players have their coach’s support.

“At the very least it tells guys that coach Barker is making every move to help us win a Grey Cup,’’ Ricky Foley said. “When he says he’ll do whatever, you believe it.

“He’s made some tough moves half-way through the season, but we’re still hopeful. If we can get on a roll, we have the talent.

“Now, we have to prove it.”


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