Unertl does it all for Argos

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:09 AM ET

TORONTO - One minute he’s lining up deep in the defensive secondary, the next minute he’s closer to the line of scrimmage.

On one play he’s being asked to provide man coverage, the next play he’s required to provide help in a zone look.

No matter the package and no matter the intended receiver, no task is too great for Jeremy Unertl to tackle.

Toronto’s resident jack of all trades, there are times when Unertl’s versatility both helps and hinders his performance, a role he has grown to accept, though it does come with its own set of unique challenges.

Whether it’s with the Argos or during his time in the four-down football, Unertl admits he has been asked to assume a multi-purpose role not many would embrace.

In a perfect world, Unertl would be lining up at his natural position at free safety.

But in the cut-throat world of pro football, survival is the ultimate goal and Unertl’s ability to play multiple positions has served him well.

“I’ve been kind of this jack of all trades players,’’ he said. “And sometimes it’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, it allows you to be very versatile in making football teams.

“But on the other hand, you don’t get the chance to get the feel for one position.”

In Jordan Younger’s absence, Unertl has been asked to start at SAM (strong-side) linebacker.

If you watched last Saturday’s game in Vancouver, you likely saw Unertl line up at free safety when the Argos decided to put Willie Pile, who normally lines up in the secondary, closer to the line of scrimmage.

Unertl has also played corner.

“At the end of the day, if you can plug a hole when your team needs you and it ultimately helps your team win, that’s what’s important to me,’’ he said. “The key is to understand conceptually the whole scheme of the defence.

“When you move to another position, you already know the other position. It all makes sense, but to be honest it is hard sometimes.”

Such as being asked to change positions during a game.

“That’s when finding a rhythm is hard,’’ he admitted. “It’s hard to excel. Sometimes it could be hard mentally.”

HEAVY HEART FOR ARGO

Dee Webb, who played with a heavy heart in Vancouver, won’t be with the Argos this week.

Head coach Jim Barker said his backup defensive back who plays special teams is helping his family make funeral arrangements following the death of Webb’s mother, Angela Harrison, 52, who succumbed to a rare form of cancer.

When they arrived in Vancouver last Thursday, Webb was informed of his mother’s deteriorating condition.

Before she passed away, Webb’s mom told her son to play.

And somehow Webb was able to lay it all on the line under the backdrop of his mother’s death.

In Toronto’s loss to the host Lions, Webb recorded one defensive tackle.

Nic Clement would seem the logical choice to replace Webb on the 42-man roster, but the Argos don’t have to make any announcement until Friday.

When the club was informed in Vancouver of the health of Webb’s mother, the Argos were poised to petition the league for a roster exemption in the event Webb decided not to play, which would have been understandable given his loss.


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