Argos hunting for Sears

Blue Bombers defensive back Johnny Sears is in hot water for his helmet hit on Argos quarterback...

Blue Bombers defensive back Johnny Sears is in hot water for his helmet hit on Argos quarterback Steven Jyles last week in Winnipeg. (BRIAN DONOGH/QMI Agency)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:12 PM ET

TORONTO - Johnny Sears has got some explaining to do.

But, however the Winnipeg Blue Bombersí defensive back justifies the hit that knocked Steven Jyles unconscious, when he speaks with CFL commissioner Mark Cohon Tuesday, heíll remain public enemy No. 1 in Argoland.

ďAhh, yeah, itís over. Ahh, for this year,Ē Jason Pottinger said Monday, all the while wearing a curious little grin. But it didnít sound like the comment came with humorous intent.

ďAny retaliation is going to be 100% within the rule books. Because, weíre not the type of team thatís going to take any cheap shots,Ē Pottinger said, as the Argonauts resumed practices. ďSo, ahhh, tell him to keep his head on a swivel.Ē

As the saying goes: Thatís not a threat, itís a promise.

This latest contretemps is not going away easily, or soon. These teams have been running at an emotional fever ever since their first meeting this season when linebacker Joe Lobendahn knocked out the teeth of then-Argosí quarterback Cleo Lemon. Torontoís Ejiro Kuale was ejected, and later fined, for a hit on Winnipeg quarterback Buck Pierce.

Nobody is suggesting the hit by Sears was payback. But ...

Toronto head coach Jim Barker, fined for comments regarding the officiating in the Kuale incident, declined to comment Monday other than to note Sears was penalized.

The CFL announced, in a statement, Cohon will speak with Spears via a teleconference. It also said the league is reviewing tweets by Toronto players that Winnipeg head coach Paul LaPolice considers threatening.

Hard feelings resonate on both sides.

Sears claims he wasnít attempting to hurt Jyles, telling Winnipeg reporters that ďMy aiming point was the hip, and it disappeared (when Jylesí slid). But it disappeared at a point where I couldnít make another reaction. That happens.Ē

Itíll be interesting to see if that explanation flies with Cohon because it certainly didnít with the Argos.

ďHis hip? Really? Interesting? I wasnít there. Iím watching it on TV. But unless Jyles shrunk I donít think his hip is that low. Even if you are aiming for his hip you donít lead with your head down,Ē said Taylor Robertson, the Argosí injured offensive guard. ďItís probably one of the worst cheap shots Iíve seen in a long time.Ē

Said Pottinger. ďIt was a dirty hit. When you start playing football at seven or eight years old you are taught never to lead with your head. Thatís the bottom line ó he led with his head.Ē

Jyles wasnít buying the accident scenario, either. ďGetting hit is part of the game. What this guy did is dirty. I slid. Iím known for sliding. And, he took a shot. Maybe itís a part of his game but I never seen any of our guys hurt someone when heís intentionally giving himself up.

ďThe part that hurts is he claims he didnít try to injure me but he didnít once try to apologize, say: Ďhey man! I didnít mean to do that.í Not once! So I take it that he wanted to do it.Ē

Meantime, tweets by Robertson and Rob Murphy exacerbated the incident.

ď#0 is lucky Iím not in the Province of Manitoba tonight,Ē tweeted Murphy, out with a knee injury. ďThey would need the Jaws of Life to pry me off him ... I have a good memory.Ē

Robertson tweeted: ďI donít know who the hell this #0 guy is but I hope to hell heís in the league next year . . . Iíll take the ejection I donít care. Pretty (angry) at the fact heís standing on the sideline and there isnít someone peeling white jerseys off of him...Ē

Both denied they were threatening Sears, with Murphy tweeting it was more like ďan opinion.Ē

Whether Jyles plays in Torontoís final game Thursday against Hamilton is up to doctors. ďI knew it was something serious ... because I couldnít remember the play I just ran. It feels like something over your face. I canít describe it. Itís like you just woke up. Iím still a little fuzzy but no concussion symptoms,Ē said Jyles, also evidently a little fuzzy on the symptoms of concussions.

Jyles played with Winnipeg last year; still has friends there and said heís hurt by some of the Twitter comments of former teammates. ďI thought we were better than that,Ē he said.

He even shared a locker room with Sears. But to suggest they were teammates might be a stretch, said Jyles.

ďI donít remember the guy. Maybe he came after I hurt (a shoulder last year) ... Iíll never have any respect for the guy. Never. No matter how long heís playing in this league. I donít know if itís over. Iíll put it behind me but as for the guy himself, I donít even want to say his name.Ē

Cohon has to make sure itís over. Sears has to be fined. He has to be suspended. Anything less, and this turns into a blood feud. And, the only way those end, are in tears.


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