June 13, 2012
Isaac putting his stamp on Argos
By CAITLYN HOLROYD, Special to QMI Agency
TORONTO - The Toronto Argonauts' new-look defence isn't so unfamiliar to the recently acquired Brandon Isaac.
The veteran linebacker signed a two-year deal with the Boatmen in May after spending the previous two seasons with the Calgary Stampeders. It was there that he worked with defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones, who also joined the Toronto staff this off-season. Isaac feels it's a reunion that will be beneficial for the team's defence moving forward.
"I've already been through the system. I know what Jones expects -- I know what he wants from us and from me personally. Knowing that and that leadership role that I'm trying to put on to encourage guys (about) what it takes to win in this defence," he said of the strengths he brings to the team.
Isaac has had a strong training camp so far and there is a good chance that he'll make the starting lineup. After having his final season with Calgary cut short due to a groin injury, the 27-year-old is anxious to start this season with his new club.
"Last year, my season ended with an injury and I couldn't go out and compete with the team that I was on. This is a new year, I'm with a new team and I'm just emotional," he said. "I can't wait until the game kick-off."
In his two seasons with the Stampeders, Isaac made 46 tackles and three sacks. He previously played in the Arena Football League and was a teammate of current Argos running back Cory Boyd at the University of South Carolina.
Isaac and the rest of Toronto's defence will be without a doubt looking to improve on last season's dismal defensive numbers. The team was last or second-last in nearly every defensive category and lost two of its top defensive backs -- Lin-J Shell and Byron Parker -- to the B.C. Lions in the off-season. Shell lead the defence with 94 tackles while Parker was the Double Blue's main ball hawk.
Now a week-and-a-half into training camp, Isaac said his focus has been on honing his entire defensive game.
"I've just been working on getting better at my craft. You can get better each and every day -- so every day I go out, I find something that I'm weak at and I try to make it my strong."
And with the kick-off to regular season just around the corner, Isaac is ready to show opponents his game face.
"I think I bring tenacity. I'm a nice guy off the field but on the field, I (could) care less about the opponent. I just want to inflict pain and do whatever it takes to win a ball game," he said.