November 2, 2012
Rumours swirl that Argos GM Jim Barker won't return next season
By FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Nothing has been said for public consumption, but behind the scenes plenty is being said in CFL circles.
While change will unfold in the Hammer, there’s a growing sense around the league that Argos GM Jim Barker won’t be asked to return for reasons that can’t be easily explained.
In terms of pure football, Barker has done a good job in getting the necessary pieces, decent pieces that have assured the Argos of a home playoff date for the first time since 2007.
When Ricky Ray came to town and his big salary, unpopular moves were made, players acquired who didn’t exactly merit a hefty contract when so little wiggle room existed in a cap system.
From afar, if Barker is indeed not asked to come back, personality issues more than any football-related issues will be at play.
In this case, the truth will probably never come out, unless some party hides behind the cloak of anonymity and uses some agenda-driven media maven to air some dirty laundry.
But as Thursday night’s thrilling 43-40 win over Hamilton showed, there’s some nice young pieces in Argoland on both sides of the ball.
Johnnie Dixon recovered a fumble the Argos would parlay into a touchdown, would later force a fumble, Jeremy Geathers was coming off the edge, while Donte Paige-Moss ran to the football.
But it was on offence and in particular at quarterback where most of the optimism could be found.
For a franchise that has had a difficult of time of grooming quarterbacks, the Argos may have two in Trevor Harris and Zach Collaros.
Both looked good and neither looked out of place against the Ticats, who could not recover from their four-turnover night.
The Argos had zero turnovers, despite fielding a roster dotted with many unknowns and relative no-names.
“I thought they were very poised,’’ head coach Scott Milanovich said of his greenhorn quarterbacks. “They missed a few things, but it was impressive to see the moment wasn’t bigger than them.”
The Argos basically had one full day of practice, a time that saw the offence run 16 plays split among veteran backup Jarious Jackson and the team’s two rookies.
By his estimation, Milanovich believes each pivot got six reps.
“They way they (Harris and Collaros) played was very impressive,’’ added Milanovich.
Combined, the Argos quarterback triumvirate threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns.