Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

A tough act to follow

Last year's dream season hard to top, but that's the plan in T.O.

  • Print

There are tough encores in sports, but just imagine what is staring the Toronto Argonauts in the mug today after their enormously successful 2012 campaign.

Just to briefly recap some of the highlights from '12, the Argos...

Toronto Argonauts

2012 regular season: 9-9

Playoffs: Defeated Edmonton 42-16 in East semifinal; then Montreal 27-20 in East final and Calgary 35-22 in 100th Grey Cup.

Notable departures in off-season: Released P/K Noel Prefontaine, S Etienne Boulay, LB Ejiro Kuale (now with Montreal); DE Ronald Flemons, QB Jarious Jackson, SB Ken-Yon Rambo; traded DE Andrian Awasom to B.C. for DT Khlaif Mitchell; traded rights to DL Dan Federkeil to Calgary for LB Akwasi Antwi; DL Armand Armstead (signed with New England Patriots); DE Rickey Foley signed with Saskatchewan as a free agent.

Notable Signings, extensions in off-season: Signed OL Joe Eppele, RB Chad Kackert, GM Jim Barker, defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones, WR Spencer Watt, to extensions; signed WR Romby Bryant, QB Alex Brink; signed LB James Yurichuk (B.C.) in free agency; hired Marcus Brady as new offensive co-ordinator and add Ed Philion and Eddie Brown to coaching staff; DB Ahmad Carroll retired; traded for DT Jermaine Reid.

-- Tait


-- Traded for all-star QB Ricky Ray in one of the greatest heists in CFL history;

-- Signed former Montreal Alouettes' offensive boss Scott Milanovich as head coach;

-- Played host to and won the 100th Grey Cup in their own backyard.

And now their mission -- and they have eagerly chosen to accept it -- is to do it all over again, a feat that has been accomplished only twice since the Edmonton Eskimos' dynasty of 1978-82 (by the Argos in '96-97 and the Alouettes in '09-10).

"We know the amount of work we had to put in last year and that's why, to be honest with you, all this talk about last year makes me uncomfortable because I know it's an entirely new challenge this year," said Milanovich, the CFL's coach of the year, in a conference call on Wednesday. "And the quicker we are able to turn the page as an organization, the better we're going to be able to get started."

Now, despite winning the title last year the Argos weren't without their flaws. They were a 9-9 club during the regular season that finished sixth in scoring and in points allowed before reeling off three straight wins in the playoffs to capture the title.

Over the off-season Milanovich and GM Jim Barker embarked on upgrading their Canadian talent while working to get younger. Several Argo vets -- most notably kicker Noel Prefontaine -- were jettisoned while familiar defensive faces like ends Rickey Foley and Ronald Flemons have exited and Armand Armstead signed with the New England Patriots.

In their place management, as always, looked to get younger, deeper and more talented.

"Winning the Grey Cup is the ultimate, what we all worked for. The day after the parade Scott, myself and the rest of the staff sat down and tried to figure out how we could improve ourselves. There's a lot of room for improvement."

What might work in the Argos' favour going forward is this: everything that happened last season came with a new coaching staff with a rookie head coach at the controls. Now the club is hoping some familiarity can breed even more success -- especially on offence where there are a number of weapons at Ray's disposal.

"We should be starting at a higher level this year than we were last year," said Milanovich. "It wasn't just Ricky... Ricky's comfort level is going to be significantly higher than it was a year ago and so that should make the whole product look a little better.

"Our goal is to try and pick up where we left off and then try to take that to a new level. Our expectations are definitely higher than they were a year ago." Twitter: @WFPEdTait

The CFL is conducting a series of teleconference previews on the league's teams. This is the fourth in that series.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 16, 2013 D4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


I Dream of Diesel at Rachel Brown Theatre scene preview

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Winnipeg Free Press 090528 STAND UP...(Weather) One to oversee the pecking order, a pack of pelican's fishes the eddies under the Red River control structure at Lockport Thursday morning......

View More Gallery Photos


Will Connor McDavid make the Edmonton Oilers a playoff team?

View Results

Ads by Google