There is really no doubt in anyone’s mind that the 2012 Toronto Argonauts team is one of the best. A star quarterback, quick and agile receivers, strong defensive line, and a positive coaching staff are the perfect formula to a Grey Cup champion team. The 2-2 record, plus a couple of other small factors could be deceiving to the non-football eye. A loss to Hamilton, a way to close of a game against Winnipeg, and the lack of touchdowns this season could make some believe that the Argonauts are pace to an awful season. Those people really have no idea what they are talking about.
The deep down issue this season is really the way the team has been able to mesh. Of course they all get along, but it’s getting used to how each other play that has been the downfall of the Argos this season. The off season brought the team Ricky Ray. At first glance, bringing in a quarterback like Ray can only bring positives to the team, and based on his reputation it’s safe to make that assumption.
Bringing Ricky Ray to a team that is used to having below par quarterbacks though, makes things a little tough. Ray is a dominant QB, who was brought in both for his talent and his ability to lead a team. The team on the other hand, is used to having really no one run the show, so Ray might seem a bit intimidating despite his lanky stature. Don’t be confused. Ray’s numbers have been near stellar this season; it’s been the small things that have come up to bite the Argos in the butt this season.
Our special teams for example, have had their struggles. Allowing two wide field goals to be returned for touchdowns would be a rather large issue. From there, you may ask, “Why are there any missed field goals?” Noel Prefontaine, the Argonauts trophy kicker decided to call it a season after realizing his lingering hip injury was really affecting the way he was kicking in the first 3 games this season.
Let’s now spin this positively. It took 3 games and a 1-2 record for both Jim Barker and Head Coach Scott Milanovich to take action. Jim Barker brought in Swayze Waters to replace Prefontaine, rather than letting the young and somewhat inexperienced Anthony Alix take over kicking duties. For those unaware, Waters is famous for a YouTube video he posted where he booted a 70 yard field-goal right through the uprights. If Waters did not make an immediate effect, he was definitely a confidence boost for the team along with serving as an intimidation factor for all opponents.
To go along with a new kicker, Milanovich, a brand new head coach, has really worked hard with the team that even despite the struggle against Winnipeg, there were visible improvements. Chad Owens had his first touchdown in 22 games, and Cory Boyd continues to dominate in the running game. Defensively, Pat Watkins continued to be a force while Rickey Foley showed his speed and awareness attacking Winnipeg QB Alex Brink all night.
One of the biggest upsides for the team is their positive attitude. There is not a single player on that team that does not believe they cannot win. Every member of this organization knows what this team is capable of, winning. With the Grey Cup taking place in Toronto this year, there is no doubt that each player rocking the double blue jersey, wants to see the boatmen playing for the cup in their hometown this year.