After beating the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Thursday night the Argos decided to stay in Regina ahead of next week’s game against B.C. I guess the Argos wanted to be gracious guests and help work out a resolution to the growing tension in Riderville developing between Shawn Lemon and the Roughrider organization. Here are my 3 thoughts.
He’s the Best Player in the Trade.
Often the belief is that the team who acquired to the best player in the deal wins the trade. Make no mistake Shawn Lemon is an impact player who provides a major upgrade to the Argo defensive line. If quarterback play is everything in the CFL than disrupting that play with constant pressure, hurries and sacks seems like a pretty important thing. Toronto has managed only 3 sack over 2 games. They also haven’t been able to apply consistent pressure though out 4 quarter of football. Lemon at the very least will provide a presence on the field and force offenses to make adjustments given that on the other end Rickey Foley awaits.
Argos dealt from a position of strength.
In return for Lemon Toronto sent back up international quarterback Mitchell Gale and national offensive lineman Matt Sewell. Those are two positions of strength for Toronto. Yes you can never have enough quarterbacks but Gale was third on the teams depth chart and if at any time he was called upon to be a starter that likely meant something really bad happened to Ricky Ray. As for Sewell he was progressing nicely in his 3rd year as a member of the Double Blue but the Argos have good Canadian depth on their line. Remember that Toronto has added 2015 first round pick Sean McEwen to their roster and drafted 2 other linemen, Sackey and Campbell in the 2nd and 3rd round of the 2016 CFL draft.
When you’re dealt Lemons make Lemonade.
For a variety of reason Lemon has found himself on a CFL carousel over the past year. His release in Ottawa and eventual signing in Saskatchewan caught many off guard and a bitter taste among fans and members of the REDBLACKS organization. And now given this deal to Toronto after just 2 games as a Roughrider, for fans and media alike there are definitely more questions than answers. However none of that should matter if you’re cheering for the Argos. Lemon has a good history with the team’s defensive coordinator Rich Stubler from his days as a Stampeder. He should be able to fit right in with an experienced team and coach who will know how to maximize his talent and effectiveness. As I’ve written before the Argos are all in for 2016. If Lemon is, than that can only be a good thing going forward.
Written by: Anthony Ciardulli
Follow Anthony on twitter @comicanthony