As of kickoff on Sunday there will have been 232 days since the last Toronto Argonauts game that counted and 253 days since the last home game. Finally the day is upon us. The Toronto Argonauts return to BMO Field Sunday at 4 PM to take on their QEW rival the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. With the changes this off-season there are plenty of things to look for on Sunday.
Here are the 5 Yards to watch for Week 1:
1. No Grass Stains
This is probably going to be an ongoing theme for this season. The Argos need to keep Ricky Ray clean. As it stands right now, Ray was head and shoulders above all the other quarterbacks coming out of camp and until the future presents itself, the double blue offense will only go as far as he can carry them.
The Ticats appear to be loading up the left side, pitting John Chick, Ted Laurent and Simoni Lawrence against the virtually untested Import left tackle Brandon Washington. Veterans Tyler Holmes on the inside and Brandon Whitaker in the back field will have to step up to ensure Rays blindside is protected.
2. 37 Is Not That Old
With a renewed spirit, Ricky Ray enters his 6 season in Toronto feeling better then he has in a few years. Brandon Whitaker commented to Kaitlyn McGrath of the Athletic:
His arm is back, he’s strong. He looks like the old Ricky to me
With QBs being so pivotal in the CFL, Ray’s success will more than likely mirror the Argos success. While we didn’t see much of Ray in the pre-season, he showed the coaching staff that he is as advertised. Head coach Marc Trestman expects a lot from his QBs,
All things that I expected to see, I’ve seen. There’s nothing that surprised me.
3. The Dreaded Defence
Last year’s defence left a lot to be desired. Coming into game 1 the boatmen look to harness the power of the dreadlock with 6 starters sporting the hairstyle. All kidding aside, Corey Chamblin’s defence is set up to be a fast versatile group. When asked about what he looks for in a player a couple years ago at the CFL Draft (by Travis the Jr. Admiral) Chamblin quickly replied “Fast, They need to be real fast.” They will need all that ability to match up against the weapons the Ticats possess on offense.
4. The 144th Airborne need to “Do Work”
As mentioned on episode 5 of the Argos Fancast this week (Cheap Plug) the Toronto Argonauts receiving corps is not a flashy group, save for maybe SJ Green. They are a blue collar bunch who work hard and get results as a group. In other words they need to do what they do and “Do Work.” We need to see crisp route running and smart team play away from the ball. It is likely SJ Green will draw the majority of the defenses attention. The rest of the 144th Airborne will need to pick up the slack and work together to generate space after the catch.
5. There’s no place like Home
You know that feeling that you get when you return home after a long trip and your body and mind feel better? That is the feeling going into the second season at BMO Field. It’s been a long time since the Argos felt like they had a real home. And now that the honeymoon is over, the Argos can get to work making this their house. They need to set the tone that coming to Toronto is not a vacation. Taking their que from fan groups like the Oars in section 113 and 114, Section 116 the Argos Ednzone and Port 120 with the Argolifers, the rest of the fans need to bring even more passion and show the rest of the league that we care about this team.
The Game Plan
|Kickoff:||4:00 PM ET||BMO Field|
|Tailgate:||12:00 NOON||Ontario Place Lot|
|TV & Online:||TSN 1, 3, 4, 5 / ESPN2 / TSN Go|
|Radio:||TSN 1050 & SirusXM 167|