Toronto Argonauts players taking advantage of opportunity for 2020

A helmet of the Toronto Argonauts. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
A helmet of the Toronto Argonauts. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images) /

While the 2019 season did not go the way the Toronto Argonauts expected, it looks like there might be something to be optimistic about in 2020.

In what has been a challenging season for the Toronto Argonauts, there is certainly different energy around the locker room than what we saw last year.

While there is disappointment with not being in the playoffs for a second-straight season and seeing Jim Popp relieved of his duties, the players understand that it’s a business and in the end, they need to perform.

This new management group led by Michael “Pinball” Clemmons has the tough challenge of trying to get this team back into the playoffs. While it’s not an easy task, the fortunate part is that the Argos are able to get a head start on planning for 2020.

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Injuries have afforded the team a chance to start players who would not have gotten playing time this season like Chandler Worthy, and A.J. Ouellette. Against the Ottawa Redblacks, we saw Dakota Prukop and Michael O’Connor get their chance to show what they could do and they didn’t disappoint either. They should be in line to get more playing time in the season finale in Hamilton.

While it’s tough to gauge from a couple of games whether this team is trending in the right direction, it’s promising to see that most of the players have not checked out for the most part.

Considering how many need contracts going into next season, the last thing they want to do is hurt their chances in free agency. Chamblin made it a point to say they want to establish some players moving forward and see players competing for jobs.

"“The positive thing about this team. They hadn’t checked out, you know, they know that from a grand scheme, there is no championship to play for in terms of the Grey Cup, but you know, the way that guys approach it, I mean, they could have gone out there and went the other way,” said Chamblin on how the team’s effort has been the past few weeks.“They know that this is their professional resume each and every day when they go out there and not saying the other team did, but these guys know they’re being evaluated, not just for the Argos, but any football team.“You can see the way the guys played this the same way they practice and they’ve had positive energy all throughout and there hadn’t been negative energy and the coaches are making sure that we’ve stayed on him and the leaders have made sure that there’s no checking out.”"

It will be interesting to see who plays in the season finale in Hamilton considering the number of question marks there are heading into next season. Players like Derel Walker and James Wilder Jr. have seen their ups and downs and you wonder if this new management group will make an attempt to bring them back.

These are the sort of questions the team should be looking to address well before free agency opens along with the quarterback situation. Do they have faith in McLeod Bethel-Thompson to be the No. 1 then have Dakota Prukop and Michael O’Connor audition for the backup job? Or does the team go out and try to sign a free agent like Jeremiah Masoli, Matt Nicols or Zach Collaros?

Things might not look as bad for the Argos heading into 2020 as we might think if John Murphy is able to address the weaknesses in the lineup and it looks like their might already be some solutionson the team right now.

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What do you think about the Argos roster heading into 2020? What is their biggest need and how should they look to address it? Let us know in the comments below.