The Toronto Argonauts may not be playing with the rest of the CFL in Week 1 but the team continues to put in the work on the field.
As is the yearly tradition in the CFL, one team has to wait their turn to start their season while the other eight teams kick off their season. This year, it is the Toronto Argonauts who were the odd club out.
The last time the team had a bye week to start the season was in 2019 and many Argos fans would rather forget what happened that season.
After Toronto got some extra time to prep for their home opener, they suffered one of the worst losses in recent memory to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. That game ended in a 64-14 where everything went wrong for the Double Blue.
Declan Cross was one of the players who played in that game and says he has a goldfish memory of that day which is probably the right call. While some players would like to get things going right away, Cross is taking the benefits in stride.
“I don’t feel like we’re standing on the sidelines at all,” Cross explains. “I feel like a Week 1 bye for us is just a chance to rest and recuperate the body and then get the body back in the gym and get training again. It almost feels more like a longer Week 1 lead up into our game against Montreal.”
Unfortunately for the Alouettes, not only do they come into Week 2 with an 0-1 record but they also lost running back William Stanback to an ankle injury. Before the Als had kicked off their season, Cross made it a point to say that he wants to face them at their best and hoped the entire team would be healthy for the game.
“I hope we play all their starters, I hope it’s best on best, because that’s how you get better,” Cross said. “Especially early on in the season. We need to get better and better, faster than other teams who are getting better. That’s that’s the goal.”
The Argos have been known to take time to hit their stride and Cross believes there are man factors that play into it. Part of that probably has to do with the constant coaching changes and schemes that have been brought in.
One major change is the fact that the COVID-19 restrictions which impacted how teams conducted their preparation both on and off the field last season is in the past.
“I feel like everything’s wide open for us as a team,” Cross said. “The biggest and best part of this is that football is always going to be football and that’s what it’s all about.”
Andrew Harris’ presence on the field crucial for the Toronto Argonauts
There has been a lot of talk about whether Andrew Harris can be the dominant running back we have come to see,
In the first practice back from training camp in Guelph, it was hard to not notice No. 33 find a hole and burst through for a long run. The legs look like they have a lot to give but it’s not just the physical tools that Harris brings to the offence.
“Andrew is someone who does the right things and makes the right decisions. And he does those things consistently,” Cross explained about Harris. “To see him do something awesome on the field. It’s not something awesome, it’s something that Andrew does, because it’s the right thing to do. We’re trying to take that attitude on as well, where we make those good decisions and we hit those three hard stepsm we chase the ball, we’re always running the ball. We’re always trying to make the play. And that’s what Andrew brings and that’s what we all got to bring as well.”
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The Argos open their season on Thursday June 16 at home against Montreal with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.