How the 2015 season played out:
2015 began as rough one for the Argos, forced out of Toronto due to the Pan-American games taking place that summer. They had to start their season in Fort McMurray, Alberta (Over 3700km away from Toronto), as a home game! They played the first five games of the season on the road and still came out with a 4-2 record through the first six games. From there they played only .333 winning percentage football – losing three, winning three and then losing another three – before solidifying a playoff berth late in the season versus Hamilton, a team who knows all to well about a travelling season from their experience in 2013.
The team also had to make schedule adjustments later in the season after the Toronto Blue Jays made the playoffs, using the same stadium as the Argonauts at the time. Despite all this, veteran future hall-of-famer Ricky Ray and Head Coach Scott Milanovich still rallied the team to a playoff appearance, but it came to an unfortunate end in Hamilton as a last second field goal ended not only a resilient game, but a resilient season for the Argonauts.
Additions and Subtractions
On the players side, the Toronto Argonauts signed defensive lineman Brian Bulcke, who had spent the previous three seasons with Toronto’s Southern Ontario rivals in Hamilton. With the Tiger-Cats, Bulcke registered 41 tackles, five sacks and three fumble recoveries and will no doubt be a solid addition to the Argonauts defense.
Perhaps the biggest addition the Toronto Argonauts made was the move to their new stadium, BMO Field, which they share with MLS’s Toronto FC on the Exhibition Grounds. The Argos were in a less than favourable lease at the Rogers Centre, and could really benefit from a move to a much more football friendly stadium in BMO Field.
The biggest subtraction has to be that of Chad Owens. The now former slot-back went and signed with provincial rivals Hamilton in the off-season, having played the previous five seasons in Toronto endearing himself greatly to the fan base.
2016 Season Thoughts
Ricky Ray’s veteran poise is invaluable when it comes to this Argonauts team because the team has some newer talent that came in on offense over the last year. Torey Gurley is the prime example of this, heo ended up tied with Eric Rogers, of the Calgary Stampeders, for the league lead in touchdown receptions at ten. Vidal Hazelton was another add from last year that could also benefit from another year of learning from one of the CFL’s all time greats.
With the additions this team has made they will be competitive in the CFL’s Eastern Division, and will no doubt be extremely motivated to perform well in their new facility.