Chad Kackert’s first opportunity
Initially, after Cory Boyd’s release last weekend, head coach Scott Milanovich said Chad Kackert had not been handed a gift when he was named Toronto’s new starting running back. Then the coach seemed to soften a little as Kackert moved carefully through his first full week of practice with the first team, before his first game in seven weeks. “I just expect Chad to do his job,” Milanovich said. The coach surprised many by saying “numbers are the one thing you can’t read much into,” after releasing the CFL’s leading rusher, which probably means Kackert’s priority will not be moving the ball, but keeping quarterback Ricky Ray upright with pass blocking.
An offensive line that is no longer all-Canadian
This week’s renovation to the wall in front of Ray did not stop with Kackert. Import offensive lineman Tony Washington will likely start at left tackle, which mean Wayne Smith will move right into the left guard position, ahead of Andrew Jones and Cedric Gagne-Marcoux. Marc Parenteau, who lost the starting centre job to Jeff Keeping in training camp, lined up at right guard during practice Thursday, and Milanovich said he will probably rotate Parenteau with Joe Eppele and Jonathan St-Pierre.
Washington, 6-foot-7 295 pounds, started five games for Calgary last season before being released on June 23. Toronto acquired Washington, 26, two weeks later, and placed him on the practice roster.
“We’re trying to find the best guys out there to take us to the next level,” Milanovich said. “Some guys have had an opportunity, now it is time for some other guys to get an opportunity.”
Penalties are still a (big) problem
Toronto leads the league in number of times penalized (65) and yards penalized (493). The Argos were burned critically last week when linebacker Marcus Ball was penalized for being offside against B.C. on a critical goal-line stance in the fourth quarter, which brought the Lions closer to scoring the winning touchdown. Milanovich said he would “coach the penalties out of the team.” That has not happened, yet.