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June 21, 2019

Week 2 vs. Hamilton – Who’s in Who’s out

The Ticats provide the opposition for the season opener for the Double Blue. The pre-season is in the rear-view mirror so it’s time to introduce you to the starting lineup.

With that said, please note that the lineup is taken off the pre-game depth chart and is subject to change.

James Franklin will get the start at quarterback, backed up by McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Dakota Prukop. Franklin is excited by both the offence and the personnel he’ll be working with.

The depth at running back was an intriguing sub-plot in camp, but it should be no surprise that incumbent James Wilder Jr. will get the start against Hamilton. Chris Rainey will back him up, while the fullbacks are Declan Cross and rookie Regis Cibasu.

The receiving corps is essentially the same, but with one huge addition. The big three will be returnees S.J. Green and Armanti Edwards, with highly-coveted  free agent Derel Walker joining the Boatmen from Edmonton. Jimmy Ralph earned one of the starting jobs, joined by Llevi Noel. Veteran Alex Charette and Finnish rookie Kimi Linnainmaa fill out the receiving corps.

The first-overall pick in the CFL Draft will make his debut on the offensive line. Shane Richards will play right guard for Ryan Bomben, who is currently on the six-game injured list.* Free agent Randy Richards, no relation, will start at right tackle. The left side of the line is intact from the last few games of 2018 with veterans Sean McEwen and Tyler Holmes starting at centre and guard, while Isiah Cage gets the nod at tackle. The three backups on the roster are Jamal and Will Campbell – again, no relation – and D.J. Sackey.

With that in mind, the versatility of the offensive line means there could be changes in personnel or position before kickoff time.

On the defensive side of the ball the front four will consist of ends Shawn Lemon and Tobi Antigha, with Cleyon Laing and Cory “Poop” Johnson inside at tackle. Linden Gaydosh will rotate with the tackles, while Freddie Bishop and rookie Robbie Smith, the ninth-overall pick in this year’s draft, will get reps at end.

A pair of newcomers start at linebacker, Micah Awe in the middle and Ian Wild on the weak side. Adbul Kanneh is on the strong side. Nelkas Kwemo and Nakas Onyeka back up Wild, with Justin Herdman-Reed behind Awe.

In the secondary, Alden Darby Jr. and Anthony Covington will start at cornerback, with Trumaine Washington and free-agent acquisition Kevin Fogg at halfback. Jermaine Gabriel is the safety. Two Calgarians, Matt Webster and Robert Woodson, will be the reserves in the secondary.

Again, the members of the secondary have played at every DB spot in camp, so don’t be surprised to see these players move around.

An intense kicking battle was won by Drew Brown as the place kicker, and Ronnie Pfeffer will handle the punting duties.

AT THE GAME

The Shipyard has a new home! Your favourite pre-game gathering place has been moved to the north patio, located between the north bleachers and the Food Building, just west of Gate One. It will open at 2:00, making it a great spot to connect with your friends before the game.

You’ll also get a chance to meet, and get an autograph from Ricky Ray. The leading passer in Argo history – who led the club to the 2012 and 2017 Grey Cup championships – will be signing autographs between two and three o’clock. Just a heads up, you’ll be limited to one autograph per person because we want to ensure that Ricky is able to meet as many fans as possible.

The Shipyard will feature visits from alumni, Jim Popp and Pinball Clemons, among others. You can also grab a $5.00 beer. They will be available at 25 locations during the game. Also take advantage of $3.00 hot dogs. These are not special prices for the opener, they’ll remain at that price all season long.

If you’re one of the first 7,000 fans in attendance you’ll receive a Derel Walker bobblehead. If you don’t know too much about one of the newest Argos, you soon will. He’s one of the most dynamic receivers in the league.

Make sure you’re in your seat at least 15 minutes before kickoff. There will be a pre-game ceremony thanking Ricky Ray for his contributions to the Argos. He deserves nothing less than a long, loud ovation to thank him for his playing days in Double Blue.

Finally, don’t forget to download the brand-new Argos app to your phone. Just go to the App Store, search for Toronto Argonauts, and add it to your phone. It’s a free download and will allow you to purchase tickets or manage your account, get all the latest news on your favourite team, and shop for Argos gear.

Don’t forget that when you post on social media you should use #PullTogether to make it easier to chat with other Argos fans.

The weatherman is calling for ideal conditions, 24 C, sunny, with just a slight breeze. To top it all off, the hated Ticats are in town and it’s the season opener for your new-look Argos. Kickoff time is 4:00, but if you can’t make the game, Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor have the call on TSN, while Chris Schultz and I are back for another season on TSN 1050. We’ll have a half-hour pre-game and half-hour post-game show.

Enjoy the game. Arrrrrrrrrgooooooooooos!

 

*Bomben has been placed on the 6-game list for precautionary reasons. Any player can be removed from the list at any time after they’ve missed at least one game.