Toronto Argonauts defence ready for rematch against EskimosJuly 12, 2018
The Toronto Argonauts defence held the Edmonton Eskimos to 17 points leading the team to their first win of the season.
While a lot of attention from the Toronto Argonauts first win of the season was on the performance of the offence. The Edmonton Eskimos offence couldn’t complete drives which the defensive unit played a big part in.
Sure Mike Reilly threw for 370 yards but he only had one touchdown and the team had nothing going for them in the run game. The Argos defence also forced two turnovers with a fumble that lead to the team’s second touchdown and an interception with some help from the turf.
With a rematch set for Friday in Edmonton, Toronto knows that it won’t be an easy task to try and hold the Eskimos once again like they did in Week 4.
“It is different playing against a team the second time,” said Justin Tuggle on the back-to-back. “It is hard to beat them once so to go out there to do it again especially against a top quality team is going to be tough.”
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During the second and third quarter, the Argos defence was forced to be out on the field for long periods which can be tough especially against a quality offence.
If that were to happen again on Friday, Tuggle knows that the players will be up for the challenge.
“It starts with being mentally focused, and being prepared,” said Tuggle. “As long as you did your work throughout the week, you shouldn’t go out there and worry about anything. You are going to be tired no matter what you do if you’re playing good or bad. You can’t focus on that you just have to bite down and make plays when they come your way.”
One thing the Argos try to do with their defence is use players in multiple positions including Tuggle who plays on the defensive line and in the middle.
He believes that his experience on the offensive side of the ball as a quarterback with Boston College helped him prepare for anything that is thrown at him on the field. The 28-year-old became a linebacker when he transferred to Kansas State in the junior season.
Robert Woodson is another player who knows first hand the benefits of being a versatile player on the field. The Argos fourth-round pick from the 2017 draft has spent time at halfback, safety and corner in just his second season with the team.
“The way our defence works you have to know every position and know everyone around you is doing to see how everything is put together,” Woodson explained. “It has definitely helped me learn the whole defence by playing multiple positions.”
After spending most of the time playing on special teams last season and missing six games with an injury, Woodson has seen an increased role in the defence.
Woodson points to a strong group of veterans for helping him along the way but the 22-year-old was a highly regarded prospect going into the draft.
The transition from university to professional football has taught him to appreciate certain aspects of the game that might not have been focused on in school.
“You really have to take care of all the details and really be detailed orientated with everything you do both on and off the field, by eating right and going to treatment because it is a longer season.”
That has become more important for a young player like Woodson because of all the injuries the Argos are dealing with.
Frank Beltre, Matt Black, Quadarius Ford, Taylor Reed, Johnny Sears Jr., and Bear Woods are all on the six-game injured list which is not easy for most teams to deal with. Having the depth and players able to move into different spots on the defence has made the job easier for Toronto.
It will be interesting to see how the Argos adjust to the changes that Edmonton makes in the rematch but they are confident in their preapration.