Argos ready for the Butler to do it again

There’s at least one player in the CFL who could match the adrenaline level of the six players inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Thursday night: Argos defensive lineman Victor Butler.

Butler, who returns to the Argos lineup this week after missing six weeks with a lower-body injury, is one of the more excitable players in the dressing room. But the enthusiasm was even stronger than usual Thursday for the 30-year- old Butler, who still shares the CFL lead in sacks, with seven, despite his absence.

“I feel phenomenal,” Butler said as the Argos prepared for Saturday’s home game against Edmonton. “It feels good to get back with the players, and the coaches . . . Bear Woods (linebacker), was yelling at me, telling me what to do, and Marcus Ball (linebacker), was slapping me on the shoulder. It was just good to be back out there, being around the game, the smell of it, and everything. I’m really excited.”

Butler is coming back with the Argos on a three-game losing streak. And his return coincided with the first full day of new rules in the CFL mandating no-pad practices with a minimum of contact. CFL teams had previously had only one practice a week with pads on, so losing that day was relatively insignificant to the veteran lineman.

Butler was more concerned with getting his timing and explosiveness back. And, judging from his 1000-watt attitude, he seems ready to resume his role as one of the league’s finest quarterback chasers.

“I had a lot of support, you know, (running back) Brandon Whitaker was like my extra personal trainer, because he’s also my neighbour,” Butler said. “Honestly, it felt like the down time flew by . . . it didn’t for my wife, because I was at home a lot more, but really, it flew by.”

Argos head coach Marc Trestman naturally welcomed Butler back into the fold. But even with the lineman’s overwhelming presence, the Argos still have to show they’ve gotten rid of several gremlins in their game.

Now 4-7, Toronto has been struggling with a rash of penalties. They also need to gain more consistency on offence, and protect quarterback Ricky Ray better.

Butler feels the team instilled a winning attitude way back in training camp in June.

“You look back at our losses, there’s been a little mistake here, a penalty there . . . and some execution mistakes,” Butler said. “But for the most part, this is a winning football team. The way we prepare, it’s a very committed and prepared locker room, we just have to do it more consistently on the field.”

NOTES: Trestman saw a lot in common with Thursday’s Hall of Fame inductees: Anthony Calvillo, Geroy Simon, Brian Towriss, Stan Schwartz, Mike O’Shea, and Kelvin Anderson.

“When it came down to making a great play, those guys were the ones to make it,” Argos coach Marc Trestman said. “All of them showed great leadership, on and off the field, they were big parts of their communities. There’s endless positive things you can say about them.”