Toronto Argonauts president Bill Manning enlisted the help of Michael “Pinball” Clemons recently.
“I asked Pinball Clemons to get involved a few weeks ago and I think he’s made a very positive difference with the club, he’s working with Corey [Chamblin] and Jim [Popp],” Manning said on TSN 1050 radio in Toronto.
The Argos sit last place in the entire CFL through 15 weeks of the season with a 2-10 record. Toronto finished the 2018 schedule 4-14, the worst record in the league and it cost Marc Trestman the job as head coach. Current general manager Jim Popp is in the final year of his contract, which runs out at the end of the campaign.
“Incredibly difficult – it’s been a really, really difficult year. The Argos just really have not found themselves yet. They’re finding ways to lose. Jim’s a great guy and we talk all the time. We just got to look at everything,” Manning said.
“It’s a situation where you look at our record over the last two years especially, been very poor (6-24). And the year they won the championship they were 9-9. As we go into this off-season we really gotta evaluate everything because this is not how MLSE wants to have their teams, we’re sitting in last place. We gotta look at our personnel.”
Corey Chamblin was hired as the new bench boss last December. Since a rocky start to the season which featured the Argos being blown out a number of times, the ship has been steadied somewhat with the double blue being more competitive.
“The last few weeks we’ve played much better ball, we’ve been in every game. The second half of last game you saw James Franklin come back in as quarterback and he threw a touchdown pass and he got things going. We played Calgary very well. They have a really good quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell,” Manning said.
“We have a couple games against Ottawa to finish up, we have a game out in B.C. – very winnable games. We have Saskatchewan this weekend. And so hopefully we can at least have a winning record or at least finish up strong and then have a little bit of hope going in to next year. We’ll see what James can do, I think you’re going to see a lot more of him as we finish out the season.”
Manning has seen Chamblin and his staff come together while understanding about 85 percent of the players on the roster are relatively new within the last three seasons. But it does seem as though change could happen in the front office once the off-season comes.