Toronto Argonauts’ linebacker Dexter McCoil is excited to have been reunited with Chris Jones, believing that he can improve the club’s defence.
“That’s something we’re just going to have to build down the line,” said McCoil via videoconference. “Him having that strength and that swagger and that aggressive that he has, it’s going to be a continued fit for all of us on the team.”
McCoil and Jones were together for two ultra-productive seasons with the Edmonton Elks, during which the linebacker was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie and won a Grey Cup. It’s been six years since the pair were together — McCoil departed for the NFL following the 2015 season, while Jones left for the Saskatchewan Roughriders — but the linebacker says his former head coach hasn’t changed a bit.
“He’s still the same normal Jones. Still a good defensive mind and an exciting coach to play for. He wants to win just like everybody else, so the mentality is no different,” said McCoil. “Everybody is still trying to come together and build that camaraderie and win games so that we can win the Grey Cup.”
Jones was officially hired as a defensive consultant last week after defensive coordinator Glen Young was placed on leave reportedly due to MLSE’s staff vaccine requirement. Though he remains a consultant in name, Jones is essentially serving as the team’s new defensive coordinator and will call plays in Friday’s game against Montreal.
McCoil is excited to be part of Jones’ aggressive scheme again, particularly now that he is a full-time starter in place of an injured Cameron Judge. He was a heavy rotation player through the first six games of the season, recording 36 totals tackles and one interception.
“Being aggressive is good,” he said. “We would like to dictate the tempo of the game, so being aggressive is good. Our whole team in general, we all want to be aggressive. We all want to dish out the first punch and make sure that we’re on the aggressive end of things.”
The Argos (3-3) host the Montreal Alouettes (2-3) at BMO Field on Friday night with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.