Toronto Argonauts’ head coach Ryan Dinwiddie is very much aware of Brandon Banks showing his emotions during a game, but that doesn’t mean the bench boss is alright with it.
Banks was involved in a sideline incident with offensive lineman Trevon Tate immediately after the 2019 CFL MOP fumbled the football away to Winnipeg while trying to tie the game with a touchdown late in the third quarter during the Week 4 match-up at BMO Field.
“I know Tate and Brandon got into it. It’s like I’m talking until I’m blue in the face: we gotta be disciplined, we gotta stick together. That was the whole pre-game speech, let’s find a way to stick together and make the plays at the end to win the game,” Dinwiddie said.
“We gotta grow up, be men and find ways to fight through your frustration. We can’t act like that, it looks like junior college football. We talk about respond-ability, how are you going to respond to adversity? We’re going to bicker and fight, that ain’t it.”
The 34-year-old Banks was signed in February after parting ways with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He’s the oldest, most experienced receiver on the Argos roster and his addition was supposed to bring veteran leadership to the double blue offence. That’s why Dinwiddie was surprised to see Banks in the middle of it with Tate on the bench.
“I know he’s been fiery and I’ve seen him throw his temper tantrums on the sideline, but we can’t have that. Guys get frustrated from time to time, you can show your frustrations a little bit, but that’s not conducive to winning,” Dinwiddie said.
“The guys don’t have to be leaders, just be a positive influence. Speedy can’t have that. He apologized to the team afterwards. I know he cares and it’s important to him to win, but is that going to help us win? He’s gotta be better than that. I’ll sit down and talk to him.”
The diminutive playmaker led Toronto with eight targets from quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson against the Blue Bombers and Banks caught five passes for 95 yards including a 45-yard touchdown where he wrestled the ball away from defensive back Demerio Houston. That was the highlight for Banks to go with the lowlight incident on the Argonauts’ bench.
“We’re pissed off, man. Brothers fight, brothers love, brothers do it all. We’re pissed off, we wanna be great — there’s a lot of guys that want to play good football,” Bethel-Thompson said.
“Emotions get the best of us, emotions are just thoughts, we gotta find a way to flush those and come back into the moment — we’re living in the past or living in the future. We gotta know when and where, that’s for sure not a where and for sure not a when.”
Dinwiddie agrees with his starting QB as the lack of discipline and focus likely cost the Argos a win over the two-time defending Grey Cup champions. Toronto has a bye week to correct the emotional explosions and issues with the Touchdown Atlantic game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders next on the Argonauts schedule.
“Maybe some guys gotta go home because I’d rather put some guys out there that are going to do the right things. A lot of guys got talent but that’s our Achilles heel right now, we gotta get a better culture,” Dinwiddie said.
“It’s been the priority I’ve been preaching since training camp and we got rid of some bad guys. The one thing I can say: at least these guys care — they care. But they gotta figure out how to respond in the proper way and respect each other. Gotta have some conversations with some guys and go from there.”