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Feb 4, 2021. Can Martavis Bryant Power the Argonauts to Grey Cup Glory?

It would be fair to say that the 2019 CFL season was one to forget for the Toronto Argonauts. Happily, 2021 represents a fresh start for the franchise. Ryan Dinwiddie has been installed as head coach in his first senior role, and it will be interesting to see what ideas he brings into the camp. He may not have an extensive pedigree as the top boss, but the 40-year-old was considered a key figure in the Calgary Stampeders’ Grey Cup win of 2018 thanks to his work as QB coach with Bo Levi Mitchell.

A recruitment drive has also commenced ahead of the 2021 season, and already a handful of eye-catching acquisitions have been made. The Argos have essentially traded former quarterback Matt Nicholls to the Ottawa Redbacks in return for Nick Arbuckle, another former Stampeder with whom Dinwiddie has worked successfully in the past. He is a reliable campaigner who filled in for Mitchell when he was injured, and it will be intriguing to see how he performs as a starting QB. But most exciting of all are the two wide receivers that the Argos have signed. Eric Rogers, a CFL All-Star in 2019, banked ten touchdowns and delivered more than 1,000 yards in that career-high season, and as a two-time Grey Cup winner boasts the pedigree that Toronto are looking for as they seek a return to the good times of yesteryear. And then we have Martavis Bryant… a huge gamble, sure, but a guy who has delivered some excellent performances in the NFL in the past. If he can get in shape for the CFL, the Argos may just have played the ultimate trump card.

Speed Demon Even though his NFL career was cut short, there was no doubting one attribute that Martavis Bryant boasts in abundance – pure, unadulterated speed over the ground. He recorded a 100m sprint time of 10.85 seconds while competing for the T.L. Hanna track team, and that pace helped Bryant book a starting spot with Clemson, who as we know are perennially among the strongest college teams and favourites in the outright NCAA American football odds. In his early days with the Tigers, Bryant competed with the likes of DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins and Jaron Brown, and in his junior year he really caught the eye with 42 receptions and 828 yards gained. Foregoing his senior season, Bryant tried his luck in the NFL Draft, and in his debut year with the Pittsburgh Steelers he ran home eight touchdowns in just ten games and 549 yards. Here was a young man with a stellar future in football.

Unfortunately, that didn't work out and so now the 29-year-old is heading north with the Argos, and the bottom line is that if he is motivated and hungry Dinwiddie has a hell of a player. Conditioning will be key – “we have to get him into football shape,” the head coach has confirmed, but with plenty of time ahead of the new campaign the hope is that Bryant hits the ground running. If he does, he, Arbuckle and Rogers could rekindle the good times at the Argonauts.  









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