The five-foot-11, 185-pound native of Kitchener, Ont., returns to the Argonauts after spending the last season and a half with Ottawa.
The Argonauts had a new face in camp on Monday at York University, but he wasn’t all that unfamiliar.
They brought in kicker/punter Ronnie Pfeffer, who played with the Argonauts for six weeks in the 2015 season as a replacement for injured Swayze Waters. The Kitchener native spent the last season and a half with the Ottawa Redblacks, winning a Grey Cup ring last year.
However, the Redblacks cut him in training camp and Pfeffer landed in Hamilton for a tryout, but was released there, too. The Argos brought him in to compete for the backup job behind starter Lirim Hajrullahu.
Pfeffer said he has been troubled by an ankle injury, but felt he was kicking the ball well in his first practice on Monday.
Also Monday, the Argos released international offensive lineman Davonte Wallace.
BEAR’S THE NAME: Bear Woods, the all-star linebacker who was surprisingly released by the Montreal Alouettes and signed by the Argonauts last week, didn’t grow up with that first name as his legal one. His grandfather nicknamed him Bear when he was around 6 months old. “He put me on the counter and turned around, and I was up in the cabinet. He said, ‘He moves like a little bear’ and the name stuck.” Woods’ given name was Jonathan before he had it legally changed. Growing up in a small town in Florida, he was known only as Bear.
CANADIAN HANDS: Jimmy Ralph distinguished himself as a sure-handed Canadian receiver last Thursday, catching four passes for a game-high 54 yards against the Alouettes in the pre-season curtain-raiser. He also scored his team’s only offensive touchdown. Ralph is trying to get noticed and it’s not easy — as a Canadian hopeful at five-foot-10 and 185 pounds. In addition, he has some rust. The University of Alberta product didn’t play last year for personal reasons and wasn’t taken in the CFL draft. The Argos put him on their negotiation list and signed him as a free agent. “That was just one game, so I’ve got to go back to work this week,” he said. Ralph played two years with Canada’s national junior baseball team and roomed with Dalton Pompey, the Blue Jays’ outfield prospect. They got together Sunday night in Toronto, where Pompey is rehabbing from an injury.
QB SIX-PACK: There are six quarterbacks in camp: Ricky Ray, Drew Willy, Jeff Mathews, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Cody Fajardo and Dakota Prukop. The team can only dress three in the regular season, but will likely keep four on the roster. Bethel-Thompson got lots of reps at practice on Monday and showed a strong arm, as did Prukop. Those two could see their first action on Friday in Hamilton in the team’s final pre-season tuneup.