MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - The Toronto Argonauts are hoping that coaching talent knows no boundaries.

New coach Bart Andrus' resume includes two World Bowl titles and an appearance in the Super Bowl. But he begins his first head coaching job with no CFL experience under his belt. Adding to Andrus' challenge is that he takes over a team that went 4-14 last season.

On the plus side, hiring a new face worked in Montreal. Longtime NFL assistant coach Marc Trestman guided the Alouettes to a Grey Cup berth last season, his first in the CFL.

"It's not brain surgery, it's football and football is all about blocking, tackling, speed and quickness and those type of things," Andrus said. "Most of the things that really all of us were unfamiliar with was the kicking game but we've adapted around that."

When Andrus takes to the field to kick off the season on Wednesday against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, he will be Toronto's third head coach in a year.

Rich Stubler took over from Mike (Pinball) Clemons following the '08 season but was fired after compiling a 4-6 record and replaced by Don Matthews. The CFL's winningest head coach came out of retirement to take the job but posted a dismal 0-8 record in his third stint with the team before abruptly retiring again.

While he doesn't have any CFL experience, Andrus said he has a lot of confidence in CFL veteran Steve Buratto, the Argos special teams coach.

"Twenty-seven years of experience, I don't think there's many coaches in the CFL that have that kind of experience," said Andrus. "I think it would be a hard-pressed situation that he's unfamiliar with so I feel good at where we're at there. Offensively and defensively I don't think there's that much of a difference. I think that part of it was easier to adjust to."

To that end, Andrus will also serve as Toronto's offensive co-ordinator and call the team's plays. He takes over a unit that ranked seventh last year in points scored (378), last in yards per game (347) and tied for last in TDs scored (36).

Andrus' first order of business was to name veteran Kerry Joseph as his starting quarterback. Joseph came to Toronto in a huge off-season trade after guiding Saskatchewan to the '07 Grey Cup. But the 2007 CFL MVP jelled with his new team after Stubler decided to platoon Joseph and Michael Bishop at quarterback.

Joseph's situation didn't improve under Matthews, who benched the veteran for two weeks in favour of youngster Cody Pickett before returning Joseph under centre for good.

This year, though, Joseph heads into the season knowing the Argos are his team.

"It's a different atmosphere totally," Joseph said. "I feel good about the situation we're in and I'm looking forward to going out and having a successful season.

"It (last year) is motivation for me. I pray I don't have to see a situation like that again as long as I'm playing the game of football."

Toronto was active in the off-season in securing some much-needed protection for Joseph, dipping into free agency to land all-star tackle Rob Murphy and solid centre Dominic Picard. Defensively, the Argos also re-signed cornerback Jordan Younger, acquired linebacker Jason Pottinger and signed all-star linebacker Zeke Moreno.

Moreno and Younger certainly fill a need for Toronto, which released veteran linebacker Mike O'Shea in the off-season and saw cornerback Byron Parker sign with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

Another key loss this season for Toronto is kick-returner Dominique Dorsey, who signed with the NFL's Washington Redskins this off-season. Dorsey led the CFL in all-purpose yards last year and also spent time at tailback.

Toronto will also have a new kicker in 2009 after incumbent Mike Vanderjagt abruptly requested - and received - his release. Vanderjagt returned to the Argos last year after nine seasons in the NFL, where he's the most accurate kicker in league history.

Vanderjagt earned Grey Cup rings with Toronto in '96 and '97 before heading south. He hit on 39-of-51 field goals (76.5 per cent) and finished sixth overall in scoring with 161 points. Vanderjagt also punted for the first time in 10 years, posting a solid 44.4-yard average from a league-high 130 attempts.

Former NFL player Jason Medlock is expected to assume all three kicking jobs this year with Toronto.

A return to the CFL playoffs remains Toronto's goal for 2009 but Andrus admits he's going to ask much more of his players this season.

"We're going to have a saying that we're going to demand perfection from them," he said. "We know people are human and aren't going to be able to get to that level but if we demand perfection we might get excellence.

"If we get excellence then we're going to have a successful year and that's what we're after right now."

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