August 11, 2017

Trestman: We have to play clean football


MONTREAL — Toronto Argonauts head coach Marc Trestman was honest following his team’s 21-9 loss to the Montreal Alouettes on Friday night.

“The penalties are what disrupted us tonight,” admitted Trestman, whose team accrued 119 yards on 10 penalties against the Als. “If we can clean that up, we’ll find ourselves to be a pretty good football team.”

Boxscore: Montreal 21, Toronto 9

Photos: Week 8 — Toronto at Montreal

The most obvious self-inflicted setback for the Argos came late in the fourth quarter, when receiver Jeff Fuller’s athletic touchdown grab — which would have made it a single-score game — was taken off the board on a Chris Van Zeyl blocking penalty.

“It’s inhibited our ability to sustain drives and get off the field,” said Trestman of his team’s penalty woes. “It’s tough to coach that during the week, when you don’t see it in practice — as coaches we correct things that we see.”

Trestman’s Argos dropped their third-straight game on Friday in Montreal. (THE CANADIAN PRESS Photo)

Friday’s loss was Toronto’s third straight, and saw the team lose possession of first place in the East Division.

“These things happen,” said the veteran coach. “We’ve got systems of football in place, a football team, that works — the thing we have to do is take care of us (and) not put ourselves in a position where we hurt our field position.”

Asked to summarize the performance of the Argos quarterbacks — Jeff Mathews went 8-for-12 for 67 yards, while Cody Fajardo completed 10-of-16 for 75 — Trestman kept his cards close to his vest.

“We’ll assess the tape, but it’s too premature to make conclusions,” said the Argos head coach. “I thought Jeff had opportunities, (but) we certainly didn’t give him enough time — I wanted to see Cody play as well, he has that mobility.”

The Argos will have one week to correct the errors that cost them Friday’s contest before lining up against the very same Alouettes at home next Saturday (4 p.m. ET).