Hogan: Emry looking to take leadership role with Argos

Mike Hogan
4/29/2014 4:58:33 PM
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It could be a two-for-one bargain.

When the Toronto Argonauts signed Shea Emry to a free agent deal in February, they did so expecting him to be an impact player on the field. If he plays to his ability, there's no question he'll provide them with quality production from his linebacker position. There's another intangible he hopes to provide the double blue with as well; leadership.

Emry was at the Argos office in downtown Toronto on Tuesday, where he told that he considers himself someone who is comfortable in that role, and is cognizant of the opportunity that exists for him to become a leader among Boatmen.

"I consider myself to be (a leader)," said Emry. "I want to be considered as one by my teammates and I want to consider my teammates to be guys that can lead me. Everyone has their down moments, everyone's got their plays they mess up and you need a team that's going to pull together."

Appropriate words from the newcomer, as 'Pull Together' has been the Argos motto for decades.

There's an opportunity for the 2012 East Division Outstanding Canadian to make an immediate impact in a leadership capacity because there have been several veteran Boatmen who have jumped ship. Does that present an opportunity for Emry to immerse himself into a leadership role more quickly than he could if it was a team with its defensive core returning?

"Possibly. There's a lot of turnover going on on the defensive side of the ball with Khalif Mitchell (free agent), Marcus Ball (New Orleans) and Pat Watkins (Edmonton)," Emry continued. "It's tough because they're three really, really good players. Stepping into a defence that I've already played in for a coach that I've already played for (new defensive coordinator Tim Burke), that's going to be a benefit for me because I know how they work and a dynamic between us already exists. I can be a liaison between the young players and the coaches."

The Richmond, B.C. native has already made a decision that should endear him to his new team, but may cause some eyebrow-raising within his family. The linebacker's brother is getting married June 1, the same day as the first on-field sessions of training camp. Will Emry be a member of the wedding party? No, he'll be on the field at York University for the rigors of two-a-days.

"It's a pretty bad situation for me to be in," Emry admitted. "For the family, it doesn't make anyone feel good, but it's the decision that I needed to make for the integrity of the person that I want to be as a football player and as a professional."

This is not the first time that nuptials and football have butted heads in the family. Emry also missed his sister's wedding, which happened during his rookie season in Montreal. It won't make missing his brother's ceremony any easier, but making a good impression on his new team is that important to him.

"If this was Montreal and I was sitting here taking to a Montreal reporter, we wouldn't be having this conversation because I would go (to the wedding)," he confided to "But this is my first year here and I have a responsibility to give it my best and take every opportunity to make a difference on this club."

Emry did not try on the new jersey, but held it up for photographers. Did the former Alouette like seeing his name on the uniform of a former rival?

"It made it real for me," said Emry. "It was super exciting and it was quite a shock to be honest with you. I'm very excited about it."

To be honest with Emry, so are Argonaut fans.

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