Vets out to sack sad start

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 5:49 AM ET

Joffrey Reynolds wants to take this ugly 0-2 start into his own hands.

When asked if the Calgary Stampeders running back is getting the ball enough, the answer is simple.

"I would say no," said the veteran rusher, who led the CFL a year ago.

"Over two games, I've had 16 carries and that's not enough by any means.

"With us being behind and that type of stuff, you don't have any validity in the plays you are trying to run.

"Everybody wants the ball. The receivers would probably say they aren't getting the catches they should because we're not making the play on second down."

That, in a nutshell, is the way the defending Grey Cup champions are feeling heading into Week 3 of the CFL season.

If they don't take care of the improved Toronto Argonauts tonight at McMahon Stadium, the Stamps face going down 0-3.

Every player on this team wants to erase the 2009 start because 2008 means nothing now.

"It's a slap in the face to be 0-2," said centre Rob Lazeo.

"We're the worst team in the league. I'm not calling anyone out. We're not doing well because of penalties or turnovers or whatever. Whatever we're doing, we have to do it differently right now."

One thing the Stamps have had trouble with to start the season is not matching their opponent's intensity.

Being defending champs comes with a certain cache, and the Stamps won't be facing anybody on an off-night.

"I'm not sure there was complacency, but how many guys on this team have been champs before?" said Stamps linebacker Shannon James.

"We expected everyone's best shot but it's different to expect it and to see it when you get on the field.

"Everybody wants to beat you. Everybody wants to say they beat the defending champs. We have to do something about it.

"Everybody is bringing their A game. They are scheming us. They are pulling out the tricks.

"You saw that on the opening kickoff last week. Anything they can do to beat us. We have to be on our toes at all times."

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers came out swinging by executing an onside kick off the start. They knew they needed to take a shot at the champs early.

The Argos will want to do the same thing, and new Toronto head coach Bart Andrus doesn't look at the record when evaluating the Stamps.

"This is one you mark on your calendar because you get to compare yourself to the Grey Cup champions from the previous season, and that's something you always look forward to," Andrus said.

"I feel good about the way our football team has prepared this week and the focus we had. I think it's going to be a great game."

The Argos are 1-1 and off to a decent start considering they won just four games a year ago.

But they couldn't hold a lead last week against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and want to take advantage of opportunities when they get some.

"We've got a chip on our shoulder right now," said receiver Arland Bruce.

"We're coming in here to the defending Grey Cup champs and this is where the Grey Cup is going to be at this year, so you've got to get your energy up.

"They're 0-2 right now, so they're looking for a win and we're coming off a loss so we're looking for a win right now, too. It's going to be fun."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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