Alouettes QB preaching patience

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 2:38 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Football coaches will attempt all sorts of deception disguise a game plan.

Deny. Lie. Divert.

But when it's so obvious, why bother?

So Montreal Alouettes coach Jim Popp and quarterback Anthony Calvillo fessed up what the Argos are expecting for today's East Division final.

"The way (the Argos) are set up defensively, they want you to run the ball," Popp said yesterday after his team's pre-game walkthrough at Olympic Stadium.

"Let's not kid one another. Most people in this league don't have the patience to continue running the ball, even when it works."

So run it they will, ultimately hoping it lugs them all the way to Winnipeg for next Sunday's Grey Cup.

Calvillo may look downfield to star receivers such as Ben Cahoon, but the meat and potatoes of the game-plan will be in the hands of 220-pound running back Robert Edwards.

"A lot of running backs probably get excited when they play Toronto because they play three down linemen and when they do that, you can get to the second level pretty fast," said Edwards, who was third in CFL rushing with 1,155 yards.

"I look forward to playing Toronto because I know we're going to run the ball against them more than any team in the league."

The Argos saw it first hand two weeks ago when Edwards bowled over them in the fourth quarter on the way to a 24-20 win sealed on his league-leading 17th touchdown.

That victory earned the Als home-field advantage today and robbed the Argos of a bye week.

Edwards, a former NFL teammate of Argos running back Ricky Williams while with the Miami Dolphins, should provide as much a challenge as Charles Roberts did when he rumbled for 179 yards in last week's East semi-final.

"The more you give it to him, the stronger he gets," Als centre Bryan Chiu said yesterday. "He gets in a groove and by the fourth quarter, he's running guys over and wearing them out."

As a veteran quarterback, Calvillo knows he will have to avoid the temptation. Then again, with the struggles he has had this season, it may not be a bad thing. Calvillo coughed up no less than five interceptions in a 31-6 loss to the Argos on Aug. 19.

"I'm going to be patient enough to help us win," said Calvillo, who slipped below 5,000 passing yards (4,714 yards) for the first time in five seasons.

"If it's running the ball and throwing short passes than so be it. "The key is to be patient with it, even if we're not successful early with it, we're going to have to stick with it."


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