The Last Word

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:42 AM ET

One player should not make a difference in a team's play, but the addition of linebacker Mike O'Shea to the Toronto Argonauts' lineup for this past Saturday's game against Hamilton helped emotionally and, more importantly, intellectually.

O'Shea, who missed the Labour Day game against the Tiger-Cats with a shoulder injury, is the brains of the Argo defence and showed his smarts on one particular play. When Ticats quarterback Danny McManus fumbled in the third quarter, O'Shea booted the loose ball forward, realizing he couldn't pick it up.

He ended up recovering the ball and the Argos gained possession and scored a field goal to go up 24-0 en route to the 48-0 win.

In the CFL, players are allowed to kick a ball, so long as they don't kick it out of bounds, which immediately gives the other team possession, much like a punt. It is one thing to know the rules, it is quite another to execute in the heat of the moment in a game situation.

THE DECLINE OF DAVIS

One reason the Tiger-Cats have struggled offensively this season is the decline in their running game.

Troy Davis led the league in rushing last year with 1,628 yards, but has only 646 yards after 11 games this season.

The Tiger-Cats maximized Davis' effectiveness last year with a twin tight-end set that they haven't used with the same degree of regularity or effectiveness.

It showed in Saturday's game, in which he was repeatedly stopped on second-down situations. On their opening series, the Ticats didn't even give him the ball on a third-and-one and turned the ball over, setting the tone for the rest of the game.

Davis wanted -- and deserved -- to have his contact substantially increased heading into his option year this season, but the Tiger-Cats played hard ball.

Unless the Ticats become proactive and give Davis the ball and the money, they'll lose him to free agency in the off-season, likely to Edmonton.

KING IN WAITING

The Tiger-Cats recently added free-agent quarterback Shaun King, a onetime starter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to their negotiation list and flew him in for the Labour Day game.

Negotiations are on-going, and there's a good chance he'll be signed, likely in the off-season.

THE CBC FACTOR

In the three games the CBC has televised without announcers, the home team has lost each time.

And there's probably a reason. Because the stadium announcer has to be the voice for the broadcast in the absence of announcers during the CBC lockout, he can't be impartial, urging on the home team.

JESSE PART ONE

The Tiger-Cats will formally announce today the signing of running back Jesse Lumsden.

He won't help the Tiger-Cats' ground game and, if anything, all the hype won't help Davis' spirit, but it might help ticket sales for Saturday's home game against the Calgary Stampeders.

The CFL game follows a game between Lumsden's alma-mater, McMaster University, playing host to the University of Western Ontario at Ivor Wynne. Mac's stadium is undergoing renovations.

JESSE PART TWO

Quarterback Jesse Palmer never proved himself as a full-time starter at the University of Florida or in the National Football League and is, at best, a product of a clever agent who transformed his client from a marginal talent into a television attraction by way of the show The Bachelor. But the Ottawa Renegades need something to help tickets sales and Palmer grew up in the Ottawa area. The Renegades will end up overpaying if they sign him with an inflated contract and acquiring his rights from the Montreal Alouettes, who drafted him in 2001. In the meantime, Renegades' starting pivot Kerry Joseph is struggling, which has contributed to the Palmer talk.


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