Argos defence is back

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

The Argos' defence is back -- literally and figuratively.

Returning to practice yesterday for the first time since Saturday's 26-15 win in Edmonton, the defence had an air of confidence, something that was missing during the three-game winless period tha preceded the victory.

"I think we're back," said defensive end Eric England, who was a dominant force against the Esks with seven tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

"Our spirits our high, we're focused again. We got lax and we thought just because we were dominating early (in the season) that it was just going to happen throughout the season, but that's not true. You've got to work at it.

"Everything we did at the beginning of the season we've got to keep doing and maintain it to continue to be dominant."

Defensive tackle Noah Cantor said the entire unit rediscovered its spirit in practice last week.

"We just got back into getting our energy up and playing with that high emotion," Cantor said. "You could see it in the (game film from Saturday's win). Guys were playing with some fire and having fun. I think it was missing in those games we lost. We weren't flying around and as excited as we were in the beginning of the year."

Defensive back Clifford Ivory, who came back from a one-game stint on the injured list and returned a 33-yard interception for a touchdown in Edmonton, said the team's main goal against the Eskimos was to play hard and have a good time.

"That's how we used to play defence and for the past couple of games we kind of slacked on that," he said.

Ivory also addressed tomorrow night's game at the SkyDome against the Calgary Stampeders. Third-string Stamps quarterback Mike Souza likely will make his first start, backed up by off-and-on first-stringer Tommy Jones and rookie Canadian Tommy Denison. Khari Jones, who was acquired from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday, is not expected to dress.

"Whomever they put at quarterback, it really doesn't matter," Ivory said. "We just need to go out there and have a good time and just fly around.

"That's what we do best. That's what we did at the beginning of the year and that's what we've got to keep doing. I'm pretty sure we'll come out victorious if we just do that."

BRIEFLY

Versatile Argos defensive back Chuck Winters has an ankle injury and will be replaced by Raphaol Ball ... Receiver R. Jay Soward has four touchdowns on only 12 catches. "That's what I'm used to doing. That's pretty much how it was in college," the USC product said. "I'm really not a possession receiver. I'm a big-play guy. I score touchdowns."


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