Resting players right move: Pinball

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:49 AM ET

Argo head coach Pinball Clemons is more interested in preparing his team for the East Division semi-final than engaging in a war of words with Wally Buono.

The B.C. Lions head coach publicly criticized Clemons on Friday for sitting out some 10 starters in last Thursday's regular-season finale against Montreal, calling it "an embarrassment" to the league. The Argos lost 58-20.

When the Argos returned to the practice field yesterday for the first time since the Montreal game, Clemons fielded questions about his decision to rest players and the criticism expressed by Buono.

Clemons brushed aside the remarks, much as he opted not to engage in any commentary about the Lions controversy surrounding their quarterbacks heading into B.C.'s game against Toronto a few weeks ago. The Argos won 22-16.

"It's not my job to get involved in what (the Lions do)," Clemons said. "I also understand that it may be hard for some guys in the league to (understand what it's like) to play three games in 10 or 11 days. I'm not saying that to be sarcastic. There's a reality there that they may not understand. All I'm called on to do is to make the right decision.

"I'm not concerned about the decision I made. It's a decision I would make again. It's also a decision that if I wanted to explain it to anyone, it would be our fans. But it was a decision also in the best interest of our fans."

The Argos have offered a free ticket to any regular-season game next year to any fan who felt slighted by Thursday's performance.

Many of the key starters who sat out because of injuries or sickness participated in yesterday's practice.

Clemons revealed slotback Arland Bruce has been battling a toe injury and needed to have it injected for the second-last game and felt it "kind of unreasonable" to ask the receiver/return specialist to do it again.

Clemons also said safety Orlondo Steinauer had a suspected back problem, which was why he was kept out of the Als game.


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