Rison: I'm ready to play

Andre Rison plays around during Grey Cup week last year in Ottawa. Rison didn't play in that game...

Andre Rison plays around during Grey Cup week last year in Ottawa. Rison didn't play in that game but he is confident he will play -- and start -- for the Argos in 2005. (Ottawa Sun/Tony Caldwell)

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

After wearing a prison uniform for a brief period in the off-season, Andre Rison is back in his Argos uniform.

And he's looking forward to his future in football.

The 38-year-old former National Football League star is confident he can make the starting lineup. He was relegated to the sidelines in the playoffs and the Grey Cup last year, which the Argos won.

"I'm very excited," he said. "I got an off-season in. I knew what I was doing and knew what I was going to do. That was different as opposed to coming in last year halfway through, learning the system and learning the players. It was a great experience. We ended up winning the championship like I anticipated once I saw what talent was here. But right after the Grey Cup I already had it in my head what I was going to do in the off-season."

He planned to work out in Miami, but first had to go to Atlanta for a court appearance to deal with outstanding child support payments. The judge ordered Rison to spend 20 days in jail for violating a court order to pay $3,500 US a month in child support payments since August, 2002. He was released after paying $10,000 and agreeing to maintain monthly payments.

"Everybody likes to look at the negative and the wrong picture instead of the big picture," he said.

He maintains he already had paid between $500,000 to $1 million in child support payments to his ex-wife but never documented it and was labelled a deadbeat dad.

"If you want to point the finger and tell me I'm a bad father for giving up $1 million or over half a million dollars in child support, so be it," he said. "I'm a great father. My kids love me and I love them. It's just a situation where greed comes in. It is what is. We knew we had to take care of that after the season. We didn't gripe or moan about it. We did it. That was to secure this situation up here right now. I'm ready to play football."

Last year, he was hobbled by a leg injury suffered in his first game and a few games later lost his starting job. He became an unofficial receivers coach, but that is the furthest thing from his mind.

"Scoring touchdowns and making plays, that's (the only thing) in my head," he said.

He also is involved in a book his business manager, Bill Thies, is writing about him. Five U.S. publishers are bidding on the book, tentatively called Wide Open.

NOTES

Long-snapper Randy Srochenski is recovering from off-season appendix surgery and has been placed on the disabled list along with second-year receiver Jean-Frederic Tremblay, who aggravated a chronic hamstring problem last week ... Receiver Snoop Minnis, who was on and off the roster last year, has been re-signed ... Running back Skip Hicks, who played one game for the team last year, flunked his physical and has been released ... Defensive end Arnold Miller announced his retirement.


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