Deja vu all over again

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

The defence won't rest.

The Argos defence, which played a significant role in the team's championship season last year, stood out in the team's 16-16 tie in the pre-season game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday in Halifax at Huskies Stadium.

Three first-quarter interceptions, including two by cornerback Adrion Smith and one by fellow cornerback Jordan Younger, who scored a touchdown, provided early evidence the defence is still strong.

But the offence, which took time to come together last year, missed some glaring opportunities, turning the ball over twice deep inside Ticats' territory.

"From an offensive standpoint, we need to learn to step up, not just in the big games," Argos head coach Pinball Clemons said. "We need to be excellent all the time."

Clemons praised the work of several rookies, including cornerback/kick returner Greg Golden, who made several defensive plays, but who exited early because of blurred vision; running back Hakim Hill, who showcased his skills running and catching the ball; and physical linebacker Marvin Godbolt.

Several players will be released by midnight tonight in the first wave of league cuts to trim rosters to 50 players -- not including 2005 draftees or draft-eligible players.

Clemons said the Argos may wait until after their final pre-season game this Friday in Hamilton to decide what to do with their quarterback surplus. While Canadian Tommy Denison, who was brought in purely to give the other quarterbacks a rest and did not play in the game, will be released, Scott Covington and Charlie Peterson may earn a longer look in their bids to become the third-stringer behind starter Damon Allen and Michael Bishop.

Meanwhile, Tiger-Cats head coach Greg Marshall said he wouldn't put too much stock into his team's offensive struggles at this point.

"I would have hoped we played better offensively, but I'm sure Pinball hoped Toronto had played better offensively," Marshall said.

Projected starting quarterback Danny McManus, who threw three interceptions, albeit one on a pass that slipped through the hands of a receiver, accepted blame for his miscues.

"It's just me making mistakes," McManus said. "I don't want to take anything away from them because they're a good ball club. There are some holes there, I just didn't find them. Hopefully during the regular season I get another shot to find some holes."


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