Allen can play even better: Pinball

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:32 PM ET

Damon Allen is on pace for a career-best season, but Pinball Clemons is not quite satisfied with his quarterback.

The Argos coach is pushing the 21-year veteran to reach new heights and Allen, appears determined to do just that. Allen, with 1,131 passing yards in the Argos' first four games, is on track to throw for 5,000 yards for the first time in his career. He has elevated his game at a time when the Argos (2-2) have been inconsistent in many phases.

"(Allen) is not quite as good as I'd like," Clemons said yesterday as the Argos continued preparing for a battle for first in the East against the Alouettes Thursday in Montreal.

"I'd like him to put up the best numbers of his career. I think he's seeing more than he's ever seen and I think he's throwing the ball as well as he ever has."

Not bad for a guy who is turning 42 on Friday.

"I think he could have the best QB rating, he can have the most yards he's ever passed for in his career and can be the top (most outstanding) player in our league," Clemons said.

As for Allen's age, Clemons doesn't see it as a factor.

"You say 42 as if it means something," he said. "What 42 is is a numerical value based on his time spent here on Earth ... Physically, he is in his early 30s and in the prime of his career as a passer."

For his part, the oldest player in the CFL is a bit more reserved in his thoughts. Yes, he's happy to be first in the CFL in touchdown passes (eight) and tied for first in fewest interceptions (two), but Allen is not a statistics junkie.

"I don't really get into numbers because I already have all the numbers," said Allen, who has thrown for more than 200 yards in the second half of each game this season. "I try to keep it simple. Be thankful you're playing and when you are playing, you play hard and do the best you can."

Allen, who said he will not really celebrate another birthday until he turns 50, will return to Molson Stadium Thursday for the first time since he broke his left tibia in a game last August. At the time, there was speculation Allen suffered a torn ACL, a possible season- and career-ending injury.

"I haven't even thought about that (this week)," Allen said. "It's about playing the game. I'm thankful I'm healthy and injury free going in."


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