Playing into Blue plan

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:19 PM ET

Winnipeg centres its whole attack around its high-profile scatback.

The Argonauts, on the other hand, treat defending against the run like an after-thought.

Those two philosophies will clash when the Blue Bombers invade Toronto for Monday's CFL contest.

Winnipeg's Charlie Roberts flies into the game fresh off a career-best 195 yards rushing on 20 carries during Winnipeg's 51-46 victory over Montreal last week. And the man they call 'Blink' has actually averaged about 92 yards rushing in the seven games he has played against Toronto.

BIG GAMES VS. ARGOS

"I've had some big games against them and I've had some other games where it didn't really look like I took the field," Roberts said yesterday. "So, it's kind of hit-and-miss with them. I want to build on last week's performance. I don't really care that it's Toronto that we're playing, I'd just like to hold up my performance from last week and keep it going this week."

Roberts was held to only 59 yards on 14 rushes the last time he played in T.O., a 14-6 loss. Then he burned the Boatmen for 154 yards on 30 carries in the following encounter, a 44-34 victory.

"They (Argos) are going to allow running yards as opposed to giving up the deep ball," said Bomber head coach Jim Daley. "That's just part of their philosophy. Statistically, you can have some success there but they can get real stout at the end zone area.

"But that does go into our game plan because we want Charlie to carry the ball. We go like Charlie goes."

Toronto was dead last in yards allowed rushing last season but still won the Grey Cup. Alouettes running back Eric Lapointe even rushed for 83 yards on 12 carries during Montreal's 36-24 loss to the Argos on Thursday.

"They've got one of those defences where you've got to get lucky," Roberts said. "They're going to give you three, four yards but usually, they're sure-handed tacklers so you've got to get lucky and make them miss.

"Their defence looked good (Thursday). I saw a lot of guys flying around making tackles. They've got some good linebackers there who tackle really well. (Linebacker Mike) O'Shea stood out in my mind. He went from sideline to sideline making tackles on receivers. So, they looked pretty tough but I think we've got a pretty tough offence."

One of those newer offensive linemen who will be trying to open holes for the 5-foot-6, 171-pound whirlwind has discovered a new appreciation for Roberts.

"He's a great running back," former Argo tackle John Feugill said. "You know, in Toronto, we had (tailback John) Avery but it just never came together for him, whether it was his knee or whatever.

"It's nice to be here where the guy gets a lot of hype and he's obviously earned every bit of that hype because every time he goes out, he makes great plays. He runs hard, he makes great cuts and he reads his blocks really well. It makes things easier for an offensive lineman to block for a guy like Charles Roberts because he's just a great running back with great instincts and great speed."

Avery, by the way, showed signs of snapping out of his funk in the game against Montreal.


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