Sacks and violence

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

The Argos are starting to give up too many sacks and their quarterback is getting too many whacks.

In the past three games, the Argos have yielded 12 sacks, which has resulted in quarterback Damon Allen taking some vicious, physical shots.

The big question is, are the sacks a product of poor pass protection by the Argos or a good job by the defences they have faced?

"Right now I'd just give credit to the defence as opposed to making complaints from our point of view," Argos offensive line coach Ken Miller said yesterday.

Argos head coach Pinball Clemons, whose team plays host to the Ottawa Renegades tomorrow night at the Rogers Centre, offered a more generic comment after pausing to think about the question.

"To identify that is to sort of identify exactly what we think is happening," Clemons said. "We can say generally from a football standpoint, it's something we need to have greater success at. We take ourselves out of field-goal position (by giving up sacks), we stall drives. Sacks also lose field position for us. They put us in a dysfunctional situation when we have that kind of play, but to say why is probably not the wisest thing. We don't want to give (the opposition any advantage). They watch the film and they can see and know."

There would have been more sacks were it not for Allen's ability to elude the opposition's grasp. Two or three times, he avoided potential sacks against the Saskatchewan Roughriders Friday by slithering through holes, but overall he took a pounding. And it has been adding up in the past few games.

"One of our goals is to constantly improve our protection," Miller said. "Even if we give (up) one sack, that's too many. Any time that we're hurried, it's a problem for us and certainly that's something that we're constantly striving to improve."

Allen sloughed off suggestions after the Saskatchewan game that he has been taking a physical pounding.

"Physically, you're going to get hit, some games are tougher than others," he said. "Every game I think will be a battle and a war."

The Argos have undergone some changes on the right side of the line. Rookie Jerome Davis played the first eight games of the season before sitting out the next three because of an injury. Second-year player Dave Costa played in Davis' spot during his time on the injured list, while also playing previously for one game at right guard in place of regular guard Mike Mihelic.

Mihelic may miss the game tomorrow because of an infection. Costa would start in his place, which would trigger other moves because of replacing a starting Canadian with an American.

BRIEFLY

Defensive back Kenny Wheaton has been placed on the injured list after suffering a groin problem Friday.


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