Matthews a big Damon Allen fan

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

One of Damon Allen's biggest admirers is the head coach of the team that will be trying to stop him in the East division final.

Montreal Alouettes' Don Matthews extolled his admiration for Allen following his team's 30-14 win over Saskatchewan in the East division semi-final last Sunday.

"I've been a Damon Allen fan, and Damon Allen is a big-game player," Matthews said. "He played us here three weeks ago (in the Argos' 49-23 victory) and he did some poised things at quarterback that only a veteran can do. Subtle look-offs to set up plays. He played a remarkable game. He was so on top of it, and that was a big game and he played big. And he does all the time. This taxes us to the most."

SIGN OF THE TIMES

There's a sign above the lockers of all Argos defensive players that carries a message co-ordinator Rich Stubler is hoping to reinforce.

The sign says: "On your last play would your child think you were the best ever?"

Linebacker Michael Fletcher said the saying originates from a film session involving the defensive players almost two months ago and is designed to emphasize the importance of trying your hardest on every play.

"Whether you do the right or the wrong thing, go your hardest," Fletcher said of the expression. "You want to be remembered for giving your best, that's all (Stubler's) basically saying.

"It's reminding guys you can't take any downs off because you never known who's watching it."

The slogan is one of many things Stubler has done to pull his players closer together in the four years he has co-ordinated the defence full time.

"This is kind of what we derive from, these type of things," Fletcher said. "Somebody might have forgotten, but it's going to let everybody know. It's one of those unity deals we take a lot of pride in and kind of live by."

A SHORT STAY

The Argos have brought in David Porter, who attended the Indianapolis Colts training camp, as an insurance policy on the offensive line. He replaces Booker Ullish, who left to re-join the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice roster.

TWO CUPS FULL

There's speculation that today's announcement regarding the Argos and Toronto playing host to the Grey Cup game in 2007 will include a promotion involving the Vanier Cup returning to Toronto as well.

THE BETTING LINE

Bowmans.com has established the Argos as a 3 1/2-point favourite to beat the Als with an over-under points total of 55 1/2.


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