Pinball, Matthews have similar philosophies

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

Argos head coach Pinball Clemons provided an interesting response when asked if his coaching style is the opposite of his Montreal Alouettes counterpart Don Matthews.

"I would say Don and I are more alike than we are different," Clemons told the media yesterday in advance of today's East Division final at the Rogers Centre.

"I think we both love our players. It's a commitment to our guys on the field. It's more than football for us and the guys that are on the football field. We both have had a knack of understanding what it takes to win and how to put players in the best position in order to be successful. Both of us are defensive oriented in our approach to winning. Special teams is also a big part of that. We both understand that a quarterback who can make good decisions on a consistent basis is also a huge element in winning football games. So from a philosophical standpoint, I think we are very similar in our makeup.

"From our emphasis in players winning football games, we are alike in that approach. From a personality standpoint, I still think that are a lot of similarities. We expect more out of people than sometimes they expect out of themselves and try to push them to that point.

"So in that I have a lot of admiration for Don Matthews, but lastly I won't be going to his school of public demeanour."

The last reference relates to Matthews' rocky relationship with the media in his 22-year coaching career.

Clemons has often called Matthews his football saviour for shaping his playing career, both in 1990 when he became the Most Outstanding Player in the Canadian Football League and in 1996 when he was converted from a running back to a receiver.

Matthews told the media he didn't project Clemons during his playing career as a future head coach because of his habit of never being on time and his inability to sit still.

"There's a lot of mundane work with coaching -- it's tedious, long and boring -- and I didn't see him as that type because he's high energy and he always got there late," Matthews said.

"Has Pinball ever been in a bad mood? Yes. He's had a couple of crises that have pissed him off. As a player what your job is, your in control of. If you lose and you played your best, you can take solace in the fact (you) contributed. But as a coach you have 40 guys you feel responsible about, so it's more frustrating to be a coach than a player."

PARTY TIME

A tailgate party organized by the website argofans.com commences at 11 a.m. on the Bremner Ave. parking lot on the west side of the stadium. It coincides with the team's Streetfest party.


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