Ricky's just fine

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

Jeff Johnson has no problem playing second fiddle to Ricky Williams.

The York University product, who opened eyes with his strong play when he replaced the injured John Avery as the Argos' starting running back last season, gave Williams and the team endorsements yesterday in his first comments on the matter.

"I think it's great," Johnson said. "He's a phenomenal athlete and I'm sure there is no doubt he is going to be able to help the team. I'm looking to have a great year with him and hopefully learn something."

Johnson knows his role will be downgraded.

"That's the way the ball rolls -- I understand," he said. "I've been up here seven years now. When somebody like Ricky Williams comes into camp against me, hey, it's going to be Ricky Williams. That's fine. Good things come to people who just stay positive and always try to make the best of the situation and that's what I'm looking to do."

NUMBERS GAME

Leron Mitchell knew something was up when Argos equipment manager Danny Webb approached him Sunday.

"I came into the locker room and the equipment manager comes in and says, 'We have to change your number,'" the Argos rookie cornerback, who started training camp as No. 27, said yesterday.

"I'm thinking to myself, 'What's going on.'"

What was going on was the imminent signing of some guy named Ricky Williams, who requested No. 27. Mitchell and Williams both spent time as students at the University of Texas, so the first-year pro didn't need a class in Ricky Williams 101 to become familiar with the running back.

When Williams entered the dressing room, he made a point of talking to Mitchell, who now wears No. 25.

"He just kind of apologized for taking my number, but I was like, 'That's all right. Don't worry about it," said Mitchell, a native of London, Ont., who is battling Canadian veteran Dave Donaldson for the spot vacated by the retired Adrion Smith.

"It's not bad at all."


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