See Ricky run

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Pre-season football usually is about as appealing as crawling in rush-hour traffic on the 401.

But add Ricky Williams to the Argos' exhibition equation and, suddenly, you have some delightful drama.

A good crowd of more than 20,000 -- the Argos attracted just 11,214 to their previous home pre-season game in 2004 -- likely will be on hand tonight (7 p.m., 640 AM) when Toronto plays host to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at the Rogers Centre in the first of three consecutive games between the teams.

Argos coach Pinball Clemons said Williams will play for about a quarter, probably in relief of John Avery. Suspended by the NFL this season for violating the substance-abuse policy for the fourth time, the Miami Dolphins running back signed with the Argos Sunday and made his debut on the practice field the next day.

When asked if he has had enough time to prepare for the game, Williams said, "It has to be.

"As a player, we take our orders from the coaching staff and we do the best (we can) to carry the orders out. It's not about feeling ready. It's my job to do my job. I feel good."

So do his teammates, who definitely have noticed the hype.

"We've got a little extra excitement going on around here because we've got a guy named Ricky Williams and everybody wants to see him go out on the field and see what he's going to do," Argos receiver Tony Miles said. "We think we're an exciting team and we want to entertain, so the more (fans) the merrier."

The Argos have been impressed with Williams' ability to learn the playbook in a hurry. He opened eyes with his blitz pickup performance earlier this week.

In addition to running the ball, the Argos want Williams to be a pass-catching threat out of the backfield. With the Argos leaning toward holding Williams out of the pre-season finale next Friday in Hamilton, Clemons wants to see the full package tonight,

"I'm looking forward to seeing how physical he is in a game situation," Clemons said. "You know he has got great vision and can see the holes and that sort of thing. But (the Argos want to see) how he picks up the pass protection and I'd like to see him be able to catch the ball a time or two. I really would like to see his total game and what happens after a good play, a bad play."


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