Argos ready for the real deal

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

It's a whole new season for the Argos and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, even though they must feel like today's game will feel like Groundhog Day.

Following two pre-season games in which the Tiger-Cats easily manhandled the Argos, the slate is clean when the rivals kick of today at the Rogers Centre.

"This is when the season starts, so we're excited about the opportunity to open the season at full strength and everyone is ready to go," 42-year-old quarterback Damon Allen said. He missed most of his scheduled playing time in the second pre-season game with an injury that was not publicly disclosed.

Much of the focus in this game will be how Ricky Williams will be factored into the offence, which primarily has been a passing attack.

"We have an offensive system and everyone has to fit in," Allen said. "(Offensive co-ordinator) Kent Austin has a game plan for this week for how we're going to attack the Tiger-Cats, that's what we've prepare all week for. We're not looking at individuals on our football team, knowing we have some great individuals. For us, it's to go out and execute whatever play is called. The bottom line is for us to win."

The Tiger-Cats have had problems with the Argos in recent years, finally ending a lengthy losing streak by beating them on Labour Day, then sweeping them in 2006 pre-season.

The Ticats didn't beat the Argos -- or any team for that matter -- on the road last year.

"It is important that we remember those things and how it felt last year, but I don't think we are going to dwell on it," head coach Greg Marshall said. "We're a better football team this year. It's always an advantage to play at home. You're in a routine, you've got the home crowd and those types of things. I don't think (today's) game is going to be that much different for us. Toronto beat us last year in Toronto because at the time they played better football than we did. We're confident that we're going to go in as a better football team this year, better prepared, and we're going to have a good football game.

"Whether it's home or it's away, there's no mental block on our team about winning on the road. If we do execute and we do play well, we expect to be successful."


Videos

Photos