Argos focus on Ricky

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

He has one of the game's best running backs and Michael (Pinball) Clemons would like to see his marquee player utilized better.

In two games with the Argos, Ricky Williams has carried the ball 26 times for 111 yards, but was held to just 14 yards on eight attempts during a 16-9 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last week.

Facing a large obstacle in B.C. against the Lions on Friday night, Clemons knows the Argos must find a way to exploit the extreme talents of their most talented and best known offensive weapon.

"Eight carries is not enough for Ricky Williams," Clemons, the Argos coach, said after practice yesterday. "We need to get the ball in his hands more times for him to be effective. (But) the understanding is, this team has more challenges than getting the ball in the hands of Ricky Williams."

While Williams is on a learning curve during his break from the NFL, quarterback Spergon Wynn has been thrust into the starter's role with the finger injury suffered by Damon Allen.

To no surprise, Williams does not appear to be too concerned.

"Most people install their offence in training camp, and because of me being here, we do our stuff on the go," Williams said. "As we work more, we are going to be a force. There will be an adjustment phase for me every game, but when things are too smooth, I start to worry."

There's a chance Wynn, who was sacked six times against the Blue Bombers, could get a boost against the Lions.

Veteran guard Jude St. John missed that game with a knee injury but could return to the lineup in Vancouver. After visiting a doctor on Monday, St. John took part in the majority of drills yesterday and will have a greater idea after practice today if he is good to go.

"As bad as I want to play, I want to do what is right for the long term," St. John said. "That being said, if it is ready I want to play. I don't know if I will be cleared for this game, but that is what I hope. It felt fine (yesterday) and there are no reservations on my part."

If St. John can't play, Jon Landon will start in his spot.

And though the Argos were courting Tony Graziani for experience at quarterback with Allen out, there was former Ottawa Renegade Darnell Kennedy taking reps yesterday. Kennedy was signed by the Argos after he was contacted at home in Atlanta on Monday morning.

Kennedy, who has been training to become a mechanic, had not thrown a football for several weeks. But he is familiar with Argos offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin, having played under Austin in Ottawa.

"I didn't hesitate, just jumped on a plane and I'm ready," Kennedy said.


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