O'Shea rallies Argonauts

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

As well as they've played in spurts and as dominant as they've looked at times, Mike O'Shea believes something has been amiss with the Argos all season.

The veteran linebacker can't pinpoint the causes or explain the reasons, but the sage O'Shea feels the time has arrived for the Argos to finally find their game.

With five games remaining in the regular season, including four favourable home dates, O'Shea has sounded the call for his teammates to step up, whether they line up on offence, defence or play on special teams.

"We're not putting it all together all at once and we need to," O'Shea said yesterday as the Argos continued to prepare for Saturday's rematch against the visiting Calgary Stampeders.

"It's the only way you're going to win the Grey Cup."

Now in his 14th year, the future Hall of Famer has been around the CFL block long enough to know the importance of playing well in all three of football's phases to have any hope of capturing a championship.

The Argos found their rhythm at the absolute right time two years ago when they ventured into Montreal to upend the favoured Als in the East final en route to beating the B.C. Lions in the Grey Cup.

With fall in full swing, football's intensity heats up, games become more meaningful and O'Shea is anxiously awaiting for the Argos to play a complete game.

"We need to play better for ourselves," O'Shea said. "We need to have one of those games where all three phases throw caution to the wind, where everyone leaves everything out on the field.

"We have to execute impeccably just to show us what we're capable of."

Early in the season, the Argos found different ways to win minus starting quarterback Damon Allen.

When the Argos strung together their recent five-game win streak, the team took advantage of vulnerable foes; three of those wins came against the Ticats, while the other two were produced against the free-falling Als and banged-up Bombers.

Last Saturday's 39-18 loss in Calgary exposed just how inferior the Argos are when matched up against a tougher opponent from the West. When Toronto needed to play its best, the team showed an inability to respond.

With the East being so bad, the Argos are in a position to repeat as division champion, but O'Shea is thinking about the CFL's ultimate prize.

That's why he's eager for the Argos to finally put it together for 60 minutes.

"You need one of those games," O'Shea said. "Before you go into the playoffs, you have to show that you can do it."


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