Argos on the rebound

DEAN McNULTY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

The good news is that the Argonauts have a chance -- with four of the final five games of the season at the Rogers Centre -- to go into the CFL playoffs with home-field advantage.

The bad news is they have a steady diet of Western teams in those five games.

Yesterday after the team practised indoors at the Oakville Sports Centre, coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons said he only is concentrating on the game tomorrow against the Calgary Stampeders.

"The only thing we care about is this football game instead of trying to analyze what may lie ahead," Clemons said. "We can't be looking at whether the remaining games are against Western teams because at this time of year everybody is good."

But Argos running back Ricky Williams -- who had his best performance of the season in a 39-18 loss last week against the Stampeders -- said that having the schedule weighted to home games in the late stages of the season definitely was an advantage for the Argos.

"I think playing at home is always easier," Williams said. "It's little things like being able to be around your family and not having to travel."

Williams said there are just far fewer distractions when playing on home turf.

"Teams just play better at home," he said. "Visiting teams have to come here to beat us in our house. We like that, plus we don't have to worry about inclement weather because we have the dome."

As for tomorrow's game against the Stamps, Williams said that he can count on what he learned in a game where he rushed for 57 years on 11 carries to help him in the back half of the home-and-home series.

"It's a lot better than looking at film," he said. "But on the other hand, (Calgary) can use what it learned about us as well."

Starting quarterback Damon Allen dismissed any concerns that playing all Western Conference teams -- seen as tougher opponents that Eastern teams -- in the final stretch was a bad thing.

"We have an 18-game schedule and we are going to have to play all of those teams at some time anyway," he said. "We just have to take one game at a time and not worry."

He also is confident the Argos can bounce back from a sub-par offensive performance in Calgary.

"I think you always look forward to coming back the next week after you lose," Allen said. "It's never a good feeling when you are coming off a loss so it's important for (the offence) to clean up the areas that need to be cleaned up."


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