Two-back Argo attack

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

OAKVILLE -- John Avery says he thought it was a good idea some four months and 14 games ago.

So now that he finally appears to be on the verge of sharing the Argos running duties with Ricky Williams, he's not about to change his tune.

With both Williams and Avery healthy, the pair are expected to start in the same backfield for the first time when the Argos play host to Edmonton on Monday.

Prior to the season, Avery made it clear he wasn't pleased about losing his role to Williams, the Miami Dolphin who is on loan to the Argos for the season.

Avery felt he was in the best shape of his life and couldn't understand why both men couldn't be featured in the Argos attack.

"I think it's one of those things where they want to accommodate both of us, get us both on the field," Avery said yesterday following practice where both men received steady work, sometimes in the same formation.

"They should have done that in the first place. We should have been sharing time all year round. I don't understand what that was about, so we won't get into that.

"It hurt me a little that I had to wait. But that's over with. I'm just glad to be back. Hopefully we can be a one-two punch."

Avery's early benching and subsequent injuries to both players have conspired to make it a non-issue until this week.

Now that they are both ready to return, Argos offensive coordinator Adam Rita and his staff are working to maximize each of their strengths to fit the offence.

"I don't know, maybe we should run the wishbone," Rita said jokingly of his plans.

"Ricky's more of a downhill, pounder-type runner while John is the knd of guy who will make a move on you no matter where you are. He has a little burst whereas Ricky's burst is more power."

Williams, who was the NFL's leading rusher in 2002, spent much of his college career at the University of Texas as a fullback. So far this season he has rushed for 322 yards on 74 carries for an average of 4.4 yards.

Avery, who like Williams was a first-round NFL pick, has a 5.4 yard average on 258 yards from 48 carries.

Argos coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons said that as the season has gone on, both backs have become important to the team and he's anxious to see each man contribute.

"I think like everybody else, we're excited about the opportunity," Clemons said. "To see them both be able to thrive in an offence would mean a whole lot to this football team and equally as much to those individuals personally."

BRIEFLY

A trio of Argos were honoured yesterday as CFL players of the week -- linebacker Michael Fletcher (defensive player), defensive end Eric England (lineman) and Bashir Levingston (special teams).


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