Argos not realizing potential

Argo receiver R. Jay Soward talks with QB Damon Allen during practice in this file photo. (Toronto...

Argo receiver R. Jay Soward talks with QB Damon Allen during practice in this file photo. (Toronto Sun/David Lucas)

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

R. Jay Soward can look around the Argos practice field and see an offence that shouldn't be stopped.

It sure looks good on paper, in other words, and did at times in yesterday's upbeat session at U of T's Erindale campus.

Of course, that only adds to the frustration of the occasions this season that the offence has failed to move the ball.

"We have more talent than any other team, by far," the Argos receiver said yesterday as the team prepared for Saturday's first-place showdown with the Montreal Alouettes. "On paper, we are a dream team.

"You have first-round picks, you have Heisman Trophy winners, you have a lot of big names. But it really doesn't mean anything until you step on the field and show it."

URGENCY

With only one opportunity to do that before the playoffs, there's a sense of urgency heading into the clash with the Als at the Rogers Centre.

A victory or tie with their East rival will keep things simple -- the Argos, who are favoured by a field goal, would clinch first and a bye to the division final on Nov. 12.

A loss would mean an East semi-final meeting with the suddenly resurgent Winnipeg Blue Bombers. A Bombers win over B.C. on Saturday night would then require the Argos to travel to Winnipeg for their playoff opener, a loss and Toronto would play host to the game.

"(Winning the division) is important for one huge, huge reason," Argos coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons said yesterday. "And that is that you don't have to play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers first, you don't have to play that extra game."

Fair to say they might want to have some success on offence to make that happen, however.

Though the usually stout Argos defence held Saskatchewan to 13 points this past Friday, the offence only could muster nine and didn't make it to the Roughriders' end zone once.

The Argos have a league-worst 260 first downs. Their 283 points and 26 touchdowns on offence are better than only the lowly Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

"When we watched the film (of the Saskatchewan game), it was pretty obvious who was making mistakes," Argos centre Chad Folk said yesterday. "You can say we have talent, which we do, but it doesn't mean much if we can't put it together.

Meanwhile, the Argos received some encouraging news yesterday when kicker Noel Prefontaine looked strong, nailing several field goals from 40 yards and beyond.

Prefontaine missed two field-goals attempts against Saskatchewan while nursing a sprained MCL in his right knee.

"He's such a fierce competitor. He will be ready," Clemons said.


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