Argos linebackers want to smash heads

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:24 PM ET

TORONTO -- Mike O'Shea sounds like he's ready to play some football.

It's not secret that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are going to give Charles Roberts a few carries today, and O'Shea, the Toronto Argonauts middle linebacker, is ready to rumble.

"With regards to stats, they've been talking about 100-yard rushing games with running backs ad nauseum for eternity," O'Shea said. "And that seems to be everyone's key for everything. 'Oooh, a 100-yard game.' Whatever. Our job is to stop them and make them throw the ball."

The Argos gave up the most rushing yards during the regular season but allowed the fewest points. Some call it a bend-but-don't-break defence.

"I don't know who labelled us bend-but-don't-break, but I believe it's the media, not the players," O'Shea said. "Because we want to smash everybody's heads in."

SHHHHH: Arland Bruce III has a message for any Blue Bombers defenders who feel snubbed by the all-star votes: keep it to yourselves.

"Deal with it," the Toronto Argonauts receiver said yesterday. "And get ready for the game."

Bruce was commenting on suggestions that Winnipeg's Kelly Malveaux and Anthony Malbrough should have received all-star recognition for their play this season.

Bruce says he could complain about being ignored, too.

"I feel snubbed about the MVP voting," the former Bomber said. "I can't vote. The players can't vote. All we can do is deal with what it is. You're not an MVP."

Toronto's most dangerous receiver with 77 catches for 1,377 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, Bruce says he'd give the Bomber DBs a "B" grade, figuring the Argos receivers won the battle with them 70% of the time.

An East all-star, Bruce hauled in a modest 10 passes for 137 yards and one touchdown in three games against Winnipeg this season.

TWO-HEADED ATTACK: This will be the first time the Bombers have faced Toronto with both Avery and Williams healthy.

But linebacker Barrin Simpson isn't worried about that doubling Winnipeg's trouble.

"It just gives them some more weapons to have on the field at the same time," Simpson said. "But there's only one ball. One guy's gonna have the ball every play."

LATE HITS: Bombers QB Kevin Glenn (ankle) and DT Doug Brown (shoulder) both say they're healed and ready to go. Head coach Doug Berry said OL Eric Wilson could be used on the defensive line if Brown goes down ... LB Antonious Bonner (wrist) is out for the Argos and will be replaced by Chuck Winters. WR Tony Miles (foot) will be a game-time decision ... The Bombers' hotel is full of several players' family members who have flown or driven in for today's game.


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