Lions looking to tame veteran

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:08 PM ET

The B.C. Lions intend to have their own input in the developing Argos quarterback controversy.

Known for their complex and aggressive defences, the Grey Cup champs plan to test 43-year-old Damon Allen tonight at Rogers Centre in the season opener for both teams.

"For a 45-year-old man, he's still got it," veteran Lions linebacker Otis Floyd told reporters in B.C. this week.

"He's very elusive and we've just got to bring pressure on him. Pop him a couple good times.

"At 45, you can't take that many hits."

GOOD POINT

He may not have got Allen's age right, but Floyd makes his point just the same.

Brent Johnson, the CFL's reigning outstanding defensive player, said it mattered little who the Lions face.

"There's going to have to be somebody out there," Johnson said yesterday at Varsity Stadium where the team went through a walkthrough.

"With Damon, there are different variables when you play a guy like him because you might want to do a few different things than you'd do to a rookie quarterback.

"It's a lot harder to confuse Damon Allen than it would be a new guy."

BIG FACTOR

Such reasoning was a major factor in Argos offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto opting for the veteran to start the season.

But Buratto hopes he has created an offence that won't be as reliant on the quarterback as it was in recent years.

It's one reason running back Jamel White -- a solid north-south runner and a good blocker -- will replace veteran John Avery as the featured import ball carrier tonight.

"We're hoping that we have enough weapons that it doesn't come down purely to the play of the quarterback," Buratto said.

"He can be a delegator, the guy who gets the ball to people and doesn't have to stand on his own."


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