Pinball coy at QB

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:07 PM ET

Mike (Pinball) Clemons already has decided who will start at quarterback on Thursday against the Montreal Alouettes but the Argos head coach is not about to let that cat out of the bag just yet.

At least not in his conversations with the media.

"They'll know," Clemons said of quarterbacks Mike McMahon and Damon Allen. "You (media) will know by 7 p.m. on Thursday."

Based on yesterday's practice, the edge would go to McMahon.

"What we need to try to find out is what we do have in Mike McMahon," Clemons said. "I don't know if you can judge a guy by three quarters in one start."

'IT WAS UGLY'

Clemons was referring to McMahon's 45 minutes of play in Saturday's 33-10 loss to Calgary. In McMahon's own words: "It was ugly."

"I think the easy thing to do would be to go back to Damon Allen," Clemons said.

"The tougher decision to make is to be patient and to see if there is something in Mike McMahon understanding that our aim is to win the game this week as it's a tough Eastern Division opponent but ultimately our goal is to win the Grey Cup and sometimes as a part of that we have to have a little patience."

McMahon certainly wasn't surgar-coating his performance on the weekend.

"The good news is you can only go up from there," McMahon said.

"The main thing for me is I have to get in a rhythm and calm down a little bit and just keep working."

While receiver Tony Miles was doing some running on the weekend, he did not get the go-ahead to practise yesterday and is doubtful this week.

It seems Arland Bruce is more likely to play, but his status will be made clearer either today or tomorrow.

The Argos added a couple of new bodies and one, former NFL first-round pick Rashaun Woods, could have an impact by as soon as Thursday.

Clemons did not rule out using the former Oklahoma State standout against the Als. The fact that Woods spent the entire practice with the first-team offence suggests a few more hard nights of playbook study in his immediate future.

"It's asking too much, but yes, he could play," Clemons said.

"We are in a situation where we have a lot of bodies that are out.

"It's not an ideal situation, but it is one where we could ask him to try to (make an early debut) simply because of the situation.

"It's a big game for us."

Woods was the 31st overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers.

Woods spent a year with the Niners, was dealt to San Diego and then spent time with the Hamburg Sea Devils of NFL Europa.

RETURN OF AVERY

The other expected change on offence -- at least based on practice yesterday -- is the return of John Avery as the starting running back.

Avery, who has been out of action with some knee problems, was back to his old explosive self in practice yesterday.


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