McMahon gets the call

Mike McMahon unloads a pass during yesterday's Argos practice at Erindale College. (Sun Media/Greg...

Mike McMahon unloads a pass during yesterday's Argos practice at Erindale College. (Sun Media/Greg Henkenhaf)

MIKE GANTER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

He shared the quarterback workload with Damon Allen in practice this week, but it will be Mike McMahon who takes the first snap under centre tonight at the Rogers Centre against the Montreal Alouettes.

Argos head coach Mike Clemons was still being coy about the identity of his starter yesterday, but McMahon confirmed it following a morning walk-through at the team's practice facility.

"To get another opportunity after performing the way I felt I did, I definitely have to go out and try and make the most of it this week," McMahon said.

In his debut as a CFL starter on Saturday night in Calgary, McMahon completed just six of 18 passes for 58 yards. Worse still, he began seven drives in the first half and was two-and-out in six of them, putting plenty of pressure on the Argos defence.

It all added up to a miserable 33-10 loss to a Stampeders team Toronto had crushed a week earlier.

McMahon, however, believes he learned something from the experience.

"I just want to relax and not hurry things so much," McMahon said. "I think I quickened things up a bit when I had more time than I actually thought I had."

McMahon also spent the short week of practice visualizing himself in game situations, hoping to be better prepared tonight than he was going into the Stamps game.

Allen, who turns 44 on Sunday, came off the bench in the fourth quarter Saturday to lead the Argos to their only major on the final play of the game. It being an inter-divisional game tonight, look for Clemons to be a little quicker lifting McMahon if he continues to struggle.

"If we evaluated all quarterbacks on their first start, there would have been a lot of Hall of Famers that would have been cut their first week," Clemons said. "We saw in him several weeks ago something that we were very excited about in terms of a quarterback with a good decision- making process, his abilities to make plays and the composure he showed for a new guy to our league.

"At the time, I cautioned people about their optimism concerning him and now ... I caution people about their pessimism toward him. Whether he is ready now or in the future, I believe he will be ready at some point to be a starter in this league."

The Argos may also go into the game short on experience in the receiving corps.

Arland Bruce III, hoping to play despite a leg injury, had a setback on Tuesday in practice and likely won't be able to play. Tony Miles is also out for a second consecutive week.

Derrell Mitchell, just four yards shy of passing Paul Masotti's team receiving record, and former NFL first-round pick Rashaun Woods, will get to start.


Videos

Photos