Argos could enjoy off-week with win

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:21 PM ET

With nine days of leisure on the books starting Saturday morning, the Argos want to get it right tomorrow night.

The Argos have gasped to a sub-par 3-4 record, but thanks to a collectively weak showing by the East Division, can sit alone atop the four-team group during their bye week if they beat the Montreal Alouettes at the Rogers Centre.

Call it parity or poor football, the Argos don't care. But they know that creeping sensation called urgency when they feel it and, as such, have been holding meetings this week amongst themselves that have been longer than usual.

"We took it upon ourselves to get in early," defensive back Kenny Wheaton said. "We have to get to the point where it has been -- we know what the guy next to us is going to do, without thinking about it or talking about it, just reacting. As a defence, we have been thinking too much instead of just playing."

An Argos loss coupled by a win by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (who again will be without quarterback Casey Printers, running back Jesse Lumsden and receiver Tony Miles) tonight in Winnipeg against the Blue Bombers would drop the Boatmen out of the playoff picture.

The Als (4-3) are the lone East team above .500. Led by quarterback Anthony Calvillo, who has thrown for a league-high 17 touchdowns, they have a CFL-best 236 points.

"They are going to let him throw the ball 40 times," safety Orlondo Steinauer said. "They're trying to get him 6,000 yards this year. They have not had a problem scoring, so I expect them to air it out and to do it often."

Argos coach Rich Stubler contemplated dressing receiver Bethel Johnson, who has been out since Week 2 with a sprained ankle. But Johnson will get more time to recover before rejoining the club for its first post-bye game, Sept. 1 in Hamilton. That means fourth-string quarterback Reggie McNeal, who had 101 receiving yards last week to lead the Argos, will get another start at wideout. Receiver James Robinson, who missed one game with an Achilles problem, will play.

If the Argos fall to 3-5 a Chicken Little mentality apparently won't set in.

"(The game against Montreal) represents (a chance) to go into first place and control our own destiny," Stubler said. "We need to get to the playoffs, and we need to win enough games to get there, but that is not going to happen until September or October."


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