Reggie McNeal has a message for quarterback Kerry Joseph: Just give me the damn ball.
McNeal, the Argos' fourth-string quarterback, will make a second consecutive start at receiver tonight against the Montreal Alouettes and expects nothing less than the performance he had last week when he led the Argos with 101 yards against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
"I can get over 100 (yards) again, why wouldn't I?" McNeal said yesterday. "They bring the ball my way, I don't plan on dropping nothing.
"I never surprise myself. I expect to be great every time I step on the field. Does not matter what position I'm playing."
Argos head coach Rich Stubler has said McNeal is the best athlete on Toronto's roster and McNeal apparently is well-stocked in bravado, as well. McNeal likely will go back to his quarterback duties, which right now is not much, when Bethel Johnson returns from an ankle injury, which should happen on Sept. 1 in Hamilton.
Receiver Johnnie Morant (groin) will be out tonight, as will linebacker Kevin Eiben, who has been shuttled back to the sideline after returning last week from a knee injury. Chuck Winters, who lost his starting job to Kenny Heatly, will start in Eiben's spot.
McNeal, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, hasn't caught the football on a regular basis since his high school days in Texas, when he also was a safety and a quarterback. But he brings an element to the Argos receiving corps that others might not, and Joseph doesn't mind exploiting it.
"Sometimes he doesn't have to come to the huddle," Joseph said. "He can look at the signal (from the sideline) and he knows the play.
"If the (Alouettes) defence gives me Reggie, I am going to take him. If they give me (Arland) Bruce, I am going to take him. Reggie knows where to be and he fits in with the offence because he is a quarterback."
Speaking of Joseph, head coach Rich Stubler said yesterday he will stick with the 2007 CFL most outstanding player at QB. The plan to use both Joseph and Michael Bishop in the same game has been abandoned, as the latter has not taken a snap since Week 3.
"Kerry has been the guy who has been carrying our load and I have been comfortable with that," Stubler said. "But I still have great faith in both of our guys."