Double Blue will be ready ... for O Canada

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

Nothing has been left to chance.

In preparation for the first pre-season game of 2009, Argonauts head coach Bart Andrus had his team practice its formation along the sideline for the national anthem.

"We don't want to leave any rock unturned, so to speak," Andrus said yesterday after his club's final workout before tonight's game at the Rogers Centre against the Montreal Alouettes. "I think you have to have a dry run on everything to get them thinking. (As for actual football), we're pretty close in terms of knowledge and speed of practice, the attitude and the morale. That's what we planned."

Few Argos are champing at the bit more than quarterback Kerry Joseph. Though the 35-year-old wants to forget about the dismal season that was 2008, he won't really be able to leave it in the past until things start to get turned around.

But Joseph, the most outstanding player in the Canadian Football League two years ago, doesn't care what the critics say. And just walking off the turf tonight as victors would be nice. The Argos have not won a football game since last Sept. 1, losing nine in a row to finish the season.

"I don't have anything to prove to anybody," Joseph said. "This is the first step to this team winning the championship.

"It's not about Kerry Joseph. It's about the team going out and getting the win."

Andrus told reporters that no one will be cut based on tonight's performance.

That means many players will be tossing and turning next Tuesday night after the Argos play in Hamilton against the Tiger-Cats in the pre-season closer.

"We're going to hold all of our decisions until the pre-season is over," Andrus said. "There is a fine line where I think that when we have a new scheme offensively and defensively, we have guys we have projected (to start). They need repetitions so they get comfortable once we get to that first regular-season game. They have to be able to perform without thinking about it."

Receiver Mike Bradwell was the Argos' top draft pick in 2008 but suffered a hamstring early in camp and did not play for Toronto, ending the season back at McMaster.

"I've been able to get into it and really be a part of the team," Bradwell, a Toronto native, said. "I might have trouble sleeping (last night), but it's all excitement. I'm getting a chance to prove myself."

Among the positional tussles for the Argos include returner, where Matt Black, Tyler Ebell, Dovonte Edwards and Todd Lowber will get a look tonight.

Injured Argos who are out include Adriano Belli, Brian Ramsay, Jerome Mathis and Jonathan Brown.


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