Argos face tough job

Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo leads his well-oiled offence against the Argos tonight. (Sun...

Als quarterback Anthony Calvillo leads his well-oiled offence against the Argos tonight. (Sun Media/Jordan Verlage)

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The Argonauts are willing to let Anthony Calvillo do what he does best tonight.

The 36-year-old Montreal Alouettes veteran continues to shred defences with a rate of completion that's the envy of every other quarterback in the Canadian Football League, and the Argos seem to realize there isn't much they can do about it.

What happens once the Alouettes receivers get their hands on the football is paramount in the mind of Argos head coach Bart Andrus.

"Anthony is going to complete the ball," Andrus said of Calvillo, who has been good on a league-high 75.6% of his passes through five games. "So to me, to us, to our defence, the thing we want to do is limit what happens on the other end of the pass. We need to be sound in what we're doing.

"If we're playing zone, make sure the zone is covered, if it's man-to-man, make sure we match up, and then, we need to tackle."

Though the Argos are 2-3 and like the Alouettes (4-1) are coming off a loss, tonight's game at Molson Stadium will be as close as it gets to the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object in the CFL. The 173 points scored by the Alouettes are tops, while the Argos, for all of their faults, lead the league in numerous defensive categories, including fewest yards total offence allowed (1,379 yards) and average gain allowed per pass (6.8 yards).

But how good, really, is the Toronto defence, considering it did not have much of a fight in the past two weeks? The Alouettes offence will present a true challenge, certainly more than what the Argos got in back-to-back games against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, when a rusty Michael Bishop followed a carousel of bad Bombers pivots.

And Calvillo, named the CFL offensive player of the month for July, was not going to lose much sleep last night with thoughts of a group of tough Toronto defenders dancing through his head.

"There are not too many things I worry about with any defence," Calvillo said. "They're bringing a lot more pressure with their secondary blitzes, and that is something we have to prepare for."

The Argos should be bolstered by the return of tackle Adriano Belli and end Claude Harriott, who missed last week's game versus Winnipeg with a leg injury and the flu, respectively.

One factor the Alouettes plan to use to their advantage on the other side of the ball is the fact that Argos quarterback Kerry Joseph has yet to settle into a groove with a receiving corps that has been in a state of flux.

Reggie McNeal is back in as the Argos go for their first win in Montreal in more than four years, while Chad Lucas and Cory Rodgers have only last week's game to fall back on.

"We know they are not too familiar with the guys they have running the routes," Alouettes rush end Anwar Stewart said. "So if we can disrupt (Joseph) and hit him early, we're going to have a really good chance to win this game."


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