Containing Allen easier said than done

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:31 PM ET

Suffice to say the Amazing Ancient One certainly impressed Jim Daley.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach could not say enough about Damon Allen after the Argonaut quarterback picked apart the once-mighty Montreal defence as Toronto defeated the Als 36-24 in Montreal on Thursday -- the day before the grandpa celebrated his 42nd birthday.

"To me, it was just an awesome display for a quarterback," Daley said yesterday. "What was impressive was how he calmly avoided the rush -- from good pass rushers -- slid laterally long enough to let receivers come open, then made the play.

"It was a rare display of a quarterback controlling the game to the degree Damon did."

The Bombers must find a way to counter such a display when they face the Argos in Toronto on Monday.

"We have to have good contain on Damon and we have to play smart in our coverage so that, when the quarterback does move laterally in a scramble fashion, we can't lose the receivers who are in our proximity," Daley said. "We've got to get on them."

Containing Allen will be easier said than done, especially with a pair of defensive ends who have never faced the legendary quarterback before. Tom Canada only played against Michael Bishop, who replaced an injured Allen both times the Bombers played Toronto during his rookie campaign. And Gavin Walls is a rookie.

"This is the first time for me and Gav to face Allen," Canada said. "But he's just another quarterback. I mean, he looks good but it's just like any other quarterback. He's definitely got some experience but I'm not going to change anything just because of who he is.

"I don't think we'll have a problem. I think we'll be able to keep him in the pocket but it will be a good challenge for the D-line. We'll just have to keep him in the pocket and get after him. Every quarterback in this league has escapability. We'll have to address it but we won't worry about it."

STIFF CHALLENGE: Toronto's performance against the Als certainly drew Winnipeg's attention.

"It was really good for our players to see Toronto play a big game in the manner in which they played it," Daley said. "That was as intense and as focused a Toronto team as you could expect. Obviously, they are the defending Grey Cup champions for a reason and, quite honestly, I think our guys will come in much-better prepared knowing the level they're going to see Monday from Toronto."

HASHMARKS: SB Milt Stegall (ankle) looked ready to play during yesterday's practice ... Daley admitted that he is leaning toward keeping Willie Fells at MLB to allow Ryland Wickman's elbow more time to heal ... LB Lamar McGriggs (pectoral muscle) will likely remain in the lineup ... Winnipeg's Ken Lazaruk will ref his 500th CFL game when Hamilton plays in Edmonton tonight.


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