Blue defence realistic about expectations

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:31 PM ET

TORONTO -- The numbers were a little shocking.

The Toronto Argonauts managed just 72 yards of total offence against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the latter's 16-9 win two weeks ago.

The Argos conjured up just six first downs, and much-hyped running back Ricky Williams managed only 14 yards on eight carries.

No one is expecting a similar story today in the rematch at Rogers Centre.

"I certainly expect Toronto to have a much more solid performance than the last time we played," said Bombers head coach Doug Berry.

He called Toronto's 72 yards of offence "an anomaly."

Defensive tackle Doug Brown echoed his coach's comments.

"That's not a realistic bar to play by, definitely, in terms of CFL football," said Brown. "They were right, in a sense, that they made us look better than we are, because nobody's that good.

"It's not like we're shooting for that, but we still expect to be effective."

Berry, who likes to break things down, revealed a glowing statistic about his defensive dozen yesterday.

"We've had 11 out of 12 quarters where we played almost championship-level defence," he said.

ALL RICKY, ALL THE TIME? Williams has rushed for 97 yards in both of Toronto's other two games this season, and it's believed the Argos will go to him a lot more in an effort to take some of the pressure off quarterback Spergon Wynn.

"We gotta be more successful running the football this time than we were two weeks ago," said Argos coach Pinball Clemons.

Williams, the former NFL rushing champ, expects a much better performance today, even though the Bomber run defence is tops in the CFL.

"If we go out there and play our game and have some enthusiasm and we play hard and we play smart, then it doesn't matter what they're going to do," said Williams. "We're going to have success."

Brown isn't sure if Williams will get the ball more at the start of the game, but he knows how to limit his touches later on.

"The only way I expect to see more Ricky is if he's successful," said Brown.

SO WHAT? Argos safety Orlondo Steinauer wasn't exactly impressed that Bombers running back Charles Roberts had 133 rushing yards on 32 carries in their last meeting.

"If you give anybody in this league the ball 32 times, they're bound to get 100 yards," said Steinauer. "So we were run over? We don't really look at it like that.

"We look at it like he had 4.5 yards a carry. He's capable of a lot more."

LATE HITS: The Bombers haven't allowed a passing touchdown yet this season. They surrendered 30 in 2005 ... Wynn has completed 44 of 74 passes (59.5%) for 541 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions ... The Bombers sacked Wynn six times in their last meeting, with Ron Warner recording four of them.


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