TORONTO -- Kevin Eiben stopped short of guaranteeing a victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Sunday's CFL East Division Final.
But the Toronto Argonauts leading tackler came close yesterday.
Eiben, a fixture on the Boatmen's talented and attacking linebacking corps, promised that the CFL's top-rated defence will stuff the Winnipeg attack.
"(The Bombers) are not going to get over 10 points against us," Eiben said emphatically yesterday.
"How many have they got against us this year? (Fifteen) one game, eight another game? They haven't produced on offence."
"No comment," responded Bombers GM Brendan Taman who will likely pin the quote up in the locker-room today.
The Argos, who are favoured by 6 1/2 points in this their sixth consecutive trip to the division final, are 60 minutes from advancing to the Grey Cup in their own stadium.
All that stands in the way is a Bombers team which has struggled moving the ball against the Boatmen despite having a finalist for CFL player of the year in quarterback Kevin Glenn and the rushing threat of Charles Roberts.
Riding a seven-game win streak and coming off a bye, Eiben says the defence, which has allowed just one touchdown in its past three games, is primed for another huge effort.
"I am very confident about our defence," said Eiben, who leads the team in tackles with 91. "Look at the records. Look at what we've done this year. I don't see that changing in the next game."
That doesn't necessarily have the Bombers quaking in their boots.
"There's no more talking that can go on, you've just got to go out there and play the game," said Glenn, unaware of Eiben's boldness at the time. "It's possible to get your due as an offence. You've just got to be patient, execute your offence and don't turn the ball over because they thrive on turnovers and that's how they keep offences down."
Argos defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler's unit finished the season atop the league in several statistical categories.
Among them was a league low 25 touchdowns surrendered leading to a stingy average of 15.9 points per game.
One of the better defensive efforts came Oct. 27 against the Bombers in a 16-8 win in which the Argos yielded only two field goals and a pair of singles.
In the previous meeting, the Argos won 31-23 but most of the Winnipeg points came late, including one touchdown with a second remaining. Roberts was held to seven rushing yards on six carries and at half time of that contest, Toronto led 21-1 and the Bombers had just 79 yards total offence.
Winnipeg's lone win against the Argos was a 15-13 triumph in August, a game in which the Bombers rolled up 403 yards of offence but scored just one touchdown.
On defence, the Argos are to the point where they are playing with such confidence that they believe they can intimidate any opponent in the league..
"I want people to adjust to what we do on defence," Stubler said recently.
"Right now we are lucky enough to be at the point where people worry about what we are going to do."