Corley passes initial test

DAN TOTH, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- After jettisoning last season's contingent of backup quarterbacks, the Calgary Stampeders have found their third-string man.

David Corley, 26, completed six of 11 passes for 69 yards and one touchdown, while also scrambling six times for 66 yards in the Stamps' 26-23 pre-season win over the B.C. Lions Friday night in Vancouver.

"He does have a good view of the field," agreed Stamps head coach Tom Higgins about his backup pivot's ability to make something out of nothing.

"We feel he is a very good field general. He doesn't necessarily have a Henry Burris arm or a Danny McManus release but he has the tools and that's the most important thing.

"You rate a quarterback by his ability to move the football and he was able to do that for us.

"It's nice to have that in a third quarterback."

Corley saw the most snaps, splitting the first half with McManus before playing more than 20 minutes in the second half. He also profited from a couple of sure interceptions that were dropped by B.C. defenders.

Burris, the undisputed No. 1, played the final 10 minutes of the contest, orchestrating the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds. He completed seven of 12 passes for 83 yards.

McManus, a 17-year veteran who turns 41 later this month and is entrenched as Burris' backup, completed eight of 12 passes for 105 yards.

Although Corley's accuracy and arm strength wasn't spectacular, the product of Virginia's William and Mary college was working without slotbacks Jeremaine Copeland and Nik Lewis. The team's top pass-catchers from last season were given the night off.

"We've got a lot of depth at receiver," Corley noted.

"We definitely missed Cope and Nick, without a doubt, but we had a starting lineup of outstanding receivers in their own rite and we'll have them back for the next game.

"I look forward to the opportunity to continue to improve, putting them in the mix will make our offence more explosive."

It was the first real test of training camp for Corley, who has never found his place in the CFL since originally signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2003 as a backup to McManus. He was released the following season and eventually caught on with the Arena Football League's New York Dragons.

"We had to find out if our third quarterback was good enough and I think we found out some answers -- he came through," Higgins said.


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