Rookie proves talent

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

It took Sulecio Sanford a few extra minutes to thaw out after yesterday morning's practice.

The Calgary Stampeders rookie receiver isn't used to bundling up before taking the field.

"I don't think I'll ever get used to this weather," he said, shaking his head. "I'm a Georgia boy, born and bred. This weather is the worst for me but I'm going to deal with it."

He'll deal with it better than Toronto's John Avery, who Sanford imitated yesterday while joking around with teammates.

The Argos running back blamed the chilly weather for his two fumbles on the weekend and said after the game: "I'm just amazed that every team in Canada doesn't have a dome stadium."

The 28-year-old apparently has no difficulty playing in the cold.

He came up with seven catches and broke the 100-yard barrier for the first time.

"It's football, regardless of the conditions," Sanford said. "You have to go out there and play.

"That was the biggest game of my professional career."

Sanford said he was intent on proving himself to new pivot Khari Jones.

"There was a new quarterback coming in and I wanted him to have faith in me that I could make plays for him," he said. "He believed in me and kept coming to me so it turned into a big day."

The Stamps' 29-11 win over the Argos has given the team a little extra spring in their step.

Jones' arrival, Sanford said, will allow the the Red and White to enter their final two games of the season with a fresh, confident demeanour.

"He brings a veteran attitude to the huddle," Sanford said of Jones. "He's got that fire and he wants every play to hit, whether it's a passing play or a run. You can see the atmosphere in the locker-room. Everyone's smiling and more upbeat than in the past."


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