Whoa, Henry

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Moments after being announced as the new Calgary Stampeders quarterback, Henry Burris declared he's ready to start a family. That was apparently news to Nicole Burris, who was sitting by her husband's side.

If looks could kill, he'd be dead on the floor.

"Until she says she's ready to get pregnant,

I can't dictate it," the 29-year-old Burris said with a chuckle.

However, the message was clear. Burris is back in Calgary.

This time for good.

Terms of the deal he signed with the Stamps yesterday weren't released.

But Burris said it's lengthy.

That, and the commitment he would be the undisputed starting QB, was the reason he spurned the Saskatchewan Roughriders, for whom he played in the 2000, '03 and '04 seasons.

In Burris' mind, he's at home.

"In Calgary, we have the option to do the long-term thing," he said.

"In the CFL, you won't get a five-year deal.

"We worked out a plan to have a contract up until a certain point, then work on something after that. From there, we can get a contract to finish out my career."

It wasn't until last weekend, when Burris visited Calgary to meet the team's new ownership, that he was sold on returning the McMahon Stadium where he started his CFL career in 1997.

Burris left for greener pastures in 2000 to become the 'Riders No. 1 pivot.

He spent the ensuing two years in the NFL, where he made one start with the Chicago Bears.

But he returned to Saskatchewan in 2003, only to be entrenched behind Nealon Greene and Kevin Glenn on the depth chart.

Glenn was traded the following off-season and Greene broke his leg in the season-opener last season, opening the door for Burris to prove he could lead a team.

Burris did just that, going 9-7 in the regular season and taking the 'Riders to the West final before losing in overtime to the B.C. Lions.

When he became a free agent Feb. 15, Saskatchewan wouldn't give him the vote of confidence he would be the No. 1 man.

Greene is back healthy and will be given the chance to regain his job. It proved to be the difference in the deal.

Calgary released veteran Khari Jones yesterday to make it clear Burris is their man.

The native of Spiro, Okla., is much more mature than the pivot who left Calgary in 2000.

He's ready to prove he's worth No. 1 quarterback money.

"To return to where I started, as a snotty-nosed, Pampers-wearing rookie quarterback, to have an opportunity to do some things here and take this team to a level where everybody expects us to go, I can't ask for anything better," said Burris.

With Burris on board, the Stamps have landed five free agents this off-season.

Burris joins Jeremaine Copeland, Alexandre Gauthier, Anthony Malbrough and Darnell Kennedy as key additions to an ever-improving roster.

"When I look around this locker-room and see the names on the stalls, this is a real team," Burris said.

"This team is already set and they just needed a few pieces in the right places.

"They made me feel like I was part of the plan. When you're part of a team's master plan, that's a hard thing to turn down, especially for a quarterback, being the most scrutinized position in all of sports."

Smilin' Hank can't wait to don the No. 1 Stamps jersey and hit the field. He plans on reconnecting with old friends in Calgary and getting settled as soon as possible.

Maybe then he'll broach the subject of children with Nicole.

"I've had so many good experiences here with my wife," Burris said. "Who knows, maybe we'll have some little ones down the road.

"I don't want to say any are on the way.

"But to have everything together in one place, it brings peace to your life."

- - -

                                        

HENRY BURRIS -- CAREER CFL STATS

TEAM YEAR GP COMP ATT PCT YARDS INT LG TDs

Calgary 1997 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Calgary 1998 18 5 11 45.5 83 1 26 0

Calgary 1999 5 36 60 60.0 529 6 63 4

Sask. 2000 18 308 576 53.5 4,647 25 81 30

Sask. 2003 10 11 24 45.8 130 0 31 1

Sask. 2004 16 322 544 59.2 4,267 18 70 23

Totals 68 682 1,215 56.1 9,656 50 81 58


Videos

Photos