Hank's smile infectious

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

Nik Lewis doesn't need to meet Henry Burris face-to-face to know he'll enjoy receiving passes from him. Last season, the rookie receiver saw up close how much damage Burris can do to a defence.

So Lewis is excited to have Burris on his side as the new Calgary Stampeders QB, although they've never been formally introduced.

"I'm always looking for other ways to get the ball," said the 2004 CFL rookie of the year yesterday.

"In college, I had a mobile quarterback and we worked well together. It's great to have a quarterback that can make that extra move and give us time to get upfield. This is going to be real exciting this year."

Almost to a man, Stamps players said they could not go wrong with Burris or Khari Jones as their No. 1 man in 2005.

It just so happened Burris was management's choice. And offensive lineman Jay McNeil won't mind blocking for his former teammate (1997-99), partly because of how much he and everyone else seems to love the man.

"They don't call him Smilin' Hank for nothin'," McNeil said. "He's such a genuine guy, he's great in the locker-room, he's a happy-go-lucky guy and you can't get much better than that."

After Calgary snatched Burris from Saskatchewan, McNeil expects the 'Riders-Stampeders rivalry to get even more nasty.

"It was big before," McNeil said. "Coach Danny Barrett and (GM) Roy Shivers, they never want to lose to Calgary. This backfired on them. I'm imagining they're not happy. Hopefully this is one of many Calgary wins over Saskatchewan this season."


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