Stamps err it out

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders offence is uncovering loads of potential despite a passing game that sputtered at times in yesterday's mock game, just one week into training camp.

Co-ordinator Steve Buratto, the toughest critic of the newly assembled group, said wayward throws are the frustrating part of building a cohesive unit.

"We still have to improve our accuracy," said Buratto, who'll expect more consistency in Tuesday's exhibition game against Saskatchewan. "We had some throws that were there but were overthrown. I'm always disappointed when we've got a guy wide open and we can't hit him and that happened a couple of times.

"Our timing was off some."

Working with the starting offence in the situational scrimmage, No. 1 pivot Henry Burris completed 12 of 21 passes for close to 105 yards and was picked off once by halfback Joey Boese.

After skipping his first two passes off the turf, Burris completed seven straight before badly underthrowing rookie Ken-Yon Rambo and tossing a deep pass over the head of Jeremaine Copeland.

"We had our ups and downs but we'll continue to work through those things," said Burris, whose teammates celebrated his 30th birthday by taping the quarterback to the goalposts after the workout.

"As we put in new plays, there's always going to be ups and downs when you first start running stuff in live action. There's a lot of ability out here and a lot of potential but in the first week you're never going to see perfection."

Burris said the offence has installed about 75% of the playbook.

He was visibly angry with himself after a couple of wayward throws.

"It's all timing and when you get to know your receivers and we have to work through that," said Burris, who took aim at favourite targets Rambo, Copeland and Sulecio Sanford.

"It's just part of the process as you're working with new receivers and in this case we have a lot of new guys working together for the first time.

"We're going to get on top of it. We ran some plays that are new to us but come Tuesday's game we'll run our basic stuff, stuff we're more comfortable with and that everyone knows what to do."

Rookie Jason Gesser is a step closer to earning the backup role after completing 10 of 12 passes for close to 130 yards.

Gesser looked poised and confident running the offence, despite being called for a time-count violation in the former NFLer's first test working with a 20-second play clock.

"It's real fast, I'm not used to 20 seconds at all," the former Tennessee Titan smiled afterward. "Even though the refs wait for the receivers to cross the line of scrimmage before they blow the whistle, it's still a real fast clock.

"You don't even have the (earpiece) in your helmet. You've got to signal the play in, call the play in the huddle, get to the line.

"It's going to take some adjusting to get used to it."

Darnell Kennedy had a rough outing, completing just two passes in eight attempts while being picked off by linebacker Marc Calixte.

Kennedy hit defensive back Trey Young in the hands, although the rookie dropped the sure pick, and also fumbled one snap from centre.

Kennedy was also working with less time behind a rookie offensive line.


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