CALGARY STAMPEDERS VS. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS
7 P.M., MCMAHON STADIUM
TV: NONE, RADIO: QR77
Calgary (4-14) was last in the West division and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
Saskatchewan (9-9) came within a field goal of the Grey Cup but ended up losing in the West Final for the second consecutive season.
CALGARY -- DL Rahim Abdullah (Edmonton); QB Henry Burris (Sask.); DL Randy Chevrier (NFL); WR Jeremaine Copeland (Montreal); QB Jason Gesser (NFL); QB Darnell Kennedy (Ottawa); DB Anthony Malbrough (Ottawa); WR Ken-Yon Rambo (NFL).
SASKATCHEWAN -- QB Marcus Crandell (Calgary), OL Tango McCauley (B.C.), WR Ibrahim Tounkara (Hamilton), OL Antonio Hall (NFL), OL Doug Kaufusi (NFL).
CALGARY -- WR Albert Connell (released); WR Wane McGarity (released); RB Randy Bowles (released); QB Khari Jones (released); DL Antwone Young (failed physical); DB Omar Evans (traded to Winnipeg).
SASKATCHEWAN -- QB Henry Burris (Calgary), DB Lawrence Deck (Calgary), DL Phil Gibson (Montreal), OT Charles Thomas (NFL).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
CALGARY -- Free-agent signing Henry Burris will get plenty of time to work with the first-team offence to make sure he's comfortable.
Unless Burris appears to be in late-season form, expect the pivot to play most of the opening half.
Backup hopefuls Darnell Kennedy and Jason Gesser will split the time after Burris leaves and there will be plenty of receivers fighting for passes.
The starting linebackers and defensive lineman will see limited action, so expect to see a limited amount of blitzing.
SASKATCHEWAN -- After breaking his leg in the season-opener, QB Nealon Greene missed all of last season.
This is his first game action since that painful injury on the SkyDome turf and it will be interesting to see if he's, in fact, 100%.
The key to Greene's game is his mobility and time will tell if he's going to be the running threat he once was.
When Greene leaves, former Stampeder Marcus Crandell will get the ball.
Crandell could see a quarter or more of time with the offence.
Of the few 'Riders veterans who will make the trip, few will see more than a quarter of action.
Players such as LB Reggie Hunt, DL Daved Benefield, DL Scott Schultz and receivers Travis Moore and Matt Dominguez did not make the trip from Regina.
STAMPEDERS' POSITIONAL BATTLES
OFFENCE -- The biggest question mark revolves around the receiving corps.
The top two targets are unquestionably Jeremaine Copeland and Nik Lewis but after that, the import jobs are wide open. Ken-Yon Rambo, who's looked great in camp, appears to be the front-runner for a starting job but will need to continue his great play in the game. Someone from the group of MarTay Jenkins, Kenyatta Morgan, Sulecio Sanford and James Terry will need a strong performance to solidify a roster spot.
DEFENCE -- The secondary will be the area co-ordinator Denny Creehan most keeps an eye on. The halfback positions are set with Joey Boese and Anthony Malbrough, while two of Rashard Anderson, Nate Terry, Ben Kelly and Jermaine Chatman will be the corners. Canadian Pascal Masson and import Don McGee are the prospective safeties. There isn't much available for starting spots in the front seven but Creehan is interested in seeing what the new recruits can do in live game action.