Six packin'

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

Three second-year Stampeders were among six players cut yesterday from training camp.

Import defensive back Jeremy Pearl, Canadian receiver Denis Montana and import receiver Sulecio Sanford were the veterans released, along with quarterback Darnell Kennedy, import receiver Kenyatta Morgan and import defensive back Nashville Dyer.

Head coach Tom Higgins said the moves leave 11 receivers remaining in camp, a more workable number heading into the final pre-season game Thursday in B.C. against the Lions.

"The talent level has been excellent and it's time now for our other guys to get more reps so we can start to have them working as a unit instead of a lot of mixing and matching," Higgins said.

"We could have gotten three more days and six more practices out of all these players but we thought it was very important to maximize the reps with the players we've kept."

Kennedy, a free agent signed in February, was expected to compete for the backup job behind Henry Burris but failed to impress the coaches while backup Jason Gesser excelled, earning the No. 2 spot.

Sanford dressed for all 18 games last season, posting 45 receptions for 577 yards. His best game was a seven-catch, 103-yard outing against Toronto.

Montana, with nine years of CFL experience, caught 37 passes for 461 yards last season.

It was his second stint in Calgary in addition to stops in Montreal, Toronto, B.C., Edmonton and Ottawa.

Pearl played both cornerback and halfback in 11 games last season but was in tough against an impressive group of free agents competing for starting jobs this year.

Morgan was an undersized receiver who originally signed with the Stampeders in 2003 but had been plagued by injuries.

Kennedy's release leaves placekicker Sandro DeAngelis once again looking for a holder on field goals and converts.

Since camp began May 28, both Kennedy and backup QB Michael Souza had worked with DeAngelis, only to be sent packing.

Higgins held meetings yesterday with all six released players.

"It's the worst part of the job but we also aren't so naive to think this isn't an occupational hazard," said the first-year Stamps boss.

The moves reduce the Stampeders training camp roster to 56 players plus non-counters, with six more cuts needed by Monday's deadline.

The Stampeders 40-man roster has to be finalized by June 18.


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