Expanding one's repertoire of football skills usually ensures extended employment in training camp.
But not necessarily with the Calgary Stampeders.
In the last two weeks, both players holding the snap for placekicker Sandro DeAngelis -- quarterbacks Mike Souza and Darnell Kennedy -- have been punted, leaving the rookie hoofer once again searching for a replacement.
"Hopefully it's not the kiss of death anymore," said DeAngelis with a chuckle after yesterday's morning session at McMahon Stadium.
Since Kennedy's departure Thursday, receiver Mike Juhasz, punter Burke Dales and defensive back Joey Boese have been auditioning as holders. DeAngelis is confident one will surface as a regular partner.
The most obvious choice is Dales, already sequestered along the sidelines with DeAngelis during most of the practice sessions.
"We're going to work on it to find the right guy and so far we've got a couple of guys who look pretty good already," said DeAngelis, 24.
"I'm kind of used to it because it happened a little bit in college, too.
"It's not a huge deal but it's something that has to be worked on because it's very important to the kicker. You need to have the utmost confidence in your holder.
"It's kind of like the quarterback and the centre. Their relationship has to be very good, too. It's just a matter of getting things worked on and there's no doubt in my mind, we've got so many great athletes on this team, we'll get it done."
DeAngelis and Dales have been working since last week with guest coach Terry Baker, a retired kicker with vast CFL experience who is helping both rookies settle into their roles.
"When you get to here, your kicking game, technique-wise, is already sound but if you can learn one little tip or two little tips, it helps," said DeAngelis.
"But more so, listening to his experiences, his stories and picking his brain has been really, really good for us."
- - -
BUMPS 'N' BRUISES: Missing practice yesterday with injuries were R Mike Juhasz (ham), LB Marc Mitchell (knee) and DL Michael Josiah (knee). Former Stampeders LB Joe Bonaventura, released before training camp, has been turning up at McMahon Stadium as a spectator. Head coach Tom Higgins says the Canadian is hoping for a spot on the practice roster once final cuts are made June 18.
- - -
CAMP NOTES: Jeremaine Copeland earned top catch honours in the morning session by out-leaping halfback Anthony Malbrough in the endzone ... Ken-Yon Rambo dropped a sure touchdown from Henry Burris, who zipped a stinging pass through the newcomer's hands from short range ... Import defensive back Jermaine Chatman recorded two sensational defensive plays, picking off Jason Gesser on a deep pass to Brett Ralph after also showing off his leaping ability by knocking down a toss intended for James Terry.