Juhasz holds tight

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

Mike Juhasz has managed to break the Calgary Stampeders holder's kiss of death -- at least for the time being.

Twice in training camp, placekicker Sandro DeAngelis' holder has been cut.

Juhasz, a Canadian receiver, took the job last week after backup QBs Mike Souza and Darnell Kennedy were released and was worried this was becoming a trend.

But when head coach Tom Higgins released nine players yesterday, Juhasz's name wasn't among them.

"I was hoping this isn't the way of escorting people out, move them to holder to get rid of them," said Juhasz, who hasn't been practising because of a hamstring injury.

"When I am holding, it makes me feel like I actually contribute something."

The 28-year-old is obviously relieved but still can't wait to return from the mysterious leg problem. Juhasz said it's a pinched nerve that doesn't hurt unless he pushes it.

"It's not the muscle and that's the problem," said the fifth-year pro.

"If it was the muscle, then I could see some daily progress. It's a nerve inside the muscle. Everything feels fine. I can jog fine and, when I try to open up which I did on Friday, it pinches.

"Hopefully one day I'll get back out there without any pain. I really don't know exactly how to explain it."

The Calgary product was a kicker in high school at James Fowler and performed the holder's job at North Dakota in college. Last season, he did some holding for import kicker Charlie Hebert but was replaced by Souza.

Playing slotback and unofficial backup kicker, Juhasz had a career year in 2004, making a catch in every regular-season game and finishing with 634 yards, good enough for second on the team.

But he came to camp knowing he would need to impress the new coaching staff, which makes the injury even more frustrating.

"The way I did it, just shuffling along the line and when I went to jump up the field, it felt like someone shot me from the stands," Juhasz said.

NINE CUT LOOSE: The Stamps released nine players yesterday to get down to the required 50 plus non-counters. The most veteran player cut was fifth-year Canadian DB Lawrence Deck, who signed as a free agent.

The biggest surprise was DL Michael Josiah being shown the door. Josiah impressed early in camp but was beaten out for the spot by fellow newcomers Clay Roberson and Terrence Patrick, said head coach Tom Higgins.

"We did a really nice job working with the guys that he was competing with," Higgins said. "Both Patrick and Roberson have raw talent, size and speed. It came out to be an easier decision with the way those guys jumped up."

Only six DL remain but Higgins isn't sure yet whether the club can carry that many on the roster.

Other Canadians released yesterday were LB David Hewson, WR Brendan Mahoney, RB Jacques Lumbala and OL Evan Haney. The imports cut were LB Frank Strong, DL Jerame Southern and WR James Hickenbotham. The Stamps must submit their 40-man roster June 18.


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