Stampeders rookie punter Burke Dales' struggles in the season-opener against Toronto aren't a real concern for special teams co-ordinator Craig Dickenson.
Dales punted five times for a meagre 38-yard average, shanking his first boot out of bounds while trying to kick the ball away from the dangerous Bashir Levingston. Dickenson said getting rid of the ball quickly to avoid blocks and limiting returns was a priority against the Argos.
"I thought Burke did fine for his first game," Dickenson said. "But we were asking him to be quick and get that ball off because we were concerned about Toronto's rush. So, all in all, on a scale of one-to-10 with eight being superb, he was probably about a six but he certainly didn't kill us. We still covered real well and he did a decent job of getting the ball to where we wanted it.
"No blocks, no concerns in the protection and the coverage was excellent, so I was pleased with both coverage units."
Levingston and Arland Bruce returned three punts for an average of less than 11 yards.
Meanwhile, the Stamps yesterday signed import receiver Gerald Harris, who had been with the B.C. Lions the past three seasons.
DOUBLE BLUE BULKS UP: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers latest acquisition this week raised a few eyebrows in the Stampeders locker-room. Offensive lineman Dan Goodspeed, one of two o-linemen joining Winnipeg this week, made the XFL's all-nasty team when he played for the Orlando Rage in 2001. He's expected to add some attitude to a unit looking for an edge.
"He's not a softie, put it that way," Bombers GM Brendan Taman told the Winnipeg Sun. "He's very aggressive."
The 6-ft. 6-in., 305-lb. tackle or guard wanted a ticket to Winnipeg after watching the Bombers season-opening 42-15 loss to Saskatchewan.
"I saw them play and I got excited, so I had my agent call Brendan," Goodspeed said. "I was like, 'We need to get up there.' And here I am."
Goodspeed didn't mention his all-nastiness status in the defunct XFL but alluded to a tough on-field demeanour.
"They wanted aggressiveness on the line. I definitely can bring that," he said.
Goodspeed, 28, is a Cleveland native who played his college ball at Kent State.
He had NFL stints with San Francisco, New York Jets, Tampa Bay, Miami and Washington.
MOORE CALLED INTO ACTION: Former Stampeders receiver Travis Moore gets his chance this week to get back into the Saskatchewan Roughriders lineup thanks to an injury to Matt Dominguez. Moore, who led the Roughies last season with 72 catches for 1,025 yards and nine TDs, has been a healthy scratch for the Riders' first two games in favour of Elijah Thurmon. Dominguez suffered a right knee injury Saturday in Hamilton.
CALL ON KHARI: The winless Hamilton Tiger-Cats should be considering a call to unemployed pivot Khari Jones based on their offence's lack of production through the first two games. Veteran starter Danny McManus and backup Marcus Brady managed less than 200 passing yards against Saskatchewan last week while the Tabbies are enjoying a bye week with a chance to make a move.
The Ticats themselves have not made any calls but nor have they ruled out the possibility.
"Offensively, we've got to be a lot more helpful to this ball club," McManus told reporters in Hamilton. "Defence and special teams are playing well and we're not. I think everyone on the offensive unit knows that."
McManus took much of the heat for his play in Hamilton's season-opening 31-21 loss to Montreal and the near-sellout crowd of 29,032 at Ivor Wynne Stadium on Saturday cheered loudly when he was pulled late in the third quarter and replaced by Brady.
Critics had been calling all week for Brady to play but he did little to justify their support. He fumbled twice, leading to a pair of Saskatchewan field goals, and finished only 2-of-5 passing for 14 yards and now even level-headed boss Greg Marshall is losing his patience.
"Maybe they could throw and we'll get one of the fans out there to play quarterback," Marshall said of the boobirds. "We've got what we've got. That's it. We've got to get ready to play. There are some things out there we can do better. But I can't pull a quarterback out of a hat right now. We believe in Danny."
KELLETT KICKING STRAIGHT: Renegades K Matt Kellett wants to make one thing clear: Despite vision problems and intense scrutiny during training camp, his 14-yard OT winner against his former team was no big deal.
"Maybe if it was an elimination or playoff type of thing, maybe I'd feel a little bit different about it," Kellett told the Ottawa Sun. "You can't put too much pressure on these types of games or too much stresses on playing different teams."
The 32-year-old has experienced a full spectrum of emotion since his trade from Montreal.
"It's a concern, there is no doubt about it. We are going to put everything we have into getting it (the offence) back on track."
Pass completions made by Winnipeg Blue Bombers starting quarterback Tee Martin in his debut against Edmonton. The former Tennessee star wasn't impressive, going 12-of-29 for 107 yards.
ON THE FIELD
Calgary at Winnipeg, 6:30 p.m. (TSN)
Edmonton at Montreal, 5 p.m. (TSN)
Ottawa at B.C., 8 p.m. (TSN)
Saskatchewan at Toronto, 5 p.m. (CBC)
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
"Do I think Khari can do a better job than Danny? No, I don't."
-- Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach Greg Marshall talking to a Hamilton paper about the prospect of signing free-agent pivot Khari Jones to replace ancient starter Danny McManus.