Stamps tackle bad turnovers

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- Ball control is the key for the Stampeders if they expect to pick up their first two points of the CFL season tonight.

Eliminating miscues that led to the five turnovers from last week's loss to Toronto, in which starting quarterback Henry Burris had two passes picked off while also fumbling twice, has been the theme all week.

Quarterbacks coach Bill Diedrick said much of that depends on better decisions.

"We've talked about what happened against Toronto and, No. 1, you've got to take care of the football, in and out of the pocket," Diedrick said. "You do that and you make better decisions overall.

"We need to get off early with a balanced attack. A helpful part of a good package is if you can run the football. You get off, make some quick throws and get off to a good start and then keep building on that."

Burris has admitted to being overly excited about last week's season opener. On the game's first series, he overthrew two receivers, what Diedrick calls a symptom of being too pumped up.

"We've talked about how you prepare for a game and you add the excitement and all that, you have to eliminate that," Diedrick said.

"There's always going to be a certain degree of intensity in some games and there will be more because of the buildup or magnitude but still, as a player, you have to maintain your senses, remain focused and not get caught up in the hype. You look at his first couple of throws against Toronto, he had wide-open receivers and overthrew them both.

"Hopefully that's out of his system."

Head coach Tom Higgins said winning the giveaway-takeaway stat is crucial for the Stampeders success.

"In my 30-odd years of coaching football there might have been one time when a team that was minus four or minus five was able to win the football game," Higgins said.

"It doesn't happen. Too many bad things happen when you turn the football over."


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