New Stampeder has no regrets

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

Jeremaine Copeland's numbers on the field in Montreal were almost unparalleled, although the Stampeders receiver insists the figures on his paycheque didn't reflect his value.

Copeland caught 10 TD passes for the Alouettes last year and 14 the previous season.

That's called hitting paydirt, in football parlance.

His 99 grabs in the '03 campaign was the second-best total ever produced by an Alouette. His more than 1,700 receiving yards that year, tops in the CFL, were also the team's second-highest all-time.

Money in the bank, right?

When needed most, Copeland delivered more than 100 reception yards in both his Grey Cup appearances, including a two-TD performance in the 2002 Classic, defeating Tom Higgins' Edmonton Eskimos.

But a perceived lack of respect at contract time sent the CFL all-star packing for Calgary as a free agent last February, receiving the financial recognition he felt was lacking in Montreal.

Now he isn't shy about proclaiming how much he'd love to make the Als regret not opening up the bank to keep him in Montreal colours when the Stamps visit the Als tomorrow night at Molson Stadium.

"Most definitely, 100 percent, big time," the sure-handed Stampeder, who leads the CFL with 624 yards and three TDs through seven games, says with a smile.

"I felt like I deserved a lot more money than they felt I did and Calgary offered it, so I ran with it. Now I'm expecting to go back and prove to them why I got as much as I did in Calgary."

The former Tennessee star reportedly signed with the Stamps for close to $150,000 per season. He says he has no regrets about the move, despite ending a productive association with Als QB Anthony Calvillo.

Tomorrow night, Copeland expects to get plenty of attention from the Alouettes defence while confident he will produce the kind of numbers that the Stampeders expected.

"Of course I'm fired up about going back and having a big game," said Copeland, who spent four seasons in Montreal.

"I'm pretty sure they're going to be eyeing me up and I'm looking forward to that battle. I hope we have a good game.

"Every game means the same but being with a team for three-and-a-half or four years, you always want to go back and perform to the best of your abilities. I want to give them reason to realize that hey, even though I got let go, I'm still doing major work no matter where I'm at.

"Anything over 100 yards and a touchdown is fine with me. The victory is key for me though, that's major."

EXTRA POINTS: B.C. Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson was named the CFL's offensive player of the week after leading the Lions to a seventh straight win Friday, 39-31 win over the Stampeders in Calgary. Ottawa Renegades defensive back Korey Banks was chosen the best defensive player of the week, while Matt Sheridan of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was named the top lineman. Saskatchewan running back Corey Holmes was selected the top special teams player.


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