Club fumbles on recovery

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

Tony Stallings swung open the Stampeders locker-room door and promptly fumbled his protein shake, dumping most of the nutritious beverage on the ground.

The backup running back recovered nicely, scooping up two pears from inside before quickly reappearing through the doorway, munching away on 'Plan B' while hustling to meetings yesterday.

It seems even refueling won't come easily for the error-prone football team.

With a rematch against the Eskimos on the horizon Friday in Edmonton, the Stamps are still picking up the messy pieces of their 25-23 Labour Day loss, rehashing the mistakes while eagerly awaiting an opportunity to make amends.

While an army of workers gathered up the debris scattered throughout McMahon Stadium, quarterback Henry Burris was also wondering how to clean up this mess.

Burris pins the lack of execution during the current two-game losing skid to the learning curve every team experiences during the course of a season.

"We were upset at ourselves that we just didn't do enough to get the job done," Burris suggested before marching off to a film session with the rest of the offence.

"Even though we didn't do anything early on, we still had a chance to tie the game and take it into overtime but we didn't do enough. We're capable of doing so much more but at least now we know what we're capable of. We know what we can attack, so we need to learn from it.

"Of course after the game guys are very emotional but there's the realization that we can learn from what we did, watch the film, see the things we did well and make the adjustments and let's go up there and compete with these guys."

The 4-6 Stampeders are tied for third in the CFL West but lost opportunities and squandered points are becoming common themes.

Fumbling away close games could be the team's lament if it runs out of games in November, still seeking its first playoff berth since 2001.

Burris completed just seven passes in the first half for a paltry 67 yards but rebounded nicely in the final 30 minutes, piling up 246 yards while almost completing a remarkable comeback from a 20-1 halftime deficit.

"The last two games have come down to the last second ... we've got to be smarter and each and every guy on offence has to look at what he's doing and make sure we learn from the mistakes we made," Burris said. "We've learned that when a mistake happens, you learn from it but you have to push it to the side or it will only deter you from accomplishing what we have to do in the future. Guys have played together long enough that we understand that.

"Nobody's pressuring each other, we're just asking each other to do our jobs and we know there will always be a mistake made here or there but the bottom line is everybody understands that we're going to get this things corrected and go up there and make sure it doesn't happen again."


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