Wimprine impresses coaches

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET

Stampeders quarterback Danny Wimprine hadn't the time Thursday night to fret about being thrust into the No. 1 role.

A heartbeat after starter Jason Gesser went down in the second quarter with a high-ankle sprain, Wimprine was on the field calling plays without the luxury of pondering the magnitude of the moment.

That all changes this week with the 24-year-old rookie out of Memphis taking the reins as the 7-6 Stampeders begin preparations for a visit from the Montreal Alouettes next Saturday.

Wimprine's now thankful time is on his side.

"It's a different feeling this week knowing that I'm going to be the starter but I think it's going to help me out to get a lot of the first-team reps," said Wimprine, who'll spend the next three days studying the Als defence even though the Stampeders are off until Tuesday.

"These next few days, I get to catch up on some film work, concentrate on those guys and see their defence, so that will help me out a little bit."

Wimprine entered the game with Calgary on Ottawa's 16. A pass interference call moved the ball to the one from where running back Joffrey Reynolds scored, raising everyone's comfort level.

"Just to get thrown in there, you don't really have a chance to get nervous or anything and I'm not really one to get nervous anyway, so I just wanted to go in and do my job," said Wimprine, who completed 10 of 21 passes for 162 yards and one TD while avoiding turnovers.

"I made some mistakes and there's a lot more improvements to be made but to be able to go in there with the first team and compete is great. All I really care about is that we won.

"I think I'll probably feel a lot more comfortable next game and there were a few mistakes I need to correct but we'll go watch the film, learn from it and get a lot better."

Wimprine's calm demeanour in just his second showing this season pleased offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto.

"I was very impressed with his composure," Buratto said. "He was very composed in the huddle, took charge and made good reads and good decisions with the ball in his hands. He threw it away a couple of times when there was nothing there and was athletic enough and strong enough to get away from the rush a couple of times and get the ball off."

Gesser, meanwhile, rode the stationary bike yesterday and is relieved he could be back soon after initially fearing the injury could have been more severe.

"Any time you get an opportunity to play, I was just starting to get into a bit of a groove," said Gesser, who completed three of seven passes for 39 yards in just over a quarter of work.

"We were starting to drive the ball again and something like that happens ... any time you get hurt it sucks and I'm just grateful it's not a season ending injury or a break."

Burris, out the last two weeks with torn ligaments in his left thumb, is expected to have his cast removed Oct. 25 but could return to the lineup within a couple of weeks.

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GETTING A WORKOUT: Joffrey Reynolds' 185-yard night against the Renegades, the seventh-best rushing performance in Stamps history, wasn't without its setbacks. Of his 29 carries, his fourth and fifth touches provided the most startling contrast.

After blasting his way to a 46-yard run in the first quarter, almost going the distance save for a desperate tackle by Renegades linebacker Kyries Hebert at the Ottawa 48, Reynolds heard his number called again.

"I was looking to the sideline first to see if (Scott) Deibert or (Craig) Carr were going to come in to give me a breather but nobody came out, then they called my number again and I was like, 'C'mon man!' I was tired but I was glad they kept coming to me. I got in a groove and felt comfortable.

"When you get 20 or more carries you kind of get in the flow of the blocks and what the defence is doing, plus the o-line kind of gets that mentality, too."

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RELEASE UPCOMING: Expect the Stamps to release import receiver Kori Dickerson, who again had a few simple passes clang off his hands against Ottawa.


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