Same Wes, new quest

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Everything about the Calgary Stampeders has a familiar feel to Wes Lysack.

The locker-room, uniform, equipment and playbook are all look the same as they are buried deep in his memory banks.

But as he suited up in a No. 3 practice jersey for the third time since being traded back to the Stamps last week, there is one major difference for the Canadian defensive back.

For nearly the first time in his three-year CFL career, Lysack isn't lining up at safety with the first-team offence.

Rookie Trey Young has done an outstanding job at the position since taking over earlier this season and moving him now would disrupt the defence too much.

So Lysack is taking his turn on scout team and as a backup. The 27-year-old from Winnipeg will wait his turn.

"It's tough because the three years I've been in this league I've been a starter," said Lysack. "This situation is a little awkward with an established guy in that spot. But I'll do whatever they want me to at this point."

Lysack is a highly regarded import breaker whose 71 defensive tackles still put him in the CFL's top 10. Almost a year ago to the day Lysack returned to Calgary, he was traded to Winnipeg last year in the five-player Khari Jones trade.

Stamps defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan breaks into a huge smile at the mere mention of Lysack and his return in exchange for Anthony Malbrough.

Creehan wasn't involved with the trade, so once the deal went down, he spent the bye week trying to work Lysack into his defence somewhere.

Lysack will likely be inserted in an extra defensive back package or maybe even as a blitzing linebacker in certain situations.

The mood in the first few practices leading up to Friday's game with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats has been one of high energy, high excitement and Creehan believes the move has something to do with it.

"The guys were pleased as punch, let me tell you that," Creehan said. "I talked to him on the phone before he got here. I called him as soon as I heard about the trade.

"He's an intimidator back there, he's a smart player and a great free safety. He's instinctive and he's very physical. We'll find a way to get him and Trey on the field at the same time."

The Stamps have already put a bug in Lysack's ear about his impending free agency and about considering a contract extension.

The University of Manitoba product is more interested in concentrating on the playoff race. If the Stamps qualify for the post-season it will be Lysack's first game past the first week of November in the CFL.

A year ago, he was traded to the Blue Bombers and thought he could help them into the playoffs. They didn't make it and he hopes his presence in Calgary isn't the kiss of death.

But with four games remaining, the Stamps have a chance at making a playoff run and Lysack couldn't be more excited. The situation in Winnipeg was much like it was in Calgary the past two seasons when the team was playing out the schedule for the last month of the season.

"A week ago, I didn't think I had a chance of being in the playoffs," Lysack said. "You train just like you usually do but when you're not in the playoffs, you tend to tail off a bit naturally.

"I have to pick things up now and get ready. We're not just getting ready for four games, we might have seven more."


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