Dickenson seeking a few good men

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:48 AM ET

Calgary Stampeders special teams co-ordinator Craig Dickenson is sifting through a pile of newcomers looking for returners.

Terrence Wilkins and Ken-Yon Rambo handled the bulk of the punt return workload last season, although Wilkins isn't back this year.

Wilkins also shared most of the kickoff return duties in '05 with Ronnie Jenkins and MarTay Jenkins, who are also not back in camp.

"We want to see from the new players who can do it and we've pared it down to about six of them," Dickenson said.

"We know they can catch the ball, the next step is what can they do with it once they have it in their hands. Do they have the ability to make defences miss and make big plays?"

Newcomers WR Jamaal Perry, DB Jerron Ruffin and DB Cedrick Williams have taken turns, while veteran running backs David Allen and Tony Stallings also could win the spots.

MOCK THE VOTE: Football teams are democracies ... sort of.

Stampeders head coach Tom Higgins said he will give his players a vote to decide practice times this season, then ignore the ballot count.

"When the season starts and the team is made, that's when they actually vote on when their practice will be," Higgins said, smiling.

"It can change from year to year but we already know ... we rigged the vote. So we pretty much know already. It's a moot point with these new athletes who come in. If they make the football team, they think, 'I really have a vote.'

"It's going to be morning practices again because we actually have quite a few who work (other jobs).

NO. 2 AGAIN: Danny McManus is slipping into his new career as backup quarterback, the first time since 1994 he hasn't been a starter.

"I guess it will take me all through training camp and the first part of the season to really get in sync with the guys," said the 17-year CFL veteran, who turns 41 next month.

"I did it for five years before I first got into the starting position (with the B.C. Lions), so I've done it before."

CARTER CUT: Ex-NFL star Quincy Carter, who was expected to seriously contend for the backup job with the Montreal Alouettes, has been released by the CFL club.

The Alouettes gave Carter his walking papers yesterday, less than a week into their training camp.


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