There's safety in numbers

Wes Lysack (left) and Trey Young are in competition for the Calgary Stampeders' starting role at...

Wes Lysack (left) and Trey Young are in competition for the Calgary Stampeders' starting role at safety. The Stamps are enjoying a unique issue during training camp -- depth at defence -- but Lysack can play more than one position. (Calgary Sun/Jim Wells)

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

Some problems can make your head hurt.

The one facing the Calgary Stampeders this season could create tender noggins across the CFL.

The 'predicament' is depth at safety, with starter Trey Young back for a second season along with the presence of veteran Wes Lysack, added late last year in a trade with Winnipeg.

Young, an import, is enjoying another solid training camp and is expected to retain the position. Lysack, a Canadian, also will be used in the secondary, while he could see the field as a versatile linebacker in addition to playing special teams.

"That's going to be tough on some of the receivers around the league when they have to look at (No.) 31 and 33 back there," Young playfully warned. "They could be a little scared."

Young assumed the starting role at safety as a rookie in Week 6 last season.

He quickly earned a reputation as a hard-hitting and quick defender, recording 47 defensive tackles, four interceptions and a pair of sacks.

The return of Lysack last October triggered some head scratching, with the position apparently owned outright by Young, a University of Montana product who only got stronger and faster in the off-season.

Lysack always has held a starting position at safety. It was his first pro job after being drafted into the league by Calgary in 2003 and it was where he played in Winnipeg for parts of the last two seasons.

Now it looks as though the Stampeders will do whatever's necessary to solve the problem by getting both players into the action with some creative roster juggling.

"I might be playing a little bit of everything," Lysack said.

"Some linebacker, some safety and (schemes) where me and Trey will be on the field at the same time ... It's new for me but it's pretty cool because I'll be able to do a lot of different things to show my skill set that I can play more than one position.

"In some way, they'll get us both on the field as much as they can, intimidating people and going for some big hits."

Defensive backs coach Tim Burke said he and co-ordinator Denny Creehan will make it work.

"We have plans for Wes to play some linebacker, too, although we haven't gotten to that in camp yet," Burke said.

Lysack has clearly bought into the plan with the Stampeders.

He said he has accepted the move as a challenge and signed a three-year contract in the off-season with the intention of making it work at safety, linebacker, or wherever he's asked to line up.

"You can easily take it the wrong way and be insulted because every year I've been in this league I've been a starter and then to roll into camp this season, I'm not," Lysack said. "I was confident (in the off-season) when I signed that they would have a significant role for me or I wouldn't have signed."


Videos

Photos