Burris aims at passing Dave

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:14 AM ET

Henry Burris is staring in the face of his template for efficiency and production in the 2006 CFL season.

Tonight, the Calgary Stampeders quarterback faces the standard for all CFL pivots in game management and touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio -- B.C. Lions' No. 1 passer Dave Dickenson.

Last season, Burris, Calgary's top pivot, completed 60% of his throws and tossed 23 TD passes but also served up 12 interceptions.

Dickenson posted a 74% completion rate in 2005 to go with 21 TD passes and a remarkably low five interceptions.

"I really don't think about numbers but I'm more focused on managing the game, making good decisions," Burris said after yesterday's walkthrough for tonight's pre-season game in Vancouver (8:30 p.m., no TV).

"We look at what Dave and those guys were able to do last year and that's where each and every other offence in the CFL wants to evolve as far as being that efficient.

"It's tough to do but (the Lions) were in their third year together and it takes time. It's hard to find that in the CFL these days where teams are together that long in the same place for three or four years."

The Stamps offence was almost completely rebuilt last season, including the Burris addition. This spring the Stampeders crew has seen some minor retooling with the addition of receivers Scotty Anderson and Elijah Thurmon, although Burris and Thurmon were teammates two years ago in Saskatchewan.

"Even Dave says his first two years in that offence he was just like us last season," Burris said. "We evolved and during the second half of the season we came a long way.

Burris is expected to play just a few series before giving way to veteran Danny McManus and third-stringer David Corley.

Stampeders offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto, also in his second year with the same group, has raised his expectations of Burris.

"The greatest improvement we're going to see out of Hank is that he will manage the game more efficiently like he did at the end of last year and because of his experience, he'll start games more quickly than he did last year," Buratto said.

Buratto said the slow but steady development of the offence last season should be apparent from the start of this year.


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