Special number needed

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:01 PM ET

In Craig Dickenson's mind, there's no doubt about the ability of Edmonton Eskimos returner Tony (The Tiger) Tompkins: He's grrrrreatt.

So any time the Calgary Stampeders can match yardage with one of the best returners in the league, the special teams co-ordinator is a happy man.

Tompkins didn't score last week in the season opener and return yardage was about even in the Stamps' victory.

Now Calgary has to adjust because returner David Allen injured his knee against the Eskimos last week, leaving the punt returns in the hands of Ken-Yon Rambo and kickoffs with Sadrick Williams and J.R. Ruffin.

Matching yardage with Tompkins will be a challenge but at least Dickenson's coverage units can have an effect on the battle.

"Our cover teams played really well last week," Dickenson said. "Our return teams were just OK. Edmonton could probably say the same thing.

"We're measuring ourselves against Edmonton because last year they were the best return team in the league. They still are. If he isn't the top returner, he's in the top two or three."

Rambo will be doing double duty by starting on offence but he's itching to break a long punt return. The Stamps haven't scored on that play since Wane McGarity did it early in the 2003 season.

In his first game at Commonwealth Stadium, Rambo scored the only offensive TD for the Stamps. He would like to get the only special-teams touchdown tonight.

"It's been a long time," Rambo said. "It would be real nice for us to get in there.

"It's coming along, we just have to get used to our blocking schemes."

CENTRE ATTENTIVE: Lost in the rain-soaked home opener was one shining light for the Stampeders. Sophomore centre Godfrey Ellis was solid snapping the ball, especially in shotgun. The exchange with Henry Burris was wonky through the pre-season but the QB said his centre has cured the problem that was plaguing him.

During the final pre-season game, Burris and veteran offensive lineman Jay McNeil took him aside. He returned strong and has been steady in practice ever since.

"He just had to clear his mind and get things back in focus," Burris said. "It made him a much better centre. He's able to step out there and do his job."

EXTRA POINT: The Stamps released WR Anthony Bright and DB RoShawn Marshall, clearing the way for WR Scotty Anderson and DB Crance Clemons to be activated. DL LaDrelle Bryant and LB Hakim Akbar move to the practice roster.


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