Pivot can Kerry the ball

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Who needs film sessions?

Some plays get burned in your brain, canning the need for video replays.

Because of that, an extended session highlighting Kerry Joseph's dangerous running skills wasn't necessary this week.

The Calgary Stampeders know only too well how the Saskatchewan quarterback, acquired from Ottawa in the off-season dispersal draft, can run over, through and around opposing defences.

Yet the Stampeders' film room this week featured one play that typified Joseph's most startling attribute. In the Roughriders' last game against B.C., Joseph pieced together a touchdown drive by turning a desperate second-and-24 situation into a 35-yard gain by using his legs when conventional wisdom insisted his arm was the only option.

"That's how he keeps drives going and, for us, that's a key to try and limit their opportunities and limit them from moving the chains," said Stampeders linebacker John Grace, who is preparing to face Joseph's Roughriders tomorrow in Regina.

Stamps defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan is wary of Joseph's running prowess. But Creehan is quick to point out a fleeing QB is a sign the secondary is doing its job.

Barring game-winning runs such as the one Joseph posted against B.C., making him pull the ball down is the defence's goal.

"If he's running the football, he can't be throwing it down the field," said Creehan.

"Anytime a quarterback is running the football against us, we've got a good chance to win. A team can't beat you in this league if they can't throw the ball down the field."

In two games against the Stampeders last season with Ottawa, Joseph rushed the ball 11 times in each contest for 68 yards and a victory and another 84 yards in a loss.

Grace said games against Joseph-led offences can be some of the most punishing contests on the CFL schedule. He calls the 6-ft. 2-in., 210-lb. former NFL safety the offence's third running back.

"He's going to break tackles, he's not going to duck, he's not going to slide," said Grace, Joseph's teammate in Ottawa. "When you play him, you can't tackle him like a normal quarterback. You can't just grab hold of him and assume as soon as you touch him he's going to give up and go down."


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