Burris becomes forgotten man

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:39 PM ET

REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders have forgotten all about Henry Burris.

Really, they have, even if the early season inconsistencies of new 'Riders pivot Kerry Joseph reminds them of the man who packed his bags for Calgary in 2005.

The pre-game talk before both meetings last season all surrounded Burris facing his old team and simmering bad blood between the quarterback, Roughriders management and the team's passionate fans.

Although it existed a year ago, all anyone wants to talk about now is the future.

"All that hype of last year was last year," Roughriders head coach Danny Barrett insisted yesterday on the eve of tonight's Stampeders game at Mosaic Stadium.

"(The Stamps) took two away from us last year, one of two teams to sweep us last season, but that was last year. We are a totally different team this year.

"There's been a lot of talk all week, just reading the papers from afar, different things have come up (concerning Burris) and my comment on that is this is a new year, that stuff is behind us. We don't need the hype to get the game up, let's just play football."

The Roughriders landed Joseph from Ottawa in the off-season dispersal draft, a player Saskatchewan GM Roy Shivers wanted to trade Burris to acquire in '03.

The 'Riders jumped at the chance to select Joseph when the Renegades folded, trading running back Corey Holmes to Hamilton to acquire his rights. While Burris' departure from Regina as a free agent prior to 2005 was seen as a purely financial decision, Burris argues the trade talks and lack of an offer from Saskatchewan forced his hand.

The 'Riders now have in Joseph a QB making the type of money Burris said he would have accepted before going to free agency in '05.

"It shows what the truth was -- it wasn't about money," Burris said yesterday at Mosaic Stadium, insisting he's still trying to set the story straight. "It was funny that everybody said that but I just kept my mouth shut because the bottom line is, what happens is going to happen, I don't control that. I don't write contracts.

"(Calgary) said, 'We want you, so let's go.' That's why I'm in Calgary and, hey, I'm loving every minute of it.

"Kerry was a great pickup for them because Shiv voiced that he wanted Kerry.

"Kerry fits the offensive scheme here very well. He's also a great person on and off the field ... when he steps on the field he creates results."

Inside the Roughriders locker-room, the prevailing sentiment suggests Burris' former teammates have forgotten about their old QB.

"I didn't care as soon as he left," said defensive lineman Nate Davis.

"He made a decision that was best for him and his family.

"We have to remember that this is a business and it's how we take care of our families. It's funny how people, the fans here, get so riled up about all of it. The guy's got to take care of his family."


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