Defence looks to tame Leo

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

Tony Tiller is all too familiar with Dave Dickenson's ability to carve up a secondary.

The Calgary Stampeders defensive back played with the Lions pivot last season in Vancouver and, during practice, experienced first-hand what Dickenson can do.

"He's tough to pick off," Tiller said. "My only advice to these guys on this team is even when you think you have him, he'll still get it by you. You can't be lackadaisical at all. He hits on all cylinders."

And he'll be looking for redemption tomorrow when the Lions visit McMahon Stadium (7 p.m.).

Dickenson threw a pressure-induced pick in the endzone last weekend to seal a 29-28 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

He has uncharacteristically given up four interceptions as the Lions have stumbled to a 2-3 record. He threw only five picks in the 2005 season, while putting up a 75% completion percentage.

Odds are the real Dickenson will show up sometime soon, so the Stamps are preparing for the worst, which is the QB's best.

When Dickenson is on his game there is always an opening for him to exploit.

If the defence drops into deep zone coverage, he'll charge down the field with short passes. Do a safety blitz and he'll hit the open man over the middle. Play tight to the receivers and he'll thread the needle.

"He's like that all the time," Tiller said.

"That's what makes him so good. He's the same way in practice as he is during games. We would have the first-team defence out there and you have to make sure you know exactly what you are doing to pick him off."

Stampeders secondary coach Tim Burke hopes to confuse Dickenson with some unfamiliar looks.

"This year, we've disguised our coverages more with the intent of not showing anything," Burke said.

"We want to make it hard on the quarterback to read us.

"We play every game like we're facing the best quarterback in the league and, this week, we are."


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