Clark needed to call shots

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders defence has been hamstrung because of Brian Clark's hamstring.

The third-year linebacker was sidelined with the wonky limb part way through a loss three weeks ago in Hamilton, triggering a trio of defeats.

The three-game skid has also set off a head-scratching epidemic around McMahon Stadium, with everyone searching for an answer to the team's dilemma.

The remedy might arrive in Clark's return Saturday night against the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders (5 p.m., TSN, subject to local blackout).

While Cornelius Anthony, Clark's replacement, played well in his place, the unit missed the veteran's role as the decision-maker in the 3-4 scheme.

Defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan said Clark's return adds a new dimension to the unit.

"It makes it a little more of a guessing game as Clark has the option to change about one-third of the called plays at the line of scrimmage," said Creehan.

"He's certainly the glue back there and he runs the show. We can do a lot of things with him because he'll have you in the right coverages or right fronts.

"He calls checks and we do a lot of checking at the line."

While Clark said his return against the Roughies isn't certain, he has been practising with the first unit and expects to return to the lineup for the crucial game.

"I try to be the leader out there as far as the brains of the unit ... I like to think I've come up with the big play when we needed it," said Clark, seventh on the team with 19 tackles despite missing the last two contests.

"My stats aren't overwhelming but I think I make enough big plays to keep me out on the field.

"Our problem right now is we can't get off the field when we need to.

"Teams are racking up yards on us. We need to get off the field, get our offence back out there and let them work out their kinks."


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