Wes is more in Calgary

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

Seeing as how Steve Buratto will face an old friend this week, it seems pointless to try and pull another joker from his deck of cards.

It's a good thing too, seeing as how the Calgary Stampeders' current secret weapon (backup running back Wes Cates) is no longer a wild card and is much more of a feature player.

So if Toronto Argonauts defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler, who was with Buratto in B.C. (2000), needs to research Cates or any other member of the Stamps offence, he just needs to look at game tape.

Although starter Joffrey Reynolds ran wild in a 43-9 victory over Winnipeg, Cates saw plenty of quality touches before the game turned into a blowout.

With both players in the backfield in formations where either could get the ball, the Bombers defence was on its toes. That's all part of Buratto's strategy.

"I don't know if we have a secret weapon," Buratto said. "The weapon is we have a lot of little things we can do to keep them off balance.

"We execute those things pretty well. When they're off balance, then we have the chance to move the ball.

"I've coached with Rich and against him, so he knows what I'll try to do."

Cates had runs of three and four yards in the first half against Winnipeg before busting out for a 25-yard scamper to set up the game's first touchdown.

With Reynolds chewing up yardage and the clock, Cates complements the league's leading rusher nicely.

The 26-year-old is just happy to be given a chance to display his speed on an offence deep in talent.

"I've never been on any team that is anywhere close to having this many athletes," Cates said.

"We all want our touches. When we get them, we make the most of them.

"When the guys get the ball, they are breaking tackles and making great runs. As long as we keep it up and everybody stays hungry for the ball, which we all are, we can expect big things."

In the past month, Buratto's group has put it all together when it finds the right rhythm early. The veteran coach changes personnel and formations multiple times on each drive and has shown a flair for creativity.

The backfield is always in motion with crossing receivers and backs, although Cates said the Stamps might play it straight this week against the Argos.

"I don't think we need any tricks," Cates said. "We match up well against them. The only thing we need is to run the plays we have successfully."

GASS FIRED UP: The CFL dropped an undisclosed fine on Eskimos LB A.J. Gass for kicking at Tiger-Cats receiver Brock Ralph in a loss Saturday at Hamilton but that won't stop the veteran from playing with vigour in the rematch.

"If he dares cross the middle come Friday night, I'll be waiting," Gass said.

Gass was upset at seeing Ralph go low on rookie defensive lineman Adam Braidwood because the block was reminiscent of Stampeders slotback Nik Lewis' hit on Kelly Wiltshire, which injured the Eskimos safety earlier this month.

EXTRA POINTS: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers feel they have found some help at receiver after signing NFL cut Derick Armstrong. The 6-ft. 2-in., 216-pounder played 35 games with Houston from 2003-05 following two productive seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Armstrong played with Bombers QB Kevin Glenn in Saskatchewan ... Ricky may not be the only Williams back in the Argos lineup this week. Tackle Bernard Williams, who was charged with sexual assault three weeks ago, returned to practice yesterday.


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