Point taken

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

No matter what the scoreboard says, the Calgary Stampeders defence isn't supposed to rest.

J.R. Ruffin found that out the hard way at the end of the 39-18 blowout win over the Toronto Argonauts last weekend at McMahon Stadium.

Backup quarterback Michael Bishop tossed a deep ball to receiver Arland Bruce and Ruffin pulled up while the ball was in the air.

Boy, did the defensive back hear it from defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan when he returned to the sidelines.

"I gave him a little talking to," Creehan said about what could best be described as an ear-splitting 'chat.'

"He understands now that he can't ever give up on a play."

Although the seven points meant nothing to the outcome, Creehan doesn't care about how much the offence scores.

Under Creehan, there are no excuses for giving up, especially when the team faces the same opponent tomorrow in Toronto (5 p.m., CBC).

Even when the Stampeders were a losing team in the first year under Creehan's system, the group strived for perfection with every outing which kept the team in many games.

Creehan doesn't care about yardage. Touchdowns allowed is the first stat to look at in gauging a defensive performance.

The failure to step on the throat of an opponent is probably the Stamps' only weakness in recent weeks.

Moments before Bruce beat Ruffin for a touchdown, he caught a pass behind halfback Jermaine Chatman, who caught a cleat in the turf and let the Argos receiver get separation.

Chatman avoided getting chewed out by Creehan but hasn't absolved himself of any of the blame.

"Even though we had the game in hand, if it comes down to completely shutting them down, then we have to do it," Chatman said.

"We're not happy with playing poorly in the last few minutes."

For 56 minutes against the Argos, Creehan's defence was outstanding.

The secondary's coverage was solid, not giving Argos pivot Damon Allen anybody to through the ball to, and they also managed to stuff the run game and hold Ricky Williams to less than 60 yards.

So Chatman is using the final minutes of that game as incentive for tomorrow, especially after hearing Bruce comment about finally getting his chance in the late stages.

"That's bull," Chatman said. "There's a different mindset at the end of the game when you're up by 30 points. You play the game different and you can take a few more chances.

"They wouldn't be running the same plays that they were running all game. I don't understand where they came up with this bogus notion that they weren't looking deep for three and a half quarters."

Creehan is tough but fair. He understands a defensive player will allow plays once in a while.

Yet, the challenge is out there this week as it is every time the Stamps take the field: Perfection is the goal, excellence will be tolerated.

"To play a perfect game is always on our minds but it's tough to do," said linebacker Scott Coe.

"We put the challenge to us no matter what the situation is.

"He's always been this way. We want to shut teams completely down."


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