Burris leads the err attack

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

Breaking the silence in a locker-room full of sniffles and shame, Scott Coe did his best to help a passing reporter.

"Just cut and paste last year's column," he spat.

Indeed, the Stamps' West semifinal splat of '05 was duplicated -- if not sensationalized -- by a team that did exactly what it promised not to do: Give the game away. Again.

Using a packed house and a perfect autumn day as a backdrop to his monumental meltdown, last year's goat became this year's sacrificial lamb in a second-half slaughter that will have a rebuilding franchise contemplating their quarterback's future.

"We handed it to them and I'm a big part of that,"said Henry Burris, struggling to remain audible and composed following a horrific outing.

"I don't turn the ball over and we come away with big points and it's a different game."

Instead, the Stamps' wildly inconsistent pivot turned a 21-5 lead into a 30-21 loss thanks to four interceptions, a fumble and a completion percentage that stalled most Calgary drives.

Admitting before the game this would be the type of day that defined him, Burris' numbers actually dwarfed last year's playoff ineptitude when he fumbled once and threw just two picks in a six-turnover collapse against Edmonton.

This year, they turned it over seven times.

"Pretty much just a repeat of last year. I can't have four turnovers," said Burris, somehow forgetting one of his miscues.

"To lose this game twice in a row and to lose to a team you handed their butts to early in the season and then basically hand them the game ... it sucks to be watching other teams play when you know you're better than them."

Make no mistake: Burris' former coach, Danny Barrett, pieced together an excellent game plan that had Saskatchewan overloading the line of scrimmage and pressuring Burris all day.

He knew what the rest of the world knew: Burris makes bad decisions when the heat is on.

Yesterday was no different and nobody in Stamps camp could point the finger anywhere other than the 31-year-old quarterbacking project who threw two picks off his back foot, which he knows is a no-no.

"I thought our quarterbacking was a key factor -- we didn't get what we needed production-wise from our quarterback," said Stamps head coach Tom Higgins.

"They put good pressure on us but you still have to get out of trouble and make quick decisions. I didn't see anybody give up on Henry, nor did he give up on himself other than he struggled."

Indeed, he did, and because of it, the $350,000 man who went 16-of-32 for 198 yards and no passing touchdowns knows plenty of changes need to be made to a roster ownership hoped would carry the club for three or four more years.

"That's the sad part about it because you know there are a lot of good guys in this locker- room who won't be here next year," said Burris, who now has to start facing the remote possibility he is one of them.

"We're a team with a lot of talent that didn't get past the first round. Until we actually show on a consistent basis... until I show it..."

The big question now is whether he'll be given time to show it in Calgary.


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