Clean slate at camp

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

CFL experience is an advantage at Calgary Stampeders training camp but Shannon James and Rob Rodriguez would just as soon forget about last year.

Both James and Rodriguez were brought in late in the campaign and worked themselves in position to play.

First James went down with an ankle sprain during the final regular-season game when a lineman rolled over on him.

In the playoff date with Saskatchewan, Rodriguez separated his shoulder in the first half when a teammate landed on his back during a tackle.

"I was frustrated," said James, who defensive coaches loved for the speed he brought at outside linebacker.

"What can you do about it? You can avoid certain injuries by working out and staying strong. Other injuries are unavoidable and you can't do anything about them.

"That was the first game I missed because of injury. Any real competitor doesn't want to sit on the bench. I wanted to be out there helping the team win."

While James could have played a week later if the Stamps would have beaten the Roughriders, Rodriguez took until February to get back to 100%.

Now both are rehabbed and ready to fight for starting jobs.

EXTRA POINTS

Stamps WR Marc Boerigter made the most impressive catch of Day 1 after getting open for a long bomb from QB Henry Burris. The grab drew an ovation from the 500 or so fans at the first practice ... GM Jim Barker is once again being called 'coach' at this year's camp. Barker, the former head man of the Stamps, is helping out as guest coach and assisting offensive line coach Kris Sweet ... Eskimos backup QB Jason Johnson retired after a three-year CFL career in which he appeared in 54 regular-season games ... Stamps OT Garrick Jones left the late practice with a forearm injury which is not thought to be serious. LB Justin Phillips tweaked a hamstring and will miss a couple of days.


Videos

Photos