Lineman looking to stay in town awhile

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

Derek Armstrong had a busy week but he only hopes it continues when the Calgary Stampeders arrive today in Regina.

Things started off stressful Monday, as Armstrong survived the first cuts to his Calgary Stampeders offensive line hopefuls.

On Tuesday, the sophomore guard celebrated his 26th birthday with the inevitable goalpost-tying treatment from teammates.

The following day, Armstrong got into a practice scuffle with defensive lineman Patrick MacDonald.

Now he can finally take his energy out on some opposition tonight as the Stampeders take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the final pre-season tuneup (7 p.m., QR77 Radio).

"It's been a great camp so far and hopefully I can keep improving," said Armstrong, who is feeling more confident in his second CFL camp.

"The first camp, you don't know what to expect and what the coaches expect of you. This camp, I understand more of what's going on. It's better mentally but still physically draining.

"I know how to prepare better. I got some wisdom from Jay McNeil on how to train better."

For young lineman such as Armstrong and Riley Clayton, McNeil is a mentor and positive example. He spent time on the practice roster early in his career and doesn't mind offering advice to the kids.

Armstrong followed McNeil into the gym this off-season to further his own ability but you have wake up pretty early to beat the veteran to the weight machine.

"I would get there at 5:15 (a.m.) and he would already be started," Armstrong said.

EXTRA POINTS

The Stamps must declare their 46-man active roster tomorrow, leaving little chance to dissect the game performance before decisions must be made.


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