Cortez can't offer edge

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

Although George Cortez wore Green and White just last year, it doesn't give him the advantage in his job this week for the Red and White.

Nor does spending last season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as offensive line coach give Cortez any wisdom as to what went wrong offensively in Calgary's playoff a year ago.

"I don't know if I ever watched the Calgary offence in that game," said the Stampeders offensive co-ordinator. "It doesn't have any bearing for me. The formations we use or the formations they were using at that time of year, whether there's any relevance to it or not, we don't care one way or the other."

The last time Calgary and Saskatchewan faced each other in a meaningful game, the Roughriders eliminated the Stamps from the 2006 playoffs.

But Cortez said both teams can throw out the film from that game and from the pre-season meeting between the two teams in which neither club did much on offence that could be considered creative.

Basically, this is a fresh start for all four co-ordinators, even though each side has one game of tape to research.

Even though Cortez is familiar with Roughriders defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall as a former co-worker, he doesn't believe there is any advantage on either side.

"I probably know some things in theory they like to do, it's a matter of when they do it," Cortez said.

"By the same token, I got to be pretty good friends with those guys on the defensive staff. When we talk about ball, they got a good sense of what I like to do as well. It goes both ways."

Stamps quarterback Henry Burris is also familiar with Hall's defence from his time in Regina and his most recent outings against it didn't all go well.

Every time Burris goes back to Regina, it becomes a big event because he left as a free agent back in 2005, but he's treating this as Game 2 of 2007 instead of Game 7 of the renewed rivalry.

"(The booing) doesn't even bother me anymore. I hear it and I feel they are pretty much thanking me for what I did there and that I'm missed," Burris said, adding he's not treating this game as redemption for the playoff loss. "What happened last year is last year. This is a totally different team out here. We were too inconsistent and that's why we lost. We're working on that consistency."

Roughriders linebacker Reggie Hunt tried getting into a war of words this week by complaining about Stamps receivers Jeremaine Copeland and Nik Lewis, who refused to fire back.

Burris is talking but he's taking it to the other extreme when talking about the Roughriders defence.

"Their front seven is one of the best in the league," Burris said.

"Those guys fly around, led by Reggie. The front four makes plays with Scott Schultz and Fred Perry the top ones.

"Perry is a sackmaster. We have to win the line of scrimmage and go from there."

That's where the chess match between Cortez and Hall will come into play but Cortez downplays the importance of scheming at this point in the season.

"It would be more of a chess match if this wasn't the second game," Cortez said.

"It's only after the season goes on that you start to get a feel for exactly what people are doing. It's the same thing as the offence.

"For them to look at the one game we played against Hamilton, we used formations that we didn't use in the pre-season. We didn't line up in any set formation much.

"If there is any tendency, it's only because of the score of the game."


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