Back on the horse

ERIC FRANCIS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:03 AM ET

Given three days off to reflect on the Stamps' back-to-back humiliations, Nik Lewis insists he didn't lose any sleep, nor did he go home and kick the dog.

Instead, he went to the Stampede to watch a bunch of 'em.

"I went to the Super Dogs," shrugged Lewis.

"My girl likes the dogs."

Brian Clark said the losses lingered for a day or two, kinda like the hangover that likely plagued Scott Coe following a Friday night tour of Stampede venues.

Jay McNeil distanced himself so far from the team he found himself at a family cottage in Port Huron, Ont.

"At first I felt bad I wasn't back home with the guys taking the heat, but then I thought ... the only thing you can do is face the music, keep your head up and be thankful we have another game this week to make up for it," said the veteran o-lineman.

"It's embarrassing, it's very humbling but also a reminder nothing is going to come easy. It's not time to panic yet. We're going into Game 4. That being said we need a good showing."

The Stamps had a different way of tackling the shame of losses that included a span of being outscored 82-0.

And when they returned to McMahon Stadium yesterday, it was clear some licked their wounds better than others.

No one seemed more upset about the stunning setbacks to the franchise than the man who heads it up, coach Tom Higgins.

"Surprised might not be the best word to describe it," said Higgins when asked if he was caught off-guard by the pair of disgraceful road showings within four days of one another.

"Upset, embarrassed disgruntled ... almost physically sick ... we were our own worst enemies.

"We had three procedure penalties and five dropped passes in the first half against Saskatchewan that put us in a hole we never recovered from. "You can play mental gymnastics all you want, but we've got to play better football and secure the ball."

Although turnovers were undoubtedly the key to Calgary's demise, the debate is on over which unit is more inept these days -- the young, retooled defence or the previously vaunted offence.

Higgins answered that question in part yesterday by announcing the club released defensive backs Jermaine Chatman and Brandon Haw.

He replaced them with Dwaine Carpenter and Lamont Brightful as well as highly-touted former NFLer Mike Labinjo -- a Canadian linebacker/rush end.

"After the two games we just had, I think everybody's job is in jeopardy, so that's not much of a surprise," said Coe of the message the moves send.

While Labinjo, a former Philadelphia Eagle, may see special teams time, the Stamps will go at it Saturday against the Argos much the same way they did last week in Toronto and Regina.

"I think the guys are still stinging, but in some ways three days off is a great thing because we needed to get away," said receiver Marc Boerigter.

"We're 1-2 right now, but if we lost those games by field goals, we'd still be 1-2. It looks bad because of what we did, but if you turn the ball over 10 times you're not going to win. I'm over it."

So is Henry Burris.

"You never lose sleep over stuff like that," he said. "It could happen to anybody. If we were out there and had a great game and lost like that we'd be in trouble. We're better than that."

Now might be a good time to prove it.


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