Stamp catching on

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

The late touchdown strike in Toronto wasn't just a moral victory for the Calgary Stampeders offence.

The catch by Jeremaine Copeland on a perfectly thrown ball by Henry Burris at the end of an ugly game seemed to signal a change in terms of personnel philosophy.

No longer will Copeland be left off the field for the majority of offensive formations because the veteran is still arguably the best receiver on this team.

He displayed that ability by timing the flight of the ball and keeping his feet in bounds for a meaningless TD, but one that ended a six-quarter offensive drought.

Although Stamps brass won't talk about schemes ahead of the rematch with the Argonauts Saturday, Copeland has worked his way into most offensive sets in practice, and is happy about having an expanded role.

"My touchdown was because it was the only play I had, so I had to get it," said the 30-year-old, who was a question mark to make the team before training camp.

"I tried to make the best of it. The whole time I've been playing, it's a matter of making something happen."

The Stamps offence committed several errors in the two-game road trip -- penalties, dropped passes, fumbles and interceptions -- but Copeland said the team is working on correcting those while also adding new plays.

"We have a new deal going now," Copeland said. "We won't be rotating as much as before.

"The coaches are trying to find who will go out there in man routes and take advantage of what we're given. The coach has a great offence going in this week.

"It's going to be new and a lot more open playbook. People are going to be lucky to see it because it will be special."

With Copeland getting more reps, the odd-man out seems to be Nik Lewis.

Most of the routes Lewis ran yesterday were on scout team when he impersonated Tony Miles so the defence could run through its plays.

Lewis was hard on himself after the loss in Saskatchewan, and caught only two passes for 20 yards against Toronto.

"It's hard to deal with not being in the game and not being able to play," Lewis said. "Still, I know when I'm off the field there are good players out there who can get the job done. I just hope they do the job and wait for my turn.

"I like being Tony Miles in practice because he's a great player, but at the same time, he gets the ball a whole lot more than I did today in practice."

Stamps coach Tom Higgins didn't want to comment on strategy or offensive formations, specifically about Lewis being left off first-team reps.

"You can read into anything that you want," Higgins said. "Right now, we're trying to find what is the best combination for us to line up and play the Toronto Argonauts."

EXTRA POINTS

The Stamps helped another opponent nearly sweep the weekly CFL awards. Toronto S Orlondo Steinauer was an easy pick for defensive player for his three interceptions, LB Michael Fletcher won special teams for his blocked punt and Kevin Eiben is the top Canadian ... The CFL announced 'Riders DL Fred Perry won't be fined or suspended for his hit that injured Lions QB Dave Dickenson.


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