Down to business

RANDY SPORTAK, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 7:00 AM ET

No more of those unsettling sleeps for Nik Lewis, Ken-Yon Rambo and Jeremaine Copeland.

No more of those nagging questions in minds of the Stampeders receivers.

No more of those fears of an axe falling on them.

With the decision to release Marc Boerigter on the weekend, the Stampeders receiving corps no longer requires one import player to sit out -- as was the case the last two games for Boerigter.

"It's not a happy or a sad thing, it's the business part of it," said Rambo after yesterday's practice, the first session after a week off. "They just released Bo but that just narrowed it down ... and that's a lot better for us on the field.

"It's a biz, something the coaches wanted to do, so we gotta do it. You can't be saying, 'No, we don't want to do it.' They sorted it out, made the decisions they had to make."

Calgary's receiving corps heading into the two-game set with the Edmonton Eskimos starting on Labour Day also includes non-imports Brett Ralph, Ryan Thelwell and Markus Howell.

It was a difficult balance for head coach Tom Higgins. Dressing all his highly rated import receivers was a tall order. Spreading around the offence enough to include them all, as well as running back Joffrey Reynolds, was nearly impossible.

Every week, he had to sit one out and nobody was happy about the strain it caused or decision when it came their turn.

To their credit, none of the players complained publicly.

In fact, after being sat they seemed to put in a superlative performance.

"It was big for me because I'd never sat out a game before," Lewis said.

"I figured sacrifice for the team and that's what I did. I'm just looking forward to the future and not the past, this group we've got great receivers and we're gonna go out and produce."

He rebounded by reaching the 100-yard milestone in three of the last four games.

Now, they don't have worry about being the odd man out. Or do they?

"Sports is a business where you can always be replaced," Lewis said. "Boerigter's gone but somebody else could be in here tomorrow. You never know who they might bring in.

"We still have to perform because our jobs are daily. You got it today, but you never know if you've got it tomorrow."

That won't be the case if the crew of imports continue to produce like recent outings. Last game, the wild 45-45 tie with the B.C. Lions, Lewis had eight catches for 120 yards and one touchdown, while Rambo had five receptions for 67 yards and Copeland had five catches for 63 yards and one major.

Quarterback Henry Burris wasn't a big fan of the rotation, and even though he was disappointed a player lost his job, he was happy to see a decision made to pick a receiving corps and stick with it.

"You always work on match ups, especially in the passing game in the CFL," Burris said. "When you get to man-on-man (coverage) you know certain guys are better running certain routes than others, and there are certain guys you'll do things you won't do with others."

"That comes with spending time, which builds consistency, which builds relationships and trust. I trusted Bo and everything but when Rambo came in and played, he was having good games. Rambo's a guy I played with in the past and you could tell we were on the same page in a lot of situations."

EXTRA POINTS

With OL Jay McNeil ready to return from a calf injury, Calgary released OL Tyler Lynem ... Higgins said Duncan O'Mahony will be the team's punter next game, but Burke Dales remains with the team. "Right now, we still look like we're gonna carry two, for another week, at least, but Duncan O'Mahony will be our punter. Burke Dales would like to know what he can do, he can keep coming to practice, keep working hard, and allow us the opportunity to make a decision based on another football game," Higgins said.


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