Stamps feel the noise

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

Henry Burris made a nice completion to Ryan Thelwell yesterday and the crowd went wild.

At least, that's what it sounded like at McMahon Stadium. No one was actually in the stands, but the Calgary Stampeders offence practised with plenty of noisy distractions.

For the first time in 2007, the Stamps piped in canned crowd sounds in order to cause a distraction for Burris and the first-team offence.

Three days before the Monday's Labour Day Classic against the Edmonton Eskimos, the stadium had the feel of a big game.

"It was different for us," said Burris, who usually works in a quiet practice environment except for the annual Black Betty Day -- where that song is played over and over, usually during training camp.

"We learned a lot today. It wasn't the most crisp practice we've had because we had to deal with another factor.

"It was good to get it going because guys felt a little rushed to get moving. We have to continue to work on the things we haven't done well at.

"We haven't had too much heavy crowd noise games but we want to prepare for that when it does happen."

If all goes as expected, the crowd should be quiet when the Stamps have the ball Monday and loud when the Eskimos go on offence.

But looking down the road, they will play in some hostile environments, starting next Friday in Edmonton.

There were some slipups by the offence yesterday -- a couple of hesitations on the snap -- but Burris said it was a good first step.

"For us, that being our first time, we worked on silent count and making proper checks," Burris said. "We hadn't rehearsed it all year but, it was good."

BO AN ARGO

The Stampeders won't have to face former receiver Marc Boerigter this year, unless they get into the Grey Cup and face the Toronto Argonauts.

Boerigter is on his way to join the Argos and former Stamps offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto, after signing on with them yesterday.

CLARK FALLS ILL

Middle linebacker Brian Clark went home early from practice because of a sickness the team didn't want spreading around, so second-year Stampeder Rob Rodriguez took Clark's place in the defence.

Clark is expected back at practice today and should be ready for Monday. Rodriguez will dress as a backup, coming off the practice roster for the first time this season.

The only change in the starting defence will be nose tackle Keron Williams returning from his groin injury and Tearrius George moving outside to replace Anthony Gargiulo.


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