Stamps getting a leg up?

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

Craig Dickenson's kicking crew grew by one a few weeks ago, and it seems the magic number will stay at three.

Although it's unusual for a CFL teams to carry two punters (especially in the salary-cap era), the Calgary Stampeders plan on having a starter and a backup for the rest of this season.

For now, the organization has decided Duncan O'Mahony will continue as the starting punter, with three-year Stampeder Burke Dales as his backup.

Of course, Sandro DeAngelis is the starting and only placekicker.

"If we could have five punters, I would love it," Dickenson said. "The more the merrier for me. They are guys I enjoy working with and guys I enjoy coaching.

"If we could have five punters and six kickers, I would be the happiest guy around."

The dual punters have raised some eyebrows at Stampeders practice. While O'Mahony punts in special-teams drills, Dales is off to the side working on his technique, and Dickenson often works with both.

Although Dales isn't happy on the sidelines for games, he comes to work every day hoping to get another chance.

"I feel I'm one of the best punters in this league, so to be sitting on the bench, to me it doesn't make much sense," Dales said. "It's out of my control. If you look at my numbers, it doesn't make sense. My directional punting has greatly improved, especially from last year.

"I'm just looking to progress from here. At this point, this may hinder my progression, sitting out a few games. All I can do is come to practice every day with a smile on my face and keep working hard."

Dickenson is pleased with the job O'Mahony has done in the two games since he returned to the club. Against the Eskimos, O'Mahony punted five times and had a 45.8-yard average, but his net yardage was around 40.

Dales originally won the punting job out of training camp, and O'Mahony was released before Week 2. The Stamps brought O'Mahony back before Week 8, and he won the starting job with his performance against B.C.

Usually when a kicker is replaced, he isn't still in the locker-room, but O'Mahony isn't concerned about having Dales around waiting for another shot.

"It's something I can't really put any energy into because I don't really know what goes on, nor do I care what goes on," O'Mahony said. "All I know is I'm the starting punter, and I'm not worried about losing my job.

"Burke is a good guy, and all three of us (DeAngelis included) get along.

"When I was in B.C., I talked with them and chatted quite a bit. There's no animosity between us. We don't know what's going on above our heads."

Stamps head coach Tom Higgins said the team has room under the salary cap to continue keeping a backup punter on injured reserve.

Rarely does a punter get injured, although Toronto Argonauts kicker Noel Prefontaine was knocked out of action on a block this season.

"It's not been done before, that's why people may say it's weird," Dickenson said. "Maybe we're ahead of the curve. Maybe we're smart, not to say other teams aren't.

"Our team philosophy with the punter is it's as important as any other position."


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