Burris is all business

ERIC FRANCIS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

In the midst of a post-game love-in that saw Henry Burris mauled at midfield by players on both teams, the Stamps quarterback was embraced by Winnipeg o-line coach Bob Wylie.

"How come you didn't play like that when we had you in Chicago," roared the former Bears coach of Henry's ill-fated NFL stop.

Truth is, the way Burris played yesterday he could be playing for the Bears -- not just because Rex Grossman and Brian Griese throw like girls, but because he's the type of leader franchises can rally around.

Witness yesterday's season-resurging 38-25 win over Winnipeg.

Given final clearance minutes before the game to return from a left shoulder dislocation that sidelined him and his club's playoff hopes for the last two weeks, Burris not only played, he played perhaps his best game as a Stamp.

Passing for 401 yards and falling one touchdown pass short of the team record of six, Burris gave a stumbling team renewed hope that, with him back at the helm, the Grey Cup is still a realistic goal.

"This was a chance to make a statement that this team isn't finished," said Burris, whose club lost both games without him.

"A lot of people wrote us off. We just wanted to show people you can't count people out. I stayed optimistic throughout the injury that I could come back and, in my mind, I was preparing to start all week. When they gave me that OK, I was bubbling. It was hard to sleep last night."

Now it will be hard for opposing defences to sleep.

"I'd hate to be the team that faces us in the first round ... or the second," said Bobby Singh, whose o-line made a concerted effort to ensure Burris' shoulder strength wasn't tested by an onslaught of salivating Bombers.

"I think (centre Rob) Lazeo got a holding call early on and said to me, 'I'm going to get a lot of those today because I don't want anyone touching Hank,'" added fellow o-lineman Jay McNeil.

"The offence felt pretty comfortable with Henry back."

Burris felt comfort, too, especially after his first lick of the game came seven plays in, courtesy of a rather violent Ike Charlton sack.

"He made a great play and once it was over I got up and said 'okay, I feel alright,' " said Burris, who had shown teammates how strong he was all week by doing pushups.

"It gave me confidence. I took some shots but that's the one that shocked me the most because I didn't see him coming. It didn't deter me and I was glad it happened in the first drive. Whatever the injury, every athlete looks forward to getting that first hit out of the way."

With his receivers chipping in to assist Burris with five touchdown drives of at least 58 yards, the Stamps managed to stave off several late charges by the Bombers. Ironically, it was the Stamps' improving defence and late running by Joffrey Reynolds that likely cost Burris a chance to set some club passing records.

As for running the ball, coach Tom Higgins said he made it clear he didn't want Burris running, a point Burris said was made moot by the Bombers defence.

"One thing was for sure though, I was going to slide -- no Superman dives for me," laughed Burris, who threw his career-high 31st TD toss.

Asked what his key was to such a quick recovery, Burris' post-game smile broadened.

"Say your prayers, eat your vitamins, work out and listen to what (team therapist) Patty (Clayton) says."

Oh, and refuse to lose the faith.


Videos

Photos