Lookin' at the offence

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

When assessing the 2007 Calgary Stampeders from a statistical standpoint, one question stands out: Why didn't they win more games?

Last year's version of the Stamps were first in the CFL in nine of the 15 categories pertaining strictly to the 12-man unit, but went 7-10-1.

The problem was the team was also last in the three worst categories: Fumbles, interceptions and yards penalized.

The Stamps probably could have overcome all that had quarterback Henry Burris not been out for four starts.

The good news is 10 of the 12 starters from last season have returned for 2008, and new head coach John Hufnagel will try to bring a more disciplined attitude to practice, which should eliminate the mistakes that cost the Stamps last year.

Burris is back healthy and pumped up to improve on his best statistical season, while Dave Dickenson was signed to play the key backup role.

Hufnagel just wants his pivots to focus on their jobs, and he will do the rest.

"It's my job to get the rest of the players around them to help them win. I don't want our quarterbacks to feel they have to win the game themselves," Hufnagel said.

"That's not how you play the position. If you just do your job, everyone else does their job, then we'll get it done at the end."

Only left tackle (Garrick Jones, free agency) and left guard (Jay McNeil, retired) don't have veterans returning to compete for their job.

This should bode well for the Stamps and their new coach, who didn't sit on his laurels.

Several new faces have arrived for training camp to push the returnees, and Hufnagel is clear everyone has to earn their roster spot.

He's pleased with the job done the in off-season to add competition for camp.

"What we said is we wanted to add speed to the offence, and I would like to add another return man to the roster," Hufnagel said.

"Whether those guys we brought in will win jobs, we have to find out."


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