Coach Hufnagel ain't singing club's praises just yet

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 7:45 AM ET

During a dress rehearsal for an actual game, two Calgary Stampeders coaches instead did their best impression of Singing in the Rain.

With a heavy shower falling yesterday at McMahon Stadium for the annual mock game, defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones and receivers coach Pete Costanza performed the national anthem.

After a sloppy session, the anthem was one of few things that didn't need a bit more polish for the Stamps, and the song drew a thumbs- up from quarterback Henry Burris.

"They sounded pretty good, and I have to give them kudos," said a soaked Burris. "I thought they were the Doobie Brothers for a second. All I can say is it was manageable. They just shouldn't quit their day jobs."

Stamps head coach John Hufnagel put his prospects through several challenging situations, made even more difficult because of the rain.

The offence went through a two-minute drill, were put deep in their own end with the goal of getting some first downs and then forced into overtime.

Hufnagel didn't give out a passing grade, mostly because the offence still had a few flags thrown by the officials.

"There was some good things to come out of the practice and we got some work in," Hufnagel said. "I just wish there was more offence.

"It was a combination of a test of skill and a chance to prove they understand the game, are mentally focused and not making bad decisions.

"We can see how far we are with discipline needed to cut down on penalties. We didn't pass that test with flying colours today."

Burris was the smoothest of the quarterbacks, hitting Jeremaine Copeland and Nik Lewis on touchdown passes, but the elements reminded him of a pre-season monsoon against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2005.

The weather made it difficult to get a good read on how the day went, and the veterans seemed to stand out more.

"It's all about dealing with elements, figuring out who can stay focused and deal with the craziness around you," Burris said. "With the weather, it can be a huge obstacle. It was a good test to see who could overcome that and get the job done."


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