Questions unanswered

RANDY SPORTAK

, Last Updated: 7:51 AM ET

Henry Burris completed passes at will.

Dave Dickenson did the same at the quarterback controls for the Stampeders.

It didn't end there for Calgary in last night's CFL pre-season tilt against the Edmonton Eskimos.

Joffrey Reynolds first ran roughshod over the Eskimos defence. Fellow running backs Ken Simonton, Demetrius Summers and Jon Cornish did, too.

The offensive line dominated. The defensive unit was great.

Sounds ducky at McMahon, eh?

The only problem is the Stampeders really didn't answer many questions in their one-sided thumping of their biggest rivals.

This is not to diminish Calgary's 39-14 win.

It's just that when you control every facet of the game, it can't be easy for the coaching staff to get a good read on just what they have and who has won the training camp battles with one more pre-season clash to go.

For starters, any praise you throw toward the Stampeders has to be tempered by the fact Edmonton hardly fielded its best defence.

Three starting defensive linemen (Adam Braidwood, Fred Perry and Dario Romero) and two linebackers (Shannon Garrett and Siddeeq Shabazz) didn't make the trip south.

The Eskies also didn't bring starting QB Ricky Ray, and their best two receivers in Jason Tucker and Kamau Peterson, but did have it's starting o-line intact.

But the dominance was a sight to behold.

Calgary's offensive line, the biggest question mark regarding this team, controlled the trenches, especially on the right side.

Rookie guard Dimitri Tsoumpas showed why it was the right move for the Stampeders to make that trade with Edmonton for the second overall draft pick they used to nab him. Tsoumpas meshed very well with tackle Jeff Pilon and centre Rob Lazeo and blasted the kind of holes a convoy of semis could drive through.

Yes, it was against the Eskimos' second-string defensive line, but was a very impressive sight nonetheless.

The running game took full advantage.

Reynolds carried four times for 53 yards before the coaching staff decided the steady all-star had done enough.

From the department of nice-problem-to-have, it didn't matter who was taking the handoffs.

Summers and Simonton -- in what's shaping up to be one of the best camp battles for the backup tailback position -- continued to shred the Eskimos until the game was well in hand.

And then, to prove just how well Calgary's offensive linemen performed, Canadian kid Cornish put on a display as the Stamps came close to rushing for 300 yards.

The passing game was just as good. Whether it was starters on starters or the second and third stringers in the fray, the result was the same.

The passes were on the money, the receivers were sure-handed and the Eskimos DBs either were beat on the coverage or missed too many tackles.

Calgary's defensive players were in control, too.

The only negative would be the search for another kick returner -- if the club is indeed looking to replace Markus Howell -- must continue.

The speed demons brought in to add that element didn't quite do the job, too often running east or west instead of north and south.


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