Just call 'em superunknown

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 7:18 AM ET

With two pre-season games in the books, there is still little known about what the Calgary Stampeders will be in 2008, although there are tons of positives.

New head coach John Hufnagel played his cards close to his chest during Thursday's 38-35 loss to the B.C. Lions in Vancouver and didn't open up the playbook on either side of the ball.

In the first outing a week earlier, the Stamps rolled over a bunch of Edmonton Eskimos prospects, so finding some trends heading into today's final roster cutdown is tough.

Hufnagel didn't announce any official releases yesterday, which just proves there were some decisions to make and he was taking his time.

Veterans on both sides of the ball can sleep easy tonight, but there are some spots that could be mulled over.

While neither Henry Burris or Dave Dickenson was outstanding in their action, they are set in their places with a good group of receivers.

The fight for the third quarterback spot is difficult to call. Ben Sankey came in during the third quarter and led the team to 10 points on his first two possessions.

Included in that was a 50-yard bomb to speedy newcomer Eddie Montgomery. Sankey went 8-of-10 passing for 123 yards and proved once again he can make things happen if needed.

When Barrick Nealy took the controls with six minutes left, it seemed Sankey had taken a firm grip on the job.

But the lanky pivot again showed the skills that moved the Minnesota Vikings to try and convert him to a receiver a few years ago.

Nealy scored on a one-yard run during a drive in which he also had scrambles of 10, 18, 15 and 13 yards.

In his second chance, Nealy started throwing, hooking up with Chris Jackson and Reggie Williams to complete a touchdown drive that made the score close.

It's unlikely Hufnagel would be able to keep four quarterbacks on the roster, and it would seem Nealy is more suited for the No. 3 role due to the fact he is seven years younger than Sankey.

Jackson did the most with his chances as a returner when he broke off a 37-yard punt return.

The battle between Demetris Summers and Ken Simonton for the import backup role to running back Joffrey Reynolds seemed to be swaying in Summers' direction early Thursday night.

The Stamps didn't run the ball much, but Summers managed to break off a 25-yarder. Simonton played a lot late and ended up tied with Jackson for most catches (five), which included a 30-yard catch and run.

The decision could be easy because Summers limped off the field in the second half and Simonton knows the system after spending last season on the practice roster.

The Stamps defence played a fairly vanilla package against the Lions, likely wary of giving away blitz tendencies to the team they will face in the regular-season opener.

Because linebackers Saleem Rasheed and JoJuan Armour were held out due to minor ailments, Trey Young got plenty of playing time, made six tackles and showed he will be just as effective at that position as he was at safety.

Canadian Mike Labinjo played a strong game at defensive end.

On one play, he perfectly timed a zone read and was able to stuff Joe Smith.

Veteran end Terrence Patrick moved inside with Labinjo playing end, but the longest-serving import lineman recorded two tackles for losses and seems quite comfortable there.

Linebacker Matt Grootegoed also had a decent game as he recorded three tackles, which should make the defensive cuts much more interesting than anything that has happened during training camp.


Videos

Photos