More than TDs up for grabs

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:12 AM ET

Usually, a receiver is judged by receptions, yardage and touchdowns.

To the Calgary Stampeders, that's for people outside the organization.

Receivers coach Pete Costanza has instead designed a points system that is a better judge of overall performance.

"Being a receiver and always coaching receivers, too much goes on to how many catches you have or yards you have or touchdowns," Costanza said. "So much of the work that goes unnoticed is blocks, whether they are downfield or in protection, which can affect a play.

"One of the things we preach every week is being physical and trying to out there and block. It's not hard to sell it to them with the mindset these guys have and how they approach the game."

So although Ken-Yon Rambo leads the Stamps in yardage and receptions, he is second in Costanza's points system.

Receivers get one point for reception or a block, minus-one for a drop or bust, and two points for each of the following: A TD; 15 or more yards after catch; and a cut block or pancake block.

Through the first three weeks, Nik Lewis had drilled an opponent each time with a great block, but against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, he was the beneficiary of Jeremaine Copeland putting Markeith Knowlton on the turf.

So although Copeland only had three receptions for 32 yards, he had a good game for points.

"A huge block is just as satisfying (as a catch)," Copeland said. "That's the biggest thing in this corps.

"To me personally, blowing somebody up is just as good as making a catch of about 30 or 40 yards. If you blow him up and spring your teammate for about 20 yards, that's great.

"We're not just looking for individual stats. We want to be all-around players."

Lewis has a reputation as a bit of a showboater, and you don't have to look further than his leap in the crowd Thursday after scoring a touchdown.

But having him as the points leader through three weeks despite not having a breakout in terms of catches or yards is proof he is more often unselfish.

Still, he is happy to put together a nine-catch, 125-yard, two-TD game.

"In this lifestyle, that's how they evaluate us," Lewis said. "They don't say you made some great blocks, so we'll keep you around. They want to see production.

"Sometimes it can be frustrating when you don't get the ball thrown your way, but we stick in there and do whatever we can. If someone else makes the catch, I'm going to do my best to help out."

Make no mistake, Rambo would like to win the points race. He has a tougher road being that he is an outside guy who isn't in traffic all the time.

"Nik is winning this right now. I have to catch up," Rambo said. "It doesn't matter really. If the blocks translate to touchdowns, you want to lead in that.

"But leading the team in receptions isn't bad either."

EXTRA POINTS

LB Matt Grootegoed, S Wes Lysack, SB Teyo Johnson and RB Demetris Summers did not practise yesterday. DL Juwan Simpson and DL Funtaine Hunter are back practising after Week 1 injuries.


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