Howell to play grime fighter

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

The Saskatchewan Roughriders aren't dirty, but Calgary Stampeders return specialist Markus Howell says they're "grimy.

"They are aggressive," said Howell of the stingy special teamers wearing green. "I call them grimy. They are always to the ball, always hitting to the echo of the whistle. They wrap up and don't let big plays happen.

"They play football the way it's supposed to be played. I've had success against them in the past, so hopefully it continues."

Howell hasn't had much success so far this season, averaging just seven yards per return on punts and boasting a 33-yard best on three kickoff returns so far this season. Things definitely won't get any easier tomorrow at McMahon Stadium.

"Special teams is helping them in certain situations," said Howell of the 5-0 Riders. "They caused the fumble on (Montreal Alouettes returner Jason) Armstead around (his own) 20-yard line, and that helps their offence out. If they get a good stop on punt coverage, that helps their defence out. They keep playing well off that."

SIMPSON STEPS BACK ONTO LINE

Juwan Simpson's first impression with the Stampeders was strong but short.

The defensive lineman hopes he can pick up where he left off after injuring his ankle in the season-opening win against the B.C. Lions.

"I had a sack and a pressure," said Simpson of his debut. "Then a couple special teams tackles.

"Playing defence, a sack or interception is gold, so when I got it, I was super excited and thought I was having a great game. Then I got injured and was bummed out about it.

"Right now, I have to look forward to this weekend and keep it going."

The rookie CFLer out of the University of Alabama has loads of potential off the line, and tomorrow's battle against the Riders likely will be won or lost in the trenches.

-- with files from Ian Busby


Videos

Photos