Offence catches heat for dropped balls

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders defence will have linebacker JoJuan Armour back in the fold.

But it's the other side of the ball that needs to be addressed before Thursday's return tilt in Regina.

Quarterback Henry Burris threw for over 300 yards Saturday but watched drive after drive fizzle due to at least a half-dozen drops by his usually sure-handed receivers.

And while head coach John Hufnagel admitted he considered pulling Burris for Dave Dickenson at the end of the third quarter, Canadian receiver Brett Ralph defended his pivot.

"I'm the first to be mad at myself for the few dropped balls I had there," Ralph said. "They were good throws that should have been caught.

"Unfortunately, I didn't execute my end of the play, so you hope he's not getting blamed for those types of things," Ralph continued. "As a receiving corps, and as an offence, you stand by your quarterback through thick and thin."

Jeremaine Copeland also fought a case of the dropsies during Saturday's 22-21 loss to the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders.

"I think it was just one of those nights," Copeland said. "It was a lack of concentration, not focusing, not watching the ball all the way in.

"That's one thing we take pride in, catching the ball. We have to go out and execute, be the playmakers we expect ourselves to be."

Burris, who completed 22-of-40 passes, said the offence had its opportunities but shot itself in the foot too often.

"We'd have a drop, I had the interception, we'd have a penalty ... It was one thing after another that stopped drives for us," Burris said. "We moved the ball well all day, but then we'd have a penalty or something would happen where it would stop the drive and we'd have to bring Sandro (DeAngelis) in instead of getting seven (points).

"It's always good to put points on the board, but if we turn some of those threes into seven points, it would be a different outcome."

Burris said there's plenty of blame to go around, and everyone was willing to share it.

"We basically said it was sloppy. We're used to going out there and putting on a show, and we didn't do that. We understand this was definitely our worst performance all year. We're pretty upset with how we played.

"Hopefully it's a learning experience."


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