Red & White is all business

TODD SAELHOF, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

The placekicker was busy kicking the butts of those taking practice less seriously than him yesterday.

Sandro DeAngelis demanded more focus from his Stampeders teammates while helping with a pass-and-catch drill on the eve of the CFL West final. He doesn't want prep week for the first playoff game to be his last of the season, as has been the case the last three Novembers.

"We were just messing around a little bit too much in practice (yesterday), so I felt I had to get on some guys because this is a big game," DeAngelis said.

"I've seen the other end of the spectrum -- losing playoff games -- so I obviously know what it takes to lose a playoff game. But I also know what it takes to be a first-place team, I also know what it takes to be a league all-star and I also know what it takes to be a league MVP on special teams."

"Obviously, you want to have some fun and you want to be loose, but at the same time, you can't be messing around too much," DeAngelis continued. "You've got to get your work in, and I felt like the team really responded to me (yesterday)."

The concensus is the Stamps have responded well to the time put before them heading into tomorrow's must-win matchup with the rival B.C. Lions.

That hasn't always been the case in past post-season prep weeks, say a number of players, including all-star running back Joffrey Reynolds.

"Everybody seems to have an urgency of executing our plays and getting comfortable with what we do, and that's been a most surprising thing," Reynolds said. "In the past, guys have maybe used the week off or the time leading up to the game as a cruise control instead of using the time to get better at your craft."

Stamps player personnel director Jim Barker agrees, hoping positive signs during practice this week can lead to the team's first playoff win since the 2001 Grey Cup game.

Barker credited coach John Hufnagel and his staff for any change in this year's playoff focus.

"I don't even think the past years have crept into this group," said Barker of the 13-5 first-place Stamps.

"The focus level for these two weeks has been the same as it was for the other 18 weeks, and I think that's one of the nice things about this team is the players have played at a consistent level. Coach Hufnagel just demands a certain level of preparation and focus and concentration."


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