Walk the walk before the talk

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 5:49 AM ET

With the way the Calgary Stampeders are playing third quarters, it's clear they're getting a verbal butt-kicking from coach John Hufnagel at half-time.

In two losses, the Stamps best quarter has been the third one, but it hasn't mattered because they were already in huge deficits.

One of the biggest stories from last year's Grey Cup win was Hufnagel's great pre-game speech.

Against the Toronto Argonauts tonight at McMahon Stadium (7 p.m., TSN), the Stamps need to find a way to come out of the gates fired up without those inspirational words.

"It can't always be like that," veteran receiver Jeremaine Copeland said about the pre-game speech.

"You save those for the special games. As a professional, you should be fired up coming out of the locker-room no matter what."

In the season-opener against the Montreal Alouettes, the Stamps were down in a 20-0 hole before responding.

It took until the Blue Bombers were up 10-0 in Week 2 before the defending champs started getting off the mat.

The one common thing is a two-and-out on the opening offensive drive.

With the opposition starting out with the ball in each game, a quick two-and-out deep in their own zone put the defence in a tough spot.

"We need to come out with a chip on our shoulder," said centre Rob Lazeo. "Not in the second half after getting our butts chewed out by the coach. We need to do it in the first half and start putting a beating on people."

On the other side, the Argos were the ones getting out to leads in their games.

In the season-opener against Hamilton, the Argos scored the first three touchdowns and were up 20-0 before the homeside could catch their breath.

A week ago against the Roughriders, the Argos managed to get up 10-0 but allowed the visitors to score 30 points in the second quarter. They fought back at the end but still lost 46-36.

"Last week, we ran out of time when we figured out what they were doing," said veteran receiver Arland Bruce.

"Right now, we just need to take the good things that we did last week and start early."

IAN.BUSBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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