Copeland turning back clock as club's go-to clutch receiver

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

Jeremaine Copeland is emerging as the Calgary Stampeders' go-to guy.

Again.

One of the elder statesmen of the Stampeders' receiving corps, the 32-year-old playmaker has turned back the clock in his fifth campaign in Calgary.

After snaring two touchdown passes during Thursday's heartbreaking loss to the Edmonton Eskimos, Copeland is tied for second spot in the CFL with six majors.

"He's been a clutch player for us," said Stampeders coach John Hufnagel.

"He's competed very well. In tough times, he's risen to the occasion and he's shown the type of pro that he is."

The nine-year veteran was especially impressive in this year's instalment of the Battle of Alberta, grabbing 11 passes for 184 yards and making two trips to the endzone.

Perhaps his finest performance in Red & White?

"I think it was actually," Copeland said.

"I still think I can get better. I don't think I played the best game actually. Going through film, there were things I could do better. I pride myself on getting better no matter what the stats say."

Right now, the stats are looking pretty darn good.

Copeland had seven receiving touchdowns last season, but finished with his lowest yardage total (764) in six full CFL campaigns.

He's on pace to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his career, having racked up 485 yards with 11 weeks remaining on the regular-season schedule.

Stamps veteran receiver Ryan Thelwell isn't surprised Copeland has returned to all-star form.

"I've always thought (Copeland) was an amazing player. There's been a lot of critics of him the last few years, and I didn't see it," Thelwell said.

"He's probably one of the hardest-working receivers and to see him come out and have a big game like that, I was really happy for him.

"You get it anywhere close to Jeremaine and he's going to catch it -- that's his M.O."


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