Willis hopes new run-stop blood boosts sack count

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

Stopping the run has been a big problem for the Calgary Stampeders defence.

Sacking the quarterback lately has been a struggle, too.

"We've got to get back to what we were doing at the beginning of the season," said Stampeders defensive lineman Odell Willis, who has been shut out in the sack department his last two games after holding a hot hand with six of them in his previous four games.

Brought in to stuff the run with the Stampeders sitting second worst in the CFL in yards allowed on the ground, big defensive linemen Jim Davis and Devone Claybrooks should help plug some holes.

Getting through holes and into the backfield is up to guys like Willis, whose half-dozen quarterback drops has him tied for second in the league in spite of his recent silence.

"Yeah, we brought in guys to help us out, but we've still got to play on the field, understand our playbooks and work hard on the practice field," Willis said.

"It's just all-around effort. If you don't make the extra effort to get the sack, it's pointless."

At the top of the rankings in nearly every offensive category, the Stamps' point producers would have every right to be a little frustrated they aren't getting enough support on the other side of the ball.

The offence hopes the veteran Claybrooks can make his presence felt against the Argonauts in Toronto Friday.

"I think he knows what's going on -- we'll see this week," said Stamps receiver Jeremaine Copeland. "That's what we need is someone to get the job done."

Stamps GM/head coach John Hufnagel wasn't hiding the reason the two big bodies, along with linebacker Tim Johnson, were signed.

"That's our No. 1 goal -- to try to prevent as much running success against us. No question about it -- that's why we brought new people in."


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