Stamps' backup battle to begin anew

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:36 PM ET

With the coming of a new season, Calgary Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel has wiped the slate clean when it comes to the backup quarterback spot.

A year ago, Barrick Nealy started out as the No. 2 pivot behind Henry Burris, but Drew Tate overtook the fourth-year Stamp by impressing the head coach in practice.

However, when training camp opens Sunday, the job is wide open again and Hufnagel will let the players decide who deserves it.

They will come to camp ready to do battle because they both want the No. 2 position, Hufnagel said Wednesday at his annual pre-training camp address.

If Henry stubs his toe, they want to be the one called upon to get into the game.

Tate was signed last season just before camp after spending two seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders on the practice roster, and he impressed during the pre-season.

Nealy has shown during his limited action that he can run the ball well, but hes never been given a chance to throw much.

With Burris staying healthy the past two seasons, the backups need be strong in practice.

Im looking for Barrick to continue progression, Hufnagel said. I want to see it sustained throughout the season.

Since Ive been here (start of 2008), I have not been disappointed with Barricks performance through camp and the pre-season.

Where I have been disappointed is lack of progress once the season starts. I had a chat with him about that. He understands where I believe he needs to get better.

Black out three months

The off-season roster news continues to be bleak for the Stamps. Sophomore Canadian linebacker Tristan Black had a setback in his recovery from fractured foot and he needed additional surgery.

Black wont attend training camp and will be placed on the nine-game injured list to start the season. His return is pegged for late August at the earliest.

Extra points

Third-year Stamp Milt Collins will move to linebacker from safety, replacing the released Shannon James Stamps DB Ronnie Amadi will switch to cornerback from the halfback spot he played last season With Brett Ralph gone, receiver Arjei Franklin, punter Burke Dales and QB Drew Tate will compete to be the new holder for field goals.


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