P.K. A-OK with Stamps offence

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:30 PM ET

When P.K. Sam walked into the Calgary Stampeders locker-room, he was greeted by a smiling face, which isn’t unusual for a receiver on this team.

And when Henry Burris first stepped on the field with the new arrival from the Toronto Argonauts, Smilin’ Hank was equally impressed.

Through two days of training camp — Sam’s first in the CFL despite being in his third season — the quarterback is positive the player the Stamps got for Jeremaine Copeland will warm up.

“Each practice, he’s getting more comfortable with the offence,” Burris said about Sam. “He said after practice (Monday morning) that it was starting to come together for him. I told him to slow down. There is much more to go. But when you hear a guy being confident in what we’re doing in the offence, that’s big, because he’s a physical specimen.

“He will create matchup problems. He has that speed, but he is the Copeland-like figure. He’s a big body where you throw up to him and he will make a play.”

Sam, who was forced to skip the late practice Monday with a high fever that required antibiotics, stands 6-foot-3, 210-lb., and will slide into Copeland’s slotback position to try to give the Stamps similar production.

In 14 games over two seasons with the Argos, Sam caught 63 passes for 884 yards and five touchdowns.

The main difference between Sam and Copeland — other than age and experience — is the latter never missed a game with the Stamps during a five-year stint.

Sam joined the Argos twice in mid-season — the first time as a free-agent in September, and the second after being released by the NFL’s Buffalo Bills — and he spent time on the injured list each CFL season.

However, the 27-year-old Florida State product won’t be seeking to emulate Copeland but will try carving his own path with the Stamps.

“You have to put your faith in management,” Sam said. “If they think it’s time for a change, they saw something that will help the team. I don’t second-guess change. I won’t second-guess what they do. My job is to catch the ball.”

Sam is displaying polish in running his routes you would expect of a player with his track record.

Drafted in the sixth round by the New England Patriots in 2004, he played two seasons with that team, getting into two games and collecting a Super Bowl ring.

Since then, he’s had stints with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Miami Dolphins, the Oakland Raiders and the Bills, plus he spent an NFL Europe season with the Rhein Fire.

After a handful of practices, head coach John Hufnagel is impressed with Sam.

The best example was a play on Day 1, as Sam was covered well by a defensive back but made an adjustment at the last second to create space and make the grab.

“I’ve enjoyed how he’s picked up a new offence,” Hufnagel said. “He acts like he’s been here for a couple years. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s an intelligent young man. He’s tall, he’s strong, and he has good speed.”

He’s had great CFL games in the past, including a 2-TD outing against the Stamps in 2009.

Sam expects the same in Calgary.

“The games I did play in Toronto, I had pretty good stats,” Sam said. “If I keep playing like that during a whole season, people will be happy with the trade.”


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