Stamps' Murphy has high hopes

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:05 PM ET

Every time Calgary Stampeders receiver hopeful Deon Murphy streaks down the field, you can’t miss his footwear.

Bright — and we mean bright — orange shoes stand out, especially since Stamps colours are red and white.

Now, if he was trying out for the B.C. Lions ...

“Yeah, everybody gave me crap about that,” Murphy said. “Somebody I work out with at home gave me those shoes. It’s just in camp. I’m going to take them off during the season.”

To be replaced by?

“The other ones I get will be flashier,” he said with a grin. “They won’t be orange, though. No sir.”

If orange shoes make the man reach the endzone, the Stampeders would be thrilled.

Murphy, the Kansas Sate product, gave a taste of what he can do with a 95-yard touchdown reception in the club’s mock game Friday and is looking to do the same when the Stamps travel to Edmonton for Sunday’s pre-season tilt (5 p.m., QR77).

Not only is he in the mix as a punt and kickoff returner, Murphy has been taking first-team reps at wideout the last couple of days, so it’s obvious he will get a shot to make something happen.

“It feels good. It’s a challenge, a real big challenge. Getting in with the No.-1 offence and with Hank (Henry Burris), I’m learning a lot,” he said. “I’m going to try my best this weekend to get everything done correct.”

Murphy joined the club late last season, but spent the couple of months on the practice roster. As much as he wanted to take the field, he now knows how that time watching and learning is a benefit now.

“I wanted to be activated bad, because I wanted to show everybody what they brought me for,” he said. “But sometimes patience is a virtue because I think that time is paying off now and I’m ready to get rolling.”

He’s not alone with that feeling. Fellow second-year Stampeder Jermaine Jackson is also looking to grab a starting spot, and may be ahead on the depth chart.

Calgary does have a couple of veteran import pass-catchers in Romby Bryant and P.K. Sam, along with long-term team members Nik Lewis and the injured Ken-Yon Rambo, but Jackson is starting to make his mark.

He hauled in a few passes during the mock game.

“It is an adjustment and I feel a lot more comfortable in this offence, now,” he said. “I know how to work with the quarterbacks with their reads and I know what they’re looking for, so I feel better in the offence.

“I hope that means I’ll accomplish good things.”

Jackson dressed for seven games last season — the only rookie to earn a start on the offensive side of the ball — and collected 12 receptions for 122 yards and one touchdown.

An example of his comfort in the offence came in Friday’s action.

In the morning practice, he voiced his displeasure with second-year quarterback Drew Tate’s throw, which wasn’t close enough to the sideline for Jackson’s out pattern.

They connected perfect on the same play during the mock game.

“I was happy about that. I told him I loved him for that,” Jackson said. “We’re in camp and I’m going to mess up, the quarterback’s going to mess up. Everybody’s going to mess up. But we have to get sharp, so by gameday those mistakes don’t happen.”


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