Burris to start in Stamps pre-season game

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:16 PM ET

CALGARY — The original plan was for Henry Burris to take a seat for the Calgary Stampeders’ first pre-season game.

Barrick Nealy’s abrupt retirement Friday means the club’s No.-1 quarterback will start Sunday’s clash in Edmonton.

“He’s going to play, but not much,” said Stampeders GM/head coach John Hufnagel.

So much for the rest.

“If I didn’t play, it would be the first time in 14 years I didn’t play in the first pre-season game,” Burris said. “Of course, getting a break would be good, but I’m ready to play.”

Calgary’s roster will be inexperienced, to say the least.

“Probably will not be the best played game, but we’ll go up there with intention of playing hard and winning a game,” Hufnagel said. “It’s going to be a simple game plan and I want to see who can make plays, not out-scheme another team like you try to do in the season.”

Among the vets scheduled to sit out are running backs Joffrey Reynolds and Jon Cornish, receivers Nik Lewis, Arjei Franklin, Romby Bryant and P.K. Sam, defensive linemen Charleston Hughes and DeVone Claybrooks, and defensive backs Brandon Browner, Dwight Anderson and Wes Lysack.

In fact, punter Burke Dales will sit, too, giving kickers Warren Kean and 2010 first-round draft choice Rob Maver a chance at double duty.

“Burke’s going to be our punter. I want to find out who can do what,” Hufnagel said.

Injuries to Matt Sheridan and Godfrey Ellis means Calgary intends to bring all its healthy offensive linemen.

As for the quarterback position, Drew Tate — who now has the No.-2 spot — is expect to see plenty of action before giving way to Zac Champion.

“I’ve got a clue how much I’ll play,” Tate said. “But it could always change, so my mind going in is to just do the best I can, complete passes, and move the offence.”

Probably the biggest challenge will be to cope with all the confusion that will be on the field.

“Especially with new and young receivers, but that’s how it is,” Tate said. “That’s why we have these games, to get ready for the season, and camp to get ready. I’m sure there’s going to be confusion, so it’s how you adapt and overcome those things and what kind of plays you make from it.”


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