Claybrooks not fooled

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:37 PM ET

HAMILTON DeVone Claybrooks spent time on teams that put together lengthy winning streaks, so he knows close victories can hide the occasional flaw.

The Stampeders defensive tackle wasnt surprised to see a few mistakes mixed among the great plays he and others made during Saturdays 23-22 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

In breaking down the victory, there was much to be positive about, but the Stamps coaches arent letting their team get too excited. Plenty of work needs to be done.

The tire is not flat, but its a little wobbly, said Claybrooks, whos in his second year with the Stamps after a two-year run in Montreal. We have to make sure we pump it up. We have to stay on top of these mistakes.

When you play teams that execute flawlessly, you wont get away with some of these mistakes.

Its one thing I have to applaud our guys for doing. Were still having to work on ourselves.

Claybrooks was given the defensive game ball after the gutsy victory.

Not only did the 32-year-old record record his first sack with the Red and White, he was part of a huge goal-line stand in the fourth quarter when the Stamps defence stuffed running back DeAndra Cobb and QB Adam Tafralis on consecutive plays.

The game ball could have also gone to fellow second-year tackle Tom Johnson, who had his best game with the Stamps.

Johnson made Cobbs life miserable when the Ticats running back tried going up the middle. Johnson was there for stuffs on Cobb gains of two, four and three yards in the first half alone.

Even with all the pressure the Stamps created, Ticats quarterback Kevin Glenn got the ball out quickly and still managed to put up 356 yards passing, although there was only one offensive touchdown.

We was getting pressure, but in the wrong way, Johnson said. In the score books its a plus minus. Were trying to do everything on the plus side. We want to do it all the right way.

The Stamps defence didnt get much chance to savour the victory. Being that it was an afternoon game Saturday, that night they were already watching the tape and seeing where they could improve.

At least the victory made them feel good, but they are back at it Wednesday in Toronto.

Its shortlived, Johnson said. Its good to have some adversity hit us. Its good to have to scrap and fight for everything. The whole team is coming together as a unit instead of playing as individuals. We have some gelling going on and thats great.

In 2008, Claybrooks was part of the Alouettes team that won its first two games, then proceeded to lose the next three.

So, Claybrooks appreciates the coaching staff taking an objective eye when assessing the Stamps win over the Ticats and the opening night victory over the Argos, for that matter.

Were our own worst critic, Claybrooks said. Even though we got the win, if a play here or there goes the other way, we would have been on the losing end.

Then we would have the microscope on us. Why not put it on ourselves when were winning? To prevent bad things from happening, you have to build on your success.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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