Burris excited about offence

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:01 PM ET

TORONTO — Week by week, the real Calgary Stampeders are starting to stand up.

With injections of players who were supposed to be key contributors when the season began, the Stamps offence is hoping to keep building on a perfect record.

After getting P.K. Sam into the lineup for Saturday’s 23-22 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Stamps will welcome fellow receiver Ryan Thelwell to the lineup Wednesday night against the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre (5:30 p.m., TSN).

“I’m looking forward to it,” said quarterback Henry Burris. “Ryan and I think alike in a lot of situations. We’re nurturing P.K. a little bit. We’re making sure we’re on the same page.

“I’m excited about the potential we have as an offence with guys coming off the injured list. We’re only going to get better each and every week.”

The third injured piece of that puzzle is wideout Ken-Yon Rambo, who is still rehabbing from a torn ACL. He could be a couple of weeks away.

Thelwell’s return is a bonus in that he’s Canadian and a veteran who has a knack for finding openings. He will come in for passing downs.

Although the 37-year-old had a sprained ankle suffered in the pre-season, this will mark his comeback from a torn Achilles.

Burris and his teammates can’t help but root for the likeable Thelwell.

“Ryan didn’t want to go out like that,” Burris said. “To have him back means a lot. The guys are excited about that. We’re looking forward to seeing him out there.”

While the Stamps are building on success, the same could be said about the Argos.

The rebuilt team under new coach Jim Barker made a big improvement last week by beating the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on the road.

Now they open their home schedule with a rematch against Stamps and they hope they’re a different club from the one that lost the season-opener 30-16 July 1 at Calgary.

Last week, running back Cory Boyd got moving, rushing for more than 100 yards and that helped every part of the team.

With more sustained drives, the Argos gave their defence some rest.

“We took a great step this past week getting better,” said receiver Jeremaine Copeland, the former Stampeder. “We just have to keep climbing that mountain. We’re heading in the right direction. This is a good test to play Calgary at home.”

Copeland now gets to face the player he was traded for this off-season. Sam had a strong first outing with the Stamps after coming back from a lingering hamstring injury.

He caught the first pass of the win over the Ticats, took a big hit and got right back up.

When the game was on the line, the ball came Sam’s way. Needing to get into field-goal range, Burris found Sam and the 6-foot-4, 220-lb. slotback fought for a 14-yard gain.

“Henry coming to me showed he trusts me in a clutch moment in the game,” Sam said. “He has confidence I will make the play. I won’t say that I’ve arrived or that I’m an all-star or anything, but it did feel good.”

The key for the Stamps in both victories was controlling the ball.

They were on offence for more than 42 minutes in the opener and kept it for more than 32 minutes against the Ticats.

“In the past, we were a big play offence,” said slotback Nik Lewis. “If we made big plays, we won. If we didn’t we lost.

“Now we have an offence that moves the ball, eliminates the two-and-outs and makes great field position for ourselves. We give ourselves a chance to win.

“We know our defence is fast and they play great, so if we get them some rest we feel good about our chances.”

ian.busby@calgarysun.com


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