When 12 CFL players aren’t going great, some awful numbers get stuck to one man.
That’s what happened to Henry Burris this week in Toronto.
In a 27-24 loss to the Toronto Argonauts Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, the Calgary Stampeders stumbled and bumbled their way to one of the worst offensive performances in recent memory.
The offensive line didn’t have great protection, the receiving corps dropped six or seven passes (depending on your judgement) and the run game was non-existent.
But the 48.7 passer rating gets put next to Burris’ name.
However, the Stamps pivot will only blame himself for the ugly performance.
For the first time since 2000, Burris threw four interceptions in a game, and no one is more troubled by it than the 35-year-old veteran.
“I carry all those with me,” Burris said. “I go as the offence goes, and the offence goes as I go. When we make a mistake, I put it on me. I’m the leader of the offence, and I take what we do with pride.
“We are going to have a good offence this year, but it’s going to be because of occurrences like this.
“All guys take ownership of this offence. We all took turns making mistakes. I put it on me because the ball is in my hand every play.
“When it comes to making good decisions, through the first two games, I did a good job in that area. This game wasn’t good for that. We have to get back to that.”
When asked to recall his last four-INT game, Burris can easily do it. It was his second start with the Saskatchewan Roughriders after taking over that team as a free-agent signing from Calgary.
“Against B.C.,” Burris said. “We learned a lot about each other that game, just as we have in this one. It happens sometimes. I’ve seen quarterbacks have five- or six-interception games. I remember it happening to Anthony Calvillo against Toronto a few years ago (2006, five INTs, 15.3 passer rating).”
Burris actually thought he threw his fifth interception late in the game. A pass went off receiver Arjei Franklin’s hands and Argos defender Evan McCullough went for it.
The ruling on the field was a catch, but it was overturned.
“Thankfully, replay prevented me from getting to that plateau,” Burris said. “I’ve never had five interceptions. Three is bad enough. Four is killing me. If it would’ve been five, they would have to carry me off on a stretcher.”
It used to be when Burris had a multiple turnover game and the Stamps lost, people would be calling for a change.
Not happening now, nor should it.
Of the four interceptions, the first was all on receiver Romby Bryant because the pass went off his hands to Argos defender Kevin Eiben.
Eiben faked a blitz and dropped back into coverage for a later pick, and Burris didn’t pick him up.
Under pressure, Burris threw behind receiver P.K. Sam, and McCullough picked it off.
The one that burns is the final, official one when Burris scrambled away from pressure, threw on the run and Argos star Willie Pile stepped in front of it well downfield.
“I will promise you I will never do that again now, but sometimes, you need a refresher when you make those mistakes,” Burris said. “You see how critical they can be. I told (Stamps head coach John Hufnagel) that I’m embarrassed and that I apologize. “I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry, because I will always go out and play hard for my team. The mistakes cost us the game, but I’m not going to change.”