Rambo II: Slot role playin' out

IAN BUSBY Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:05 AM ET

Everyone around McMahon Stadium is excited to have the ‘old’ Ken-Yon Rambo back in action.

But it might be a new-look Rambo who next takes the field for the Calgary Stampeders.

To put the best possible lineup on the field, the Stamps could be moving Rambo to the slotback spot where Jeremaine Copeland played every single game during his tenure with the club.

When the Stamps did a light practice at McMahon Stadium Monday, Rambo was in the slot and he was just thrilled to be out there.

“You can do a lot of things in that slot because you are coming downfield in motion,” Rambo said.

“I played there before. I liked it. There is a lot of inside stuff and you get to see the field a lot more.

“I like the (wideout spot) too because you can get single coverage there. I’m going to know the whole offence so wherever the coaches put me I will know where to go.

“I’m a confident guy. I have no doubt in my ability. I will do what I do.”

Rambo feels he must go through a full practice week before declaring himself ready for action.

But his goal is to suit up Saturday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

When the Stamps moved Rambo to the short-side wideout position in 2008, the Ohio State product suddenly found his niche.

Although he didn’t have a 1,000-yard season previously, Rambo tore the CFL up and led in receiving yards.

Before that, the 31-year-old was the fifth receiver who only came in for passing downs.

In 2007, even with the team struggling, Rambo picked it up in the second half of the season.

He became the go-to guy in the scoring zone, delivering

10 TDs in his final 10 games.

When Rambo’s ACL was torn four games into last season, the Stamps shifted things around, first with Ryan Thelwell taking over at the position and eventually Romby Bryant coming over from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers via trade.

But Rambo isn’t worried about having to beat out anybody to get a starter’s job back.

“The spot was never taken,” Rambo said.

“(Romby) came in when

I got hurt. I’m going to do my job. The coaches make that decision. I know the offence.

I will do my stuff and they will put me in where they

put me in.

“Everyone will play their positions and coaches will weed things out. I’m not worried about my spot being taken.

I know what kind of player I am and what I’m capable of.”

Bryant has done an adequate job in the spot, so with Rambo coming back, the likely player to take out would be newcomer P.K. Sam. That would make the starting four of Rambo, Bryant, Nik Lewis and Arjei Franklin.

There’s no question Rambo would be the anchor, especially since that slot position is where Copeland scored

12 touchdowns last season.

Quarterback Henry Burris is confident the Stamps are going to get the Rambo of 2008 back, despite the recovery.

“He knows how to play at that level,” Burris said.

“He will surprise himself. He’s still the best receiver in this league, hands down. I’m looking forward to him getting back out there.

“I know exactly what Rambo is thinking out there. To throw routes on time, you need to read body language. It will help to have a guy out there you’ve been to war with and been through so many times.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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