Stamps offence working out kinks

Calgary Stampeders QB Henry Burris practises at McMahon Stadium as the team prepares for the...

Calgary Stampeders QB Henry Burris practises at McMahon Stadium as the team prepares for the Saskatchewan Roughriders Saturday. STUART DRYDEN/CALGARY SUN

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:33 AM ET

When it comes to average time of possession and most plays from scrimmage, you’ll find the Calgary Stampeders at the top of the list in the CFL stats.

As for the payoff — they’re working on it.

“I see us doing very well,” said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris with an eye to the future.

“The potential is there.”

This offence has some of the same key players — Burris, running back Joffrey Reynolds and receiver Nik Lewis — as it did a year ago when it sat near the top of every important category.

But there’s been turnover, too. There are many new faces on the offensive line and some missing in the receiving corps with the retirement of Brett Ralph and trade of Jeremaine Copeland.

“You look around the league right now, and so many teams have their same personnel they had last year,” Burris said.

“I know we got (receivers) Arjei Franklin and Romby Bryant in the second half of (last) season, but besides that, we’re pretty much new faces everywhere on our offence.”

That’s why things have been going wrong in practice. And why they’re working hard to correct things in practice.

Burris and Franklin worked one-on-one on routes after units broke up.

And a day after head coach John Hufnagel yelped at his players for being off on execution Tuesday, the ball-movers were looking more organized Wednesday at McMahon Stadium.

Lewis says fans haven’t seen a true sample of what the Stamps offence is capable of, and that it will take time to peak.

“I don’t think you’re gonna see how good we can be for a while,” Lewis said. “I think we’re gonna show flashes.

“Hopefully, we can come out this week and put together a complete game — it would be nice to see it early.”

Fans wearing red and white in what’s sure to be a crowd laced with green Saturday will be happy just seeing enough offence to earn a win over the Riders following a disappointing showing against the Argonauts in Toronto last week.

“It’s about getting guys on the same page,” Burris said of the obvious growing pains.

“In certain zones, we have certain conversions that we can run, or you can switch up your route. If you’re not on

the same page, it’s not gonna happen.

“We’ve had some of those things happen. We’re working through it. We’re communicating.”

The talk is making a difference.

“We’re now making those plays here in practice,” Burris said. “In weeks past, we didn’t make those plays in practice.

“We’re going in the right direction.”

The return of deep threat Ken-Yon Rambo would likely help the offence become even more dangerous. The speedy receiver is practising hard but it may be another week before he’s ready to return from the

knee surgery he underwent a year ago.

“He’s getting better. He’s a little sore this morning, so he didn’t take as much work today as he did yesterday. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow,” said Hufnagel, who expects Rambo to decide when he’s 100% ready.

“This is the week that he formulates that opinion. Whether it’s in time for this game or not, I don’t know.”


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