Stamps' Burris has earned his swagger

Henry Burris celebrates after throwing a touchdown during against rival Edmonton Eskimos. (Al...

Henry Burris celebrates after throwing a touchdown during against rival Edmonton Eskimos. (Al Charest/QMI AGENCY)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:57 PM ET

There's an extra spring in Henry Burris' step these days.

Maybe it's the 106 points his team has scored in the past two games.

Maybe it's the 7-1 record, which puts the Calgary Stampeders comfortably atop the West Division.

Whatever it is, Smilin' Hank seems to be sporting that grin more than usual.

"This is the most enjoyment I've had of any team," Burris said Monday while making an appearance at the Stampeders charity golf tournament.

"We show up to work, battle our butts off and come game day we're confident. We enjoy watching the other units play well.

"Winning makes things that much better. The thing I enjoy is seeing our team bond through adversity. If offensively something bad happens, the defence is supportive.

"We're doing whatever we can to keep our word to the rest of the team. That's why we're doing so well."

For a team that had plenty of questions heading into the season, there was no questioning their chemistry. The core group of players have been together for years, and they won a Grey Cup in 2008.

The fact they are winning and having a blast doing it shouldn't be a huge surprise. Back in their championship year, the Stamps went out trying to prove they belonged as an elite team. It was them against the world.

Now, nobody is doubting whether deserve to be No. 1, but their mistakes are magnified.

Defensive tackle DeVone Claybrooks was with the Montreal Alouettes in 2008 so he knows what it takes to live with high expectations.

"We have a standard set for ourselves," Claybrooks said. "Our success is only a surprise to you guys. It's not a surprise to us.

"We knew what we had in the locker-room. We know what we're capable of doing. We hold ourselves to a high standard. When you have a high standard, there is a higher level of scrutiny."

So although the Stamps put a 48-35 whipping on the B.C. Lions Friday in Vancouver, the defence isn't happy with allowing 15 late points.

Burris didn't like throwing three first-half interceptions, either. That said, they didn't affect the outcome of the game.

In the past, Burris and the Stamps offence could unravel after a few mental errors. Not so anymore.

"We're enjoying this feeling right now but we're doing what it takes to get better," Burris said. "We know we're making mistakes."

Burris knows his team hasn't accomplished anything yet, but he's getting a special feeling about his team.

"We don't want to get too high on ourselves now," Burris said. "You don't win a championship at 7-1. It's about being a position to finish in first place and have one game to get to the big one."


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