No Stamps locker-room brawl at McMahon

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:15 PM ET

There was no throwdown in the locker-room.

No heated argument between teammates.

Actually Nik Lewis didn’t say anything at all to Jesse Newman when the Calgary Stampeders hit the practice field Wednesday.

“There’s no reason,” Lewis said two days after remarking how he doesn’t like the unretired offensive lineman.

“He knows how I feel. There’s no reason to (talk to him).”

The Stampeders are doing all they can to downplay the potential rift Newman’s presence has caused.

Although the third-year left guard went through the paces of practice, Newman — the 27-year-old from Powell River, B.C. — wasn’t made available to the media.

If teammates wanted to see Newman put in some extra work now being that he retired just before training camp, they got their wish.

While it was mostly a light session for the entire group, Newman was strapped to trainer Pat Clayton and pushed through some leg strengthening drills normally reserved for injured players.

“He’s going through a mini-training camp right now,” said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel, who declined to comment on Lewis’ remarks.

Lewis himself feels the situation got a little overblown, but he certainly isn’t backing off his statements.

He was grilled about Newman Wednesday after saying Monday at the Stampeders golf tournament he didn’t want to talk about anybody who doesn’t put in the work.

In fact, Lewis tried to make light a situation in which Newman skipped out on the grind of training camp, missing it for the third straight season, albeit the first two were due to injury.

“Brett Favre does it. I don’t see any Brett Favres here,” Lewis said about the Minnesota Vikings quarterback.

“We will keep having fun. I’m not mad. I don’t even have an angry face.”

In Tuesday’s Sun sports section, the headline referred to Lewis as Mr. Mad.

In hindsight, the only thing Lewis regrets about the situation is how his comments deflected attention away from the positive vibe his team has built.

“There are so many guys out there doing great things,” Lewis said. “We waste our time talking about senseless stuff.

“We should talk about Hank going into the top 10 (in all-time passing yards). Talk about (Jon) Cornish having a great year. Joffrey (Reynolds) being the all-time Stampeder rushing leader.

“Those guys are doing an amazing job. I don’t have time to talk about someone who hasn’t been here.

“I will talk about 99% of the people on this team. That’s where I stand. I will talk about anybody out there playing good football.”

The Stamps have about another week before they must make a decision on Newman’s status. He could be put on the active roster, injured list or the practice roster, but there are trade rumours swirling, mostly focused on the B.C. Lions.

In the meantime, the Stamps are moving on, and quarterback Henry Burris said this isn’t really a distraction.

“Right now it doesn’t bother anything,” Burris said. “It’s a matter of if you aren’t with us, you are against us.

“We’re just seeing right now if (Newman’s) on board with us. If not, matters will be taken care of. We expect him to battle his butt off, work out hard in the weight room, get to know the playbook and I don’t think we will have any problems. He’s now in a position where he has to make that decision for us.

“Right now, we’re just focused on the game Monday. That’s what we’re getting ready for.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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