Rambo magic catches on

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:55 AM ET

CALGARY - In Ken-Yon Rambo's own words, "the old Rambunctious is coming back."

It didn't take long for Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris to recognize that guy.

"In his first game back against Winnipeg, the first drive, he gets a touchdown catch," Burris recalled.

"Immediately after that touchdown catch, he did a celebration where he drew up a barrier and he just blew it up, and he said he would do that because he's had to work so hard to get back to where he is today, and when he got his first touchdown, he said he would attribute it to all that hard work.

"When he blew up that barrier, we knew it was on from there."

In seven outings since returning from reconstructive knee surgery, Rambo has racked up 627 receiving yards and made five trips to the endzone.

Although he was essentially a spectator for Wednesday's practice session at McMahon Stadium, the 31-year-old said it was just a "precautionary" rest day and insisted he'll be ready for Saturday's scrap with the B.C. Lions.

Having hit triple digits in receiving yards in three of his past four games, you can bet the Lions will be keeping close tabs on No. 85.

"When you look at him now that he's hitting his stride, because he didn't really have a full training camp in terms of playing preseason games, you see the Ken- Yon Rambo of 2008," said Stamps receivers coach Pete Costanza.

"He's explosive. He's competing. He's making plays down the field for us. He's the guy that we thought we would have back. It's exciting to see him playing at that level that he did in 2008."

As you might recall, 2008 was a pretty good season for the former Ohio State Buckeyes standout. Rambo finished that campaign with 1,473 yards through the air and eight touchdowns, winning his first CFL receiving crown and earning a league all-star nod.

After missing the first four regular- season games, Rambo won't be a contender for this year's receiving title, although there's no doubt he's making a major contribution.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats star Arland Bruce III currently sits atop the CFL's pass-catching charts with 985 receiving yards in 11 outings, while Winnipeg Blue Bombers ace Terrence Edwards has 959 aerial yards in the same number of contests.

With four more games on his stats sheet, Rambo would be right there with them. In fact, at his current average of 89.6 yards per game, his total through 11 tilts would 985 yards, the exact same amount as Bruce.

That's news to him. Good news.

"Damn, that's a good statistic," Rambo grinned. "Arland Bruce is one of the best receivers in the league -- he's been doing it for a long time -- so that's good to be put up on a pedestal with him."

As the numbers show, Rambo belongs on that pedestal. Again.

"Before he went out with his injury, he was the No. 1 receiver in this league and he's just come back and proven that," Burris said.

"You can ask guys on our team or across the league, No. 85 is the real deal, and just to have him out there and seeing what he's doing, coming off an injury and playing with so much confidence and being as effective as he is, it's great to see.

"But, for me, it's not surprising. With the hard work he put in, I knew he was destined to get back to being the best in the league and right now, he's on his way to being there."


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