Stamps' defensive back stands tall

WES GILBERTSON, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:29 PM ET

Brandon Smith’s timing was impeccable.

Without fail, every time the shutterbug counted to three during Tuesday’s team photo-shoot, the Calgary Stampeders defensive halfback would stand up on his tippy-toes.

With 6-foot-3 teammate Brandon Browner casting a shadow to his immediate right, Smith — generously listed at 5-foot-10 — was simply trying to stay in the same head-space.

“It kind of looks like I’m his little brother there when I’m standing next to him in those pictures,” Smith said.

“I was trying to get a few more inches on him. They don’t give me the boxes like they do with some of the receivers up high, because they’ve got the linemen in front of them.

“But it’s all fun and games. After I got on my toes, then (Browner) got on his toes to distance himself a bit.”

He might not be the most imposing member of the Stamps secondary, but Smith certainly stood tall in last week’s convincing victory over the Montreal Alouettes, sticking to star slotback Ben Cahoon like the paparazzi shadows Paris Hilton.

Cahoon finished with three catches for 22 yards, one of his worst statistical efforts of this season. Even more important, the sure-fire Hall-of-Famer still needs four more grabs to surpass Terry Vaughn and become the CFL’s all-time receptions leader.

With the Stamps heading to Montreal for a Thanksgiving Monday rematch with Cahoon and the Alouettes, Smith is trying to postpone the record-setting snag for at least one more week.

After watching tape of Friday’s contest, he knows that’ll be a tall task.

“I can live with (my performance), but there’s still some things that he got me on and I still need to tighten up and get better,” Smith said. “He also had a bad game, let’s be honest. He dropped a few passes out there, and that’s uncharacteristic of him. Any other game, he would have made those plays, so I can’t take complete credit for that.

“I felt good about covering him, but I still have to get better. There’s still some things out there that I wasn’t happy with.”

Cahoon currently has 1,003 career receptions, just four shy of rewriting Vaughn’s record mark. Although he knows the Alouettes pass-catcher is chasing history, Smith insisted it’s not among his chief concerns. In fact, he wasn’t even sure how many receptions Cahoon needs to erase the current mark.

“I think about wins more than the records,” Smith said. “One way or another, he’s going to get his records. It’s inevitable, so I don’t really worry too much about the personal records. If he goes out and has 50 catches but we come away with the win, I’m disappointed in myself but I’m happy we got the win. That’s more important to me.

“But definitely, if he doesn’t get the record on me, that’s fine, too. That’s great, actually.”

Extra points

According to head coach John Hufnagel, DB Brandon Isaac (shoulder) is “unlikely” for Monday’s rematch with the Alouettes ... LB Keon Raymond and LB Karl McCartney also skipped Tuesday’s practice with minor injuries, while DL Robert McCune returned to action ... With CFL teams eligible to add five more bodies to the practice roster Wednesday, the Stamps will have some new faces at Thursday’s practice session.


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