New Stamp into fray

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:56 PM ET

He hasn’t been here Long, but this new Calgary Stampeder is ready for action.

The Stamps signed defensive end Khari Long last Wednesday for depth, but there’s a decent chance he will get thrown into the playoff race Sunday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

With Mike Labinjo (elbow) headed for an MRI and out at least one game, the Stamps are working on ways to shuffle the defensive line.

Long is ready, even in short order.

“I’m fully confident in what I can do to help pull out a win for this team,” said the former Hamilton Tiger-Cat. “The defence is basic from what I understand.

“You need to know the hand signals and where you are lining up. There is a big difference between playing on the field or the boundary.

“As for the defensive line, it’s the same as I was doing in Hamilton.”

Replacing Labinjo won’t be that simple. Because Labinjo is a Canadian and Long an import, there must be a ratio switch somewhere else.

It could come with Corey Mace getting activated at defensive tackle and DeVone Claybrooks taking a seat.

Whichever way the Stamps work it, defensive co-ordinator is excited to see what Long can bring.

“Certainly, he’s been a good player in the past,” Jones said. “He had 10 sacks in Hamilton last season.

“The thing that impresses me most about him is the way he plays hard. He’s intelligent and he’s worked hard to learn what we’re doing with our scheme. He takes this as a business.”

Long was released by the Tiger-Cats Sept. 15 when Hamilton signed Stevie Baggs.

The 28-year-old Baylor product can’t wait to get back in action.

“I like playing ball,” Long said. “Sitting around playing the waiting game is one of the toughest things in this sport. Once you get the opportunity, you have to make the best of it.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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