Stamps safeties battle

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:40 AM ET

CALGARY - Eric Fraser sat slumped in his locker Wednesday night, wearing a look on his face as if he just lost the Cup.

In a way, that’s what happened.

With a Raffi Torres jersey hanging behind his head and Vancouver Canucks flag diving his stall and the next one, Fraser couldn’t believe what had happened.

While the Calgary Stampeders were losing in the pre-season to the B.C. Lions, the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup.

Fraser seemed to take his frustrations out on the Lions, levelling Anton McKenzie with a stiff block on a punt return, drilling receiver Nick Moore hard with a shoulder on one pass and picking off one later in the game.

No matter how well he played in the 24-0 loss to the Lions, nothing made him feel any better.

“I just wanted to bring a more physical game,” said the Burnaby product. “It’s something I’ve been trying to put that into my game.”

The safety position was a bright one for the Stamps on an otherwise gloomy night.

Before Fraser entered the game, newcomer Demetrice Morley played the opening half and opened some eyes.

Morley, a former Tennessee Volunteer who had a falling out with former coach Lane Kiffin, picked off two passes and would have had a third interception, but it clanked off his hands.

“I’m still upset by the ones I left out there,” Morley said. “The ones I put on the board, they are OK. The ones I dropped, I could have helped my team even moreso. I will get back at it this week to improve.”

Morley started camp in the coverage linebacker spot and was moved to safety shortly before the game. That’s his natural position, and he proved that he can play it.

“Whatever the coaches have in mind for me, I would be willing to do it,” Morley said. “They could put me at centre or tackle. I’m just happy for this opportunity to get out there with the guys.

“I’m trying to put in hard work and let everybody know I came here to do what I have to do to make the team.”

Before camp started, the plan this season was to have an import at safety.

Still, Fraser has put his best effort forward to win the job.

Last year, the first-round draft pick from Central Michigan saw plenty of time, even with Wes Lysack the starting safety.

With the way Morley performed in the first half, the 24-year-old knew he would have to raise his game.

“Certainly, he had a couple of picks, so I thought maybe there would be a couple for me,” Fraser said.

“I got my hands on one early and just missed it. To have the opportunity at the end of the game felt good. I felt I was getting a good jump. There were a couple of routes earlier that I felt if they were thrown I would have a chance to make a play or a big hit. Those are plays that don’t really happen, but you read them and feel good about them.”


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