Oh-so familiar feeling

Henry Burris goes long at Calgary Stampeders practice.

Henry Burris goes long at Calgary Stampeders practice.

Ian Busby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:42 AM ET

Henry Burris has heard the word ‘anemic’ to describe his offence.

But he uses a different phrase regarding this situation.

“It’s a bit of a deja-vu,” said the Calgary Stampeders quarterback. “I’ve been telling everybody that, last year, we were in the same predicament.”

This week had an odd familiarity to it. Rewind to July 21, 2010, when the Stamps were trying to erase an error-filled outing but were 2-1 and facing an undefeated opponent at home.

Sound familiar?

This week, the Stamps are getting heat over their offensive production after a 21-20 road victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. But they are still 2-1.

The only major difference this season is the Stamps welcome the 3-0 Edmonton Eskimos instead of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, last year’s opposition.

Burris is quick to mention that at this point last season, the Stamps started to figure things out … just like how they feel now.

On July 24, 2010, they managed to beat the Riders 40-20, which was the start of a seven-game win streak. In five of those games, the Stamps managed to put up more than 36 points.

“Every year, even though there are a lot of the same people, you are still identifying yourself as a team,” Stamps receiver Nik Lewis said.

“I see myself as better than last year and a bit different than last year.

“As an offence, we want to be better. We would like to put up 60 points a week, but the defences are great. They give you so many different looks. Sometimes, it’s a little harder to get going.”

The Stamps have had changes offensively already, and there are going to be more for Saturday’s tilt (5 p.m., TSN) against the Eskimos. Tony Washington is likely to get a chance to start at right tackle in place of Stanley Bryant, although that decision hasn’t officially been made yet. This comes right after they got right guard Dimitri Tsoumpas back from his hamstring injury last week.

When the Stamps did get things rolling last year, the Eskimos were road-kill.

In three games over five weeks, the Stamps whipped the boys in green and gold 144-40.

Things have changed this year. Ricky Ray & Co. are clicking, and the Eskimos defence is solidified under Rich Stubler.

“Is it different? I plan on it being basically the same,” Lewis said with a laugh.

“I plan on going out there and putting on a great performance. My teammates do, as well. We feel we can go in and win this game. I see us piling up the points and having a big game every week. It’s no different with Edmonton.”

With both the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the B.C. Lions struggling to 0-3 starts,

there is a good chance the Eskimos and Stamps could be fighting for first place at the end of this season. And Burris is trying to sell that the resurgent Esks are the favourites due to their hot start against the Riders, the Lions and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

“Edmonton is playing great football, and all the momentum is on their side,” Burris said. “They are the favourites in the West the way they are playing. We have to play the type of ball we’re known to play.

“The Battle of Alberta … it’s good to have it back the way it should be. For a number of years, it was us and Saskatchewan. The way it’s going now, the fans are excited.”

 


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