CALGARY - The next Calgary Stampeder who gives a quarterback a smack upside the head could get one himself.
John Hufnagel spoke to his team prior to playing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday night about not getting hands up high on the opposing QB.
The warning didn’t stop Charleston Hughes from hitting Kevin Glenn on the helmet after he released a pass.
With two roughing the passer penalties in the 32-20 win over the Ticats at McMahon Stadium, the season total is now eight in six games.
Hughes’ infraction was the worst because it extended a drive that resulted in a Ticats field goal.
“We’re trying to address it,” said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel Sunday. “It’s not being unattended. The only thing we can do … is work hard to correct this problem.
“With Charleston, it’s something I’ve been trying to coach. I’ve told them they can’t leave their feet and hit the quarterback high if he doesn’t have the ball on contact. That’s exactly what it was. That’s being called this year, and that’s why I was disappointed with Charleston.
“Hopefully he’s not a repeat offender with that.”
On the same night the offence came together and looked closer to the dominant group it was last season, the penalties on defence were the biggest issue for the Stamps.
The good news for Hufnagel is it was cleaned up as time went on against the Ticats.
In allowing just 15 yards of offence in the third quarter, the Stamps defence had one of its most dominant frames in Chris Jones’ tenure as defensive co-ordinator.
In fact, Hamilton’s first first down of the second half came on a roughing the passer penalty by DeVone Claybrooks for a hit below the knees.
Hufnagel doesn’t place as much blame on the veteran for that call.
“He was coming off a block,” Hufnagel said. “He lost his balance and was going down. He fell into the quarterback’s legs. The only thing I can instruct DeVone on is to do whatever you can to defy gravity and try to miss the quarterback. Make an attempt to miss the quarterback.”
The Stamps lost receiver Landan Talley for about six weeks with a dislocated shoulder. If Ken-Yon Rambo can’t practice Monday, the Stamps will get Jake Allen ready to play Friday at the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Linebacker Daren Stone suffered a biceps injury and is questionable this week, but middle linebacker Juwan Simpson and fullback Rob Cote should be able to practice after recovering from knee injuries.
Although the 12-point win was the largest margin of victory in any Stamps game this season, the lead was still just five heading into the final minutes.
These close games should help later in the season.
“We got stronger as the game went along in all three phases,” Hufnagel said. “In the second half, all three phases made some plays to help win the game. We talked about the necessity of having that playing against good teams and Hamilton is a good team.”