Stamps need a few fixes

Stampeders' Eric Fraser tries to bring down Lions QB Travis Lulay. (Jim Wells/QMI AGENCY)

Stampeders' Eric Fraser tries to bring down Lions QB Travis Lulay. (Jim Wells/QMI AGENCY)

Ian Busby, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:16 PM ET

CALGARY - All it took was a night’s sleep and a meeting with the head coach for Nik Lewis’ concerns to be addressed.

Unfortunately for the Calgary Stampeders, there are a few other pressing issues as they get set to leave Wednesday for the Maritimes.

In the moments right after the Stamps lost 32-19 Saturday night to the B.C. Lions — which dropped their home record to a dismal 2-4 — Lewis voiced his displeasure at not getting any passes thrown his way in the second half.

By Sunday morning, all was smoothed over, as Lewis sent out a message on Twitter saying he had met with head coach John Hufnagel.

“Great talk with Huf and my team this morning, it’s all good in Lew Lew land,” Lewis wrote.

Whatever Hufnagel said to Lewis obviously quelled his frustrations a bit.

With that issue apparently solved, the Stamps can move on to other problems, some of which may escalate into big ones.

First up, the state of Henry Burris’ ankle. Although the starting quarterback stayed in the game after getting tackled low by Khalif Mitchell in the first quarter, Burris admitted it throbbed the rest of the way.

The aches didn’t slow Burris down immediately, but the 36-year-old said adrenaline had a lot to do with that.

Not since 2007 has Burris missed a start for the Stamps, and he does have a long week to get ready for Sunday’s meeting against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Moncton, N.B.

The Stamps don’t get back onto the practice field until Tuesday, when certainly there will be a lot of eyes on Burris.

If Burris can’t start, at least Drew Tate won’t be going in cold. The backup came in and engineered a late 101-yard drive for a touchdown in the dying minutes against the Lions.

In Tate’s first extended action this season, he did manage to go 6-of-10 passing for 129 yards. If quarterback was just one issue, then the Stamps might be feeling good about themselves.

There are no shortage of things that are of concern:

* After a one-game burst, the Stamps rushing attack has again gone AWOL. And it wasn’t that they weren’t trying. Joffrey Reynolds couldn’t manage to burst past the line of scrimmage with much authority and had just 15 yards on seven carries.

* The rush defence couldn’t stop the Lions, who came into the game with the fifth-ranked rush offence.

* A blown assignment on a punt formation led to the crucial block by Paris Jackson that Tim Kronk returned for a TD. Of the concern on the play is the fact Hufnagel said co-ordinator Mark Kilam told his special teams unit to watch for pressure. They didn’t pick it up.

* Returner Larry Taylor left with a rib injury after taking a hard shot on a kickoff. Although he said after the game it was worse when it happened and was getting better, he would be tough to replace.

* The Stamps did manage to pick up a late sack, but overall, their pressure on the quarterback wasn’t where it needs to be. Travis Lulay had plenty of time to throw, and this issue needs to be fixed.

* With another 11 penalties for 92 yards, the Stamps continued their trend of undisciplined play.

* Can the cavalry come marching in? The Stamps could use the likes of sack leader Charleston Hughes and receiver Jabari Arthur.

This is an unusual week for the regular season. The Stamps will spend Wednesday travelling to Moncton, then head to P.E.I. Saturday for their walkthrough.

All season long, they’ve been perfect away from home.

Maybe they will find solutions to some of these issues on the road.


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