CALGARY - If Brandon Smith gets picked on facing the Saskatchewan Roughriders, at least it will be by somebody his own size.
Usually, the Calgary Stampeders defensive back draws the short straw and gets a lanky slotback to cover.
Against the Riders Saturday at McMahon Stadium, Smith should be matched up with Weston Dressler, but he isn’t thinking the 5-foot-8 receiver is any less of a challenge.
“He makes up for height in other aspects,” Smith said. “He may be small in size, but he has great hands. He has great speed. He is one of the best route runners in the league.
“I watched a lot of film on him this week, and he runs some damn good routes.”
Dressler, as well as fellow slotback Chris Getzlaf, certainly raises his game to face the Stampeders.
In nine career outings against the Stamps, Dressler has five 100-yard games, while seven of his career 21 TDs have come against Calgary.
“If there is something about Calgary, I don’t know what it is,” Dressler said. “I try to bring my best every game. This is a unique situation coming into an opponent’s stadium and having as many fans as Rider Nation brings.”
FREEMAN REMEMBERS McMAHON WELL
The last time the Roughriders came into McMahon Stadium, they left feeling pretty good about themselves.
And linebacker Jerrell Freeman didn’t mind taking a trip down memory lane Friday. Back in the 2010 West final, Freeman jumped on a loose ball in the endzone that took a touchdown away from the Stamps.
That play helped the Riders secure a berth in the Grey Cup, but Freeman didn’t keep the ball as a souvenir.
“At first, I thought it was a safety,” Freeman said. “I didn’t want to keep the ball. Once I got off and everyone explained what happened, I thought, ‘Maybe I should have kept that ball.’ ”
LOSSES NEED TO BE ERASED
This is one of those rare outing when both teams are hoping to bounce back from horrible outings.
The Stamps were beat 55-36 in Touchdown Atlantic, while the Riders were whipped 42-5 at home by the B.C. Lions.
“If you look in the rearview mirror, the future will slap you in the face,” Stamps quarterback Henry Burris said. “We were 13-5 last year and where did it get us? Nowhere.”