CALGARY - The offensive guns were ready to retreat to the locker-room.
That is, until Calgary Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris called an audible.
Just moments after the final whistle of Tuesday’s sometimes-sloppy workout at McMahon Stadium, Burris collected the other members of the Stamps’ offence for an impromptu players-only meeting on the field.
“I always say this team is only going to go as far as we take them as an offence. This is an offensive game in the CFL,” Burris said after addressing his teammates. “We’ve got to make sure that we’re getting on the same page. If there’s any questions, we need to get on the same page with them. Because when we step on the field, we need to control the game as an offence and make sure people are fearing us.”
The Stamps’ offence wasn’t particularly sharp during Tuesday’s morning workout, one of only two full prep sessions for Friday’s road date with the Toronto Argonauts.
Still frustrated by the end result of Saturday’s 33-31 loss to the B.C. Lions, Burris wanted a word with his offensive cohorts before the regularly-scheduled team meetings.
According to the 36-year-old gunslinger, it’s the first time he has gathered his teammates for a post-practice huddle.
“When I talk to guys, they know I’m coming from the heart. I’m not out here just blowing off steam,” Burris said. “This is one of the more talented offences I’ve ever been a part of, and we have the capability to control games from here on out ...
“We need to go out there and take advantage of that. If we don’t, we’re only letting ourselves down.”
The Stamps scored three offensive touchdowns in Saturday’s loss to the Lions, with Jon Cornish and backup quarterback Drew Tate each registering rushing majors and Burris hooking up with receiver Landan Talley on an 81-yard pass-and-run play.
The Red & White had an opportunity to kill the clock with about two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter at B.C. Place Stadium, but only managed one first down before being forced to punt. The Lions’ offence returned to the turf with 36 ticks left on the clock and marched into position for Paul McCallum’s game-winning field goal.
Although the Stamps have clinched a playoff spot, they lost their grip on top spot in the West Division standings when McCallum split the uprights from 53 yards away.
“It should tick you off a little bit,” Burris said. “That’s all you’ve heard guys talk about is the fact we should have made a few more plays.
“Well now, at least we have an opportunity to come back and do that, to right the ship going down the stretch.
“That’s all our focus is this week — making sure we don’t have those mental errors like we had against B.C. If a team is just better than us, then so be it. But if we’re giving them the game, that’s another thing.
“When we’re placed in that situation, we should be able to seal the deal. And we didn’t do that, and guys are bitter about that. I just wanted to address it to make sure we’re all on the same page.”