Rambo will be missed by Stamps

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

CALGARY - Nik Lewis is the last man standing from the 2005 offensive core.

It’s fitting really. Lewis was the first one to play with the Calgary Stampeders, and then he was joined by a group of players that would eventually win the Grey Cup in ’08.

In ’05, the Stamps sported Lewis and Joffrey Reynolds — who came in late during ’04 — as holdovers from the previous year’s team when they signed Henry Burris, Jeremaine Copeland and Ken-Yon Rambo as free agents.

Now that Rambo was officially released Saturday, Lewis is the final one left from that core group to be part of a new one this CFL season.

“It sucks,” Lewis said Sunday. “It’s the last official piece of what was put together in 2005 with me, Ken-Yon, Joffrey, Hank and Cope.

“Rambo was the last one to go, but I knew a long time ago we wouldn’t all be together for the rest of our careers. Good luck to him. I know he will be playing somewhere.”

Rambo’s release due to an injury-plagued training camp during which his Achilles didn’t allow him to perform is still reverberating throughout the team.

“It was a big shocker,” Stamps third-year slotback Landan Talley said. “That high of a calibre person, who really helped us out … it was a shock to the locker-room.”

The Stamps will officially move on without Rambo on Tuesday, when they hit the field and prepare for the Montreal Alouettes in Week 1 (Sunday, 5 p.m., McMahon Stadium).

But nobody will soon forget No. 85.

“He will go down as one of the best players ever here in Calgary,” Stamps receivers coach Pete Costanza said. “He’s a great guy to be around.

“It’s a tough decision and part of the business. Ram will do fine. He will still have that smile on his face wherever we see him again.

“He was a big cheerleader for his football team. He played with a lot of passion. That coupled with his skill-set as a receiver made him one of the guys who was loved here in Calgary.”

They may be loving him in T.O. later this year.

TSN reports out of the Big Smoke say Rambo will meet with Toronto Argonauts’ doctors Monday to determine if he’ll have a future with the Double Blue.

Offence’s fresh-faced trio

There are only three newcomers to make the Stampeders offence for opening day — and one could be needed in an important position.

Offensive lineman Na’Shan Goddard will be needed at left tackle if veteran Edwin Harrison (hamstring) isn’t healthy enough to play Sunday. Harrison missed nearly two weeks and skipped the final pre-season game in Regina.

“He’s going to be practising this week,” GM/head coach John Hufnagel said. “I’m sure if you asked him, he will be ready. I will make sure he is fully ready. If that takes a week or so, I will make sure of it.”

Goddard, who has two Super Bowl rings with the NFL’s New York Giants and New Orleans Saints, won the job as the third import offensive lineman ahead of incumbent Tony Washington.

“We knew he had ability,” Hufnagel said of Goddard. “But I thought it would be a tough chore to beat out Tony Washington — and he accomplished that.”

The other new players on offence are receiver Chris Bauman and third-string quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.

What’s in a number?

Defensive lineman Kenny Pettway will have a lot to live up to when he steps on the field this season.

For the first time since the team parted ways with Alondra Johnson in 2004, someone else will wear the No. 51 the former star middle linebacker made famous.

Pettway joined the team last week and was wearing No. 97, but he switched digits after the final roster was announced.

Linebacker Marvin White, who is on the practice roster, also took a high-profile number, opting to don No. 20. Nobody was worn that one during a regular-season game since Doug Flutie in 1995.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter @SUNIanBusby


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