McManus lands at McMahon

DAN TOTH AND IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:13 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders have made a down payment towards a Grey Cup berth by trading for backup quarterback Danny McManus.

The 17-year veteran is an insurance policy should starter Henry Burris get injured, as he did last season, missing three starts.

"This is a great fit," said head coach Tom Higgins, who acquired the 40-year-old for a third-round draft pick yesterday from Edmonton, which got him from Hamilton at the end of last season.

"This is the one area where we would be holding our breath because we didn't have much experience there.

"Our wish would be (McManus) doesn't see the field at all in 2006. If he's called upon, we're sure he can do what we'd like him to do, which is to continue to win football games."

McManus, who will turn 41 June 17, the day the Stamps open the season against Winnipeg, will help mentor both starter Burris and the third-stringer, whoever that may be.

He would be a valuable relief pitcher, brought in for a quick spark much like Edmonton used Jason Maas to make a Grey Cup run last season.

The Stamps didn't have anyone like that last year when Jason Gesser and Danny Wimprine were Burris' backups. It was a scary situation in the middle of 2005 when Burris tore thumb ligaments and missed a month of action, although the team escaped with wins against Hamilton and Ottawa, two bottom-feeders.

McManus is excited to become an unofficial playing-coach behind Burris.

"If there's anything I can help him to get to the next level, that's what I want to do," McManus said.

"I've talked to him after games and ... we're always talking football. I wouldn't give him everything I know because I wasn't his teammate yet but now I can give him all the information. I was just giving him bits and pieces before."

There will be no QB controversy this season because McManus won't pout for playing time. Still, Higgins would be confident throwing him in on a moment's notice.

"Danny realizes he's towards the tail end of his career but if he were to be called upon, he would be able to execute our offence," Higgins said.

The 16-year veteran sits second in all-time passing yardage with no chance of catching leader Damon Allen. If he were to get in because of injury to Burris, he's confident the offence will move under his guidance because of the group of receivers the Stamps have assembled.

"It's outstanding," McManus said of Calgary's receiving corps.

"Those guys go get the football, make the play on the football not wait for the DB to make a play and that's what you want."

The Stamps also signed former U of C Dinos standout Ryan Folk yesterday. The Medicine Hat native can play linebacker or safety and will be part of the special teams units.

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STAMPS' GENERATION GAP

TOP SONGS, MOVIES AND TV SHOWS WHEN LEWIS, MCMANUS WERE BORN

YOUNG STAMP: NIK LEWIS, BORN JUNE 1982

OLD STAMP: DANNY MCMANUS, BORN JUNE 1965

* TOPPING THE POP CHARTS:

NIK LEWIS: EBONY AND IVORY, PAUL McCARTNEY & STEVIE WONDER

DANNY MCMANUS: CRYING IN THE CHAPEL, ELVIS PRESLEY

* TOPPING THE BOX OFFICE

LEWIS: E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL

MCMANUS: THE SOUND OF MUSIC

* TOP-RATED TV SHOW

LEWIS: DALLAS

MCMANUS: BONANZA


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