HAMILTON - Henry Burris is No. 1 again.
However, the term ‘Henry Burris, starting quarterback, Hamilton Tiger-Cats,’ doesn’t really roll off the tongue just yet.
“It does sound weird — there’s doubt about that,” Burris said after being introduced Tuesday in the Hammer.
“I thought I would be a Calgary Stampeder for life. We were always so successful.
“The one moment something didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, things changed right then and there. It was frustrating it had to end that way. You expected it to stay the same always.
“It doesn’t always go the way you want it to go.”
For nearly seven years, Burris was a huge success with the Calgary Stampeders upon signing as a free agent.
Sure, there was only one Grey Cup win, but every year, the Stamps were in the CFL playoffs and were a contender. They captured two division titles and won more games than they lost with Burris at the helm.
Everything has to end at some point, and Burris’ tenure as the Stamps starting quarterback lasted until Week 17 of the 2011 season.
After Burris struggled for several weeks, Drew Tate took over, and a new era quickly began.
So Jan. 2, news broke of the Stamps trading Burris to the Ticats for veteran pivot Kevin Glenn, centre Mark Dewit and a conditional draft pick.
Burris now has a chance to erase memories of last season with a coach that helped him to his best CFL season.
The Ticats not only unveiled Burris Tuesday but also introduced George Cortez, the former Stampeders offensive co-ordinator who helped guide the team to the 2008 Grey Cup victory.
Cortez will need to figure out what made Burris stumble in 2011, and why Stamps GM-head coach John Hufnagel said he was tentative in his play.
Burris doesn’t have an answer for what went wrong, just one year after he won the league’s most outstanding player award.
“It’s one thing that is up for debate,” Burris said. “It’s hard for me to figure. Every quarterback has a game like the Toronto game (in which he was yanked). Drew did a good job of coming off the bench. It was time for them to make the change. People say I’m getting old and tentative, and that’s not me.”
When Burris starts next season, he will be 37, but his off-season training has already started. One thing that shouldn’t be a concern for the Ticats is his fitness level, which he took to another level in 2008.
It just so happened his last injury took place at Ivor Wynne Stadium in 2007, when he suffered a dislocated shoulder and was slowed for the rest of the campaign.
The only thing that marred his time with the Stamps were off-field issues that created headlines.
In 2010, a photo of him in a bra surfaced from his birthday party that year. In 2011, a foul message was posted on his Twitter feed, which Burris explained as someone hacking into his account.
“I was treated in a different manner there,” Burris said. “And I never understood that.”
On Twitter: @SUNIanBusby