August 1, 2012
Smilin' Hank now Super Hank
By SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency
CALGARY - Smilin' Hank is definitely living up to his nickname these days.
Henry Burris is loving life in The Hammer.
The former Calgary Stampeders quarterback has thrown eight touchdown passes over the last two weeks — four each against the Montreal Alouettes and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Burris put up some eye-popping numbers during his career with the Red & White.
But he always seemed to be overlooked for offensive player-of-the-week honours, which often went to an eastern player. Now that he’s in the east, he seems intent on taking the award home on a weekly basis.
Two weeks ago, Stamps receiver Nik Lewis had three touchdowns, including the overtime winner, but the player of the week nod went to Burris.
Lewis doesn’t seem too broken up about his former teammate stealing the thunder.
“I would be lying if i said i wasnt proud to see Hank Ballin,” Lewis tweeted Monday.
Burris has been full marks for the awards.
The 37-year-old is only the third CFL pivot since 2002 to throw four TDs in back-to-back games.
Casey Printers was the last to accomplish the feat in 2005. And Burris has thrown for a quartet of majors three times in his last four starts.
Last weekend, he completed 29 of 40 passes for 356 yards as the Tiger-Cats battled back from a 19-point deficit to beat the Roughriders 35-34.
Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers great Milt Stegall, the CFL’s all-time receiving yardage leader, was the last player (in 2006) to capture the offensive award in consecutive weeks
Clearly, Burris has come a long way since Week 2, when he fumbled twice, tossed an interception and was momentarily yanked from a 39-36 loss to the B.C. Lions.
Of course, he went on to throw for 359 yards and four TDs in the defeat as the Tabbies dropped to 0-2.
It was also the club’s last setback as a red-hot Burris has led the Steeltown crew to three straight wins and a share of top spot in the East Division.
With the Stamps, fans and teammates were never really sure what they were going to get from their quarterback.
Was it going to be Good Hank or Bad Hank?
The guy with the big arm and mobility to extend plays on his own?
Or the turnover-prone QB who started to look his age in a collapsing pocket?
Since Week 2, it’s been neither.
He’s been Super Hank.
In a dominant win over the Alouettes, the quarterback rating of 156.3 was just two points shy of the perfect number.
On the season, his 118.7 QB rating and 15:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio puts him head-and-shoulders above the rest of the league’s starting pivots.
And now the Stamps get to witness the resurgence of their former quarterback firsthand when the Red & White visit Hamilton next Thursday.
Maybe Stamps head coach John Hufnagel’s familiarity with Burris will allow the visitors to put together a gameplan to slow down the league’s hottest player.
So far, no one else has been able to find an answer.