Henry Burris still smilin' in Hamilton

Tiger-Cats quarterback Henry Burris throws a pass against the Alouettes at Ivor Wynne Stadium in...

Tiger-Cats quarterback Henry Burris throws a pass against the Alouettes at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ont., July 21, 2012. (FRED THORNHILL/Reuters)

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:30 AM ET

It didn't take Henry Burris long to turn the page.

After losing his starting gig to Drew Tate with three games left in the regular season, the writing was on the wall in Calgary.

And he was determined to show everyone he still had a lot left in the tank.

"Honestly, for me, it happened at the end of last season," Burris said of being able to move on.

"It definitely was embarrassing the way things ended last season.

"It was something, with all the years I've been playing, that I wasn't used to."

Burris saw the changing of the guard in Calgary, which also included Jon Cornish taking over for the franchise's all-time leading rusher Joffrey Reynolds.

But Smilin' Hank had no time to brood about how things ended in the Stampede City.

He had to get ready for the Steel City.

"Once the season ended, I turned the page," he said. "Because it was about making sure I was in the best shape possible, to be ready to go and be effective this year.

"I wanted to play the kind of football everyone knows I can play.

"Once I put the Stampeders in my rearview mirror, I was focused on becoming a Hamilton Tiger-Cat. Coming here with George (Cortez, head coach), Bob O'Billovich (V.P., football operations) and the players we have on the field, I would have been a sucker not to get myself ready."

Burris proved he's no sucker.

He's led the Tiger-Cats to three straight wins leading into Thursday's tilt against his old mates (5 p.m., TSN).

And he's put up gaudy numbers along the way, leading the league with 15 touchdown passes and a 118.3 efficiency rating.

But he's far from satisfied.

"We've done some good things here and there, but we haven't put in a 60-minute effort of consistent football -- not even 55 minutes," the 37-year-old said.

"We've been anemic in the third quarter in all three phases.

"So, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done."

Like Stamps quarterback Kevin Glenn, who has maintained all week he's not out for revenge against his former team, Burris said he's not interested in sending a message to the Stamps brass.

"If we won the game, it would put us in first place in the East," he said.

"Getting a big victory would be the only message you can send right now.

"I have a lot of friends on that team. To get bragging rights is one thing. But as far as sending a message, that's not what this is all about."

The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder said he expects to hear a few chirps from some of his more talkative ex-teammates.

"Of course, Juwan (Simpson) and Charleston (Hughes)," he said. "Those are my two young boys, but they'll be trying to hit me and blow me up.

"There's going to be a lot of bickering and talking out there. That's what good friends do.

"But it feels better if you do what it takes to get a victory."

Burris has the Tabbies offence purring right along through five games and he was named CFL Player-of-the-Month in July.

But he knows firsthand the Stamps defence can cause a few problems of their own.

"They really fly around and have great team speed," he said. "But it's led by that front four. They have a bunch of guys who I've helped nurture since they were babies and first came into the league.

"They've gained experience and are playing with a lot of confidence.

"We have to do a good job of mixing things up and our offensive line will have their work cut out for them."

scott.fisher@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNScottFisher


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