Flag receivers for whining

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:55 PM ET

CFL receivers have long complained about interference whenever they feel violated on a pass.

Now the trademark flag gesture from the waist is happening all too often on completed plays.

The reason: Receivers want a horse-collar tackle penalty (grabbing the ball carrier by the middle of his shoulder pads) whenever they get brought down from behind.

While no one wants to see another incident like last yearís torn ACL injury to Calgay Stampeders receiver Ken-Yon Rambo, the constant complaining has to stop.

On a simple crossing route against the Edmonton Eskimos Sunday night, Stampeders receiver Romby Bryant was brought down cleanly by defensive back Jason Goss and came up wanting a flag.

Just because it feels like a pulling motion doesnít mean itís illegal.

Itís football, so let it go.

The defenders in this league are already at a disadvantage with the speed of receivers.

Bryant isnít the only one crying foul, but the league is looking out for bad tackles.

Since Ramboís injury a year ago, the officials have been on alert about the horse-collar penalty and itís getting called more often now. Just as with facemask infractions, the defence will adjust, but itís hardly a play dirty enough to warrant this much grumbling.

Opening drive

In the 50 years of McMahon Stadium no one had seen this. The Stampedersí 56-15 whipping of the Edmonton Eskimos was the most lopsided win for Calgary in the history of the Battle of Alberta. They meet two more times before Sept. 10 Ö What an odd week for kicker injuries in Winnipeg. First, Louie Sakoda pulls a calf muscle in the warmup and leaves the Bombers stranded, then Ticats kicker Eric Wilbur gets run into by Brandon Stewart and sprains his ankle. The Ticats have brought in import Matt Fodge from the NCAAís Oklahoma State, while the Bombers are holding auditions Ö Warren Kean should have proved in Calgaryís training camp he deserves a shot. He pushed rookie Rob Maver for the Stamps job and has the leg up with the Bombers Ö Canít understand what Yonus Davis was thinking. Down 15 points to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Lions running back started showboating at the 20-yard line en route to the endzone. He almost lost the ball, and the Lions never threatened again after his 51-yard TD run.

Jeremaine Copelandís impressive consecutive games streak will come to an end this week. The Argos receiver left the win over the Als with an hyper-extended elbow and his 111-game run will die when his Toronto Argonauts host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Saturday. The string dates back to 2002 when he was with Montreal and continued in Calgary Ö Chad Owens has taken the spotlight from Ticats RB Marcus Thigpen as the best player who was moved right after training camp ended. Owens was traded from Montreal to Toronto before Week 1 and ended up burning his former team in Week 7. Thigpen was cut by the Riders before landing in Hamilton, and he set the record for TDs in five different ways Ö Expect a bounce-back game from Riders R Weston Dressler after the bye week. The little slotback has a run of one great game, one awful game that started in Week 3. He had 125- and 169-yard outings in Weeks 4 and 6, but had totals of 21, 20 and zero in three, five and seven.

It was quite the debut for Eskimos receiver Tremayne Kirkland. The rookie had a pass intended for him picked off for a TD, then he was booted for landing a punch to the side of Stamps DB Brandon Browner in a melee. The Esks have to hope itís another Arkee Whitlock situation and Kirkland bounces back Ö Stamps RB Joffrey Reynolds moved into the top 10 in all-time CFL rushing yards, passing Tracy Ham. Reynolds needs just 229 yards to pass Kelvin Anderson for the franchise record and heís 400 behind Dave Thelen for ninth all-time Ö Through seven weeks there are four CFL teams unbeaten at home Ö This is scary. Of the 1-6 Eskimos and Lions and 2-5 Blue Bombers, one of those teams will make the playoffs Ö Now that retro nights are done, can everyone grab a razor?

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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