Lemon looks forward to battling Burris

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:40 AM ET

CALGARY - For a couple of guys who have never seen the other play, Cleo Lemon and Henry Burris have quite the mutual admiration thing going.

And Burris, the Calgary Stampeders’ star quarterback, even had some friendly tips for Lemon, who will make his Canadian Football League debut on Thursday night at McMahon Stadium.

Both men have had stints in the National Football League.

“The biggest thing is the difference in the defensive schemes,” Burris said. “And it’s a heck of a lot different than the defences you saw in the pre-season. People start to get more creative and they show their colours.

“It’s one of the things Cleo and the other guys will have to go through.”

And Lemon won’t have the safety net that Burris enjoyed when he broke into the CFL in 1998.

“I had the luxury of having Jeff Garcia and Dave Dickenson to learn under,” Burris said. “But those guys, they are being (thrown) into the fire. But they have a great guy to work with like Jim Barker.”

Lemon wants to be just like Burris. But he knows that if he can attain such a standard, it won’t come in one night.

“Henry is an elite quarterback in this league,” Lemon said. “It will be good to see a guy who has done it at a high level. Hopefully I can match him throw for throw.”

Lemon certainly sounded ready for his CFL unveiling following the Argos’ walkthrough on Wednesday.

“The quarterback is the coach on the field,” Lemon said. “I feel I am a leader and I am going to do that.”

One player who knows both is Argos receiver Jeremaine Copeland. Of Burris’ 145 passing touchdowns with Calgary, Copeland had 40, the most of any Stamps receiver.

Now, Copeland hopes to develop the same kind of relationship with Lemon.

“Cleo is agile and has great footwork, which automatically compares him to Henry,” Copeland said. “You are going to have defensive ends who are fast and come off the edge and you have to be able to make guys miss in the backfield. That’s what Henry does and what Cleo has in him.

“And Cleo’s ball is almost the same. If he throws it late, it is on you. That’s something Henry has as well. Cleo’s ball has some thunder.”


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