Swift secondary sizzles

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

Anthony Malbrough doesn't care about getting his smiling mug on TV. The Stampeders halfback just wants to make plays.

If he keeps performing like he did last night, the cameras will also swing around in his direction.

Malbrough and the rest of the secondary got plenty of face time against the hapless Winnipeg Blue Bombers and hope to start making the highlight reels a little more often the rest of the CFL season.

QB Henry Burris would certainly love that.

Malbrough gobbled up two interceptions -- from both Winnipeg starter Kevin Glenn and second-stringer Tee Martin -- while backup DB Lawrence Deck also picked off Martin.

Better yet, Burris and the offence converted all three into touchdowns.

The 21 points off turnovers was crucial after collecting just one interception through the previous five games this season, Malbrough pointed out.

"Most definitely because they always put that stat up on TV: Points off turnovers," he noted. "It all works hand-in-hand. If we can give them a short field, then great."

The Stampeders entered the week dead last in the CFL's giveaway-takeaway stat (minus-7), often quoted by coaches as a key component to winning. It also helps to face the CFL's most inept offence, now surely lamenting not picking up former Bombers QB Khari Jones, who was a free agent just last month.

Jones, now in Hamilton, would be a vast upgrade over Glenn, Martin and third-string Russ Michna, who also played last night.

Malbrough said despite the weak opponent, a strong performance from the secondary provided a confidence boost.

"We most definitely wanted to come out and make some plays and I think we did that today," Malbrough said. "Every game we come into, we want to try to get turnovers. I told some guys before the game, I said, 'I'm going to try to get a pick today. I don't know how many but I will get one.' "

Burris said punching all three picks into the endzone is the way good offences reward solid defences for their efforts.

"Coming into this game we needed to get some confidence on that side of the ball, so it was good to see the DBs, who practised very well this week when we went head-to-head and it carried over for them because they made plays in the game," said Burris, who also threw two picks.

"It feels good to see those guys making plays which gets us pumped up, too. It's a two-way street. When they're down and we go out and make plays, they're pumped up. We see them making plays. It gets us going and we were able to put three scores on the board through those turnovers from our defence."

Halfback Joey Boese recorded a pair of knockdowns before leaving the game with an injury. After the defence was lit up last week in B.C., Boese said the secondary met to hash out the lack of production.

"Last week after the game as a unit, we talked about making some plays," Boese said. "We want to get some momentum going our way a little bit. We got our hands on some balls and made some interceptions. If we continue to do that, our defence is only going to get better and better. It's one of those things -- once we get some confidence and made some plays, it will help us down the road."

Malbrough added decent pressure from the front seven -- despite not recording a sack -- helped to rush throws, leaving the secondary with interception opportunities.


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