In­juries shake up Stamps

West Divi­sion leader’s pass-catch­ing crew be­ing bit hard by the in­jury bug

Calgary Herald - - FRONT PAGE - DANIEL AUSTIN daustin@post­media.com

DaVaris Daniels is out and Ka­mar Jor­den isn’t mak­ing a mirac­u­lous re­turn.

Oh, and Le­mar Du­rant won’t be catch­ing passes for the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers for a long while, ei­ther.

En­ter­ing Satur­day’s game against the B.C. Li­ons at McMa­hon Sta­dium (5 p.m., TSN/News Talk 770), the Stam­ped­ers are field­ing a re­ceiv­ing group that looks al­most noth­ing like the team’s open­ing day ros­ter.

An­thony Parker and Mar­quay McDaniel are still avail­able in the wide re­ceiver and slot­back po­si­tions, but oth­er­wise the Stamps will be field­ing three re­ceivers in their start­ing lineup with a com­bined 25 games of CFL ex­pe­ri­ence and 15 of those games be­long to Juwan Brescacin.

“We’re work­ing hard, we’re get­ting bet­ter, we’re stretched with depth big time at the re­ceiver po­si­tion,” said Stamps head coach Dave Dick­en­son. “We’ve got to be able to scare (the Li­ons de­fence) — we can’t just let them sit on our routes.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity for our guys to make plays and step up.”

In ad­di­tion to Brescacin, the Stamps also have Marken Michel and Reg­gie Begel­ton slated to be in the lineup for Satur­day’s game.

All three young play­ers have huge up­side and have shown that they’re ca­pa­ble of com­pet­ing for a job in the start­ing lineup.

Michel even earned playerof-the-week hon­ours for his six­catch, 190-yard per­for­mance in Week 6 against the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats, while Begel­ton was one of the stand­outs of Stamps train­ing camp be­fore pick­ing up an in­jury.

They’ve got loads of po­ten­tial and tal­ent and no­body should be sur­prised if any of the three re­ceivers put up big num­bers in Satur­day’s game — or any other game go­ing for­ward this sea­son.

But the ab­sence of Daniels, Jor­den and Du­rant will surely be felt.

“It al­ways makes it more dif­fi­cult when you don’t have your all-stars — guys who have been there for you, guys you rely on, guys you have the tim­ing with ...” said Stamps QB Bo Levi Mitchell. “But it doesn’t take away from the con­fi­dence that I have in the guys that are play­ing.

“I be­lieve we have these guys for a rea­son. I’m happy that Reg­gie gets to step in and play ... Ob­vi­ously los­ing Le­mar was a big one, too, but Parker and Juwan and even Rory (Kohlert) have stepped up in that ab­sence and have done a great job of it and I trust these guys. They work hard for me. I have no rea­son not to trust.”

The good news for the Stam­ped­ers is that they’ve put up 122 points in their last three home games and have won all four of the games in which they’ve played with­out Du­rant and Jor­den.

As al­ways, the team has moved the ball through the air by spread­ing it out among re­ceivers and if they’re go­ing to beat the Li­ons, it will likely be be­cause they make sure ev­ery­one is get­ting touches.

There’s also lots that they can do to make life eas­ier on Mitchell.

“What I tell them to do is go 100 miles an hour and if you mess up, if you run a cor­ner route when you were sup­posed to run a post, then run it at 100 miles an hour,” Mitchell said. “Don’t run out there at 75 per cent and guess­ing and not give me body lan­guage. I can read your body lan­guage.

“I don’t care if you’re Joe Blow off the street — if you run a route, I can read your body lan­guage and know where to put the ball.

“I have very good ath­letes and very good re­ceivers out there. As long as we see what we see and do it at 100 miles an hour, mis­takes don’t mat­ter as much as go­ing out there and com­pet­ing.”

I don’t care if you’re Joe Blow ... if you run a route, I can read your body lan­guage and know where to put the ball.

AL CHAREST

The Stam­ped­ers’ Juwan Brescacin will be the long­est-tenured CFL vet­eran among their start­ing re­ceivers this week­end.

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