QUICK LEARNER AMOS EYED FOR COR­NER­BACK

Stamps likely to call on ver­sa­tile new­comer to be in­jury fill-in again at dif­fer­ent po­si­tion

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS - DANNY AUSTIN [email protected]­media.com Twit­ter.com/Dan­nyAustin_9

In his three short weeks with the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers, DaShaun Amos has been asked to do a lot.

The East Carolina prod­uct made his CFL de­but less than two weeks af­ter he signed a prac­tice ros­ter con­tract with the Stamps, fill­ing in for in­jured vet­eran Bran­don Smith at half­back against the B.C. Lions.

He had a week­end off when the Stamps played the Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers, but based on prac­tice this week it seems in­evitable Amos will be back in the lineup Fri­day when the Stamps try to knock off the Win­nipeg Blue Bombers and clinch first-place in the West Di­vi­sion once and for all.

Amos won’t be at half­back this time, though.

In­stead, he has been fill­ing in for the in­jured Tre Rober­son at cor­ner this week at prac­tice and seems likely to be play­ing out wide for the Stamps.

“Tre’s go­ing to have trou­ble get­ting in there, he’s hurt­ing,” said Stamps head coach Dave Dick­en­son. “(We’ve been) giv­ing most of the reps to Amos and he cer­tainly looks the part, so hope­fully he’ll hold up against a great re­ceiv­ing corps.”

Amos seems com­pletely un­fazed by be­ing moved around a lit­tle bit.

In his time at East Carolina, he said he’d played safety, cor­ner and nickel and was as used to be­ing on the out­side of the de­fen­sive back­field as the in­side.

From the van­tage point of the press box, Amos seemed to equip him­self well to play­ing half­back, so would ap­pear to be a quick learner. That should give the Stamps rea­son to feel op­ti­mistic there won’t be a ma­jor drop-off with Rober­son out of the lineup – although ex­pect­ing him to per­form at Rober­son’s level might be a bit of a tough ask.

“(The coaches) have been help­ing a lot, so I’m not do­ing it on my own,” Amos said “They’ve been help­ing me day-by-day, so it’s been a breeze.”

To hear the Stamps coaches talk about Amos, there’s a sense Cal­gary fans should ex­pect to see a lot more of Amos go­ing for­ward. This is a guy the staff be­lieves can make a dif­fer­ence, as ev­i­denced by the fact they haven’t seemed at all re­luc­tant to get him in the lineup de­spite his rel­a­tive in­ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We re­ally liked him when we had him down (at mini-camp) in Florida,” Dick­en­son said. “He had some NFL looks. When he came up, we weren’t sure he was go­ing to play but he’s just fit in and done the right things and we do feel like he gives us not only good depth but some good fresh legs out there, plays the foot­ball, tack­les.”

For Amos’s part, he seems ex­cited.

Play­ing cor­ner tends to mean you get a lot of one-on-one matchups, and he can’t wait.

“It’s a track meet,” Amos said, smil­ing.

ESE’S IN

Derek Wig­gan won’t be play­ing for the Stamps on Fri­day against the Bombers.

For­tu­nately, the Stam­ped­ers have backup avail­able.

The Cana­dian de­fen­sive tackle has made a big im­pact for the Stamps this sea­son, but was in­jured in the fourth quar­ter of Satur­day’s loss to the Rid­ers. He won’t be ready for this week­end.

In his place, Ju­nior Turner will be named as the starter, while Ese Mrabure will come off the one-game in­jured list to pro­vide Cana­dian cover in the cen­tre of the de­fen­sive line.

“That’s an easy one-for-one switch there,” Dick­en­son said. “Good play­ers across the board. Ob­vi­ously, you don’t like to see any­body get hurt, but we feel we have depth there.”

THURM OUT

Jameer Thur­man prac­tised Wednes­day.

Given his im­por­tance to the Stam­ped­ers de­fence — and he’s very, very im­por­tant — it would seem cer­tain that with so much on the line Fri­day against the Bombers, he’ll prob­a­bly play. Don’t be so sure, though. Wyn­ton McMa­nis took the ma­jor­ity of first-team reps as Alex Sin­gle­ton’s line­backer part­ner-in-crime, and McMa­nis’ im­pres­sive growth and improve­ment over the past cou­ple of months means the Stamps may be able to play things cau­tiously with Thur­man.

From the sounds of things af­ter prac­tice Wednes­day, though, the Stamps hadn’t made a de­ci­sion on what di­rec­tion they were go­ing to go.

“Thurm’s hurt­ing, but he’s played. It’s not like it’s a new in­jury,” Dick­en­son said. “I’ve got to make sure I feel he can last a whole game, but he’s played a bunch.

“Wyn­ton hasn’t, so I felt it was in our best in­ter­est to make sure that po­si­tion was so­lid­i­fied. We still have Maleki (Har­ris), too, if we’re go­ing to go that way to have some depth.”

NOTES

For any­one won­der­ing whether Bakari Grant is play­ing Fri­day, there wasn’t a ton of ev­i­dence to sug­gest the Stam­ped­ers had made a de­ci­sion one way or the other at Wednes­day’s prac­tice. Grant put in work, for sure, but he wasn’t tak­ing reps with the starters and Dick­en­son wouldn’t say whether he was in or out … The Stam­ped­ers’ in­jured re­ceivers are around McMa­hon Sta­dium these days. Both Ka­mar Jor­den and DaVaris Daniels were at prac­tice on Wednes­day … If the Stamps do beat the Bombers and clinch first place Fri­day, it still seems likely they’ll want to keep Bo Levi Mitchell in for at least a half against the Lions in their fi­nal reg­u­lar-sea­son game next week. He sim­ply needs more game time to de­velop chem­istry with his cur­rent crop of re­ceivers. It sure would be nice to see Nick Ar­buckle get an ex­tended stretch at quar­ter­back at some point, though. The kid can throw a pass and it’d be in­ter­est­ing to see how far he’s come this sea­son.

AL CHAREST/ FILES

Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers’ Tre Rober­son dur­ing prac­tice in June. Hav­ing Rober­son out with in­jury means DaShaun Amos will likely get tapped to play cor­ner against the Blue Bombers on Fri­day.

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