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2008 Preview: Calgary Stampeders

Good on the Stamps for figuring out that the one key ingredient they were lacking last year was an ageing quarterback who can’t run nearly as well as he used to and bravo on getting Dave Dickenson to play the Danny Mac role. Some may argue that the presence of a QB as accomplished as Dickenson, even if he is getting on in years, may be detrimental to Hank Burris, but at this stage I think Henry is thankful to know that in four years from now when he’s being outrun by offensive linemen, he too can be the Stamps backup QB.

The other major offseason move was obviously the signing of a new head coach. Now Hufnagel will most likely be able to help the offence, but is that really the major problem for the Stamps? In terms of skill position players, they have enough talent that even Gary Etcheverry’s “run for two yards, run for one yard and hope the ref doesn’t know how to count” offence would probably be mildly successful, even if they are starting two linemen straight out of school.

The key here is obviously going to be the defense and what, if any, improvements they can make after a tumultuous year in 2007. Personnel wise, they haven’t really added much on that side of the ball, with the notable exception of JoJuan Armour. Admitedly though, he was only really effective in Hamilton when he was running on to the field at the start of games with a sledgehammer. So if this doesn’t work out, look for him to be in the running for Pigskin Pete duty.

It’s all about taking small steps though. At this time last year, Akili Smith was slotted in to play a key role and they had a coach that bore an uncanny resemblence to Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Now if they’d only stop angering the football gods by running fake field goals in long decided games, maybe they’ll have something.

Posted on Monday, June 23, 2008 at 06:00AM by Registered CommenterRusty in , | CommentsPost a Comment

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