Thursday 24 June 2010

8 Teams, 8 Days: Calgary Stampeders

Last Season: 10-7-1, 2nd in the West (Lost West Division Final 27-17 to Saskatchewan)


Before his late-season meltdown, Quarterback Henry Burris was the front runner for MOP. Even with that late-season disappearing act, Burris still tallied massive numbers for a potent offense. He will enter the 2010 season hoping to show that 2008 was the real Burris (when he led Calgary to a Grey Cup Championship). When Burris faltered, Running Back Joffrey Reynolds, who was the West's nominee for MOP, picked up the slack. Reynolds led the league in rushing yards, and even if he's getting up in age, he should still have a couple of years of top-level play left. The Wide Receiver position is in a state of flux entering 2010. Gone are Jeremaine Copeland (traded to Toronto) and Brett Ralph (Retirement); in their place the Stamps see the return of Ken-Yon Rambo, who missed almost the entire 2009 season with a knee injury. Nik Lewis returns, but he only scored one touchdown (yes, ONE) in 2009, and he'll have to up that considerably with Copeland gone and Rambo likely to be rusty. The Offensive Line also saw a shakeup with the unexpected retirement of Jesse Newman.

Player to Watch: Ken-Yon Rambo


The Defensive Line should post some nice results, led by Mike Labinjo. Labinjo dropped a ton of weight this off-season, and that should help him produce what I think will be his best season in the CFL. The Linebacking corps is a bit of an unknown outside of Calgary, with the only nationally recognized player (Dwaine Carpenter) released this off-season. The Secondary should be strong, with DB Dwight Anderson leading the way. The defense for the Stampeders is a bit of a mystery, and it might take watching a few games before I can accurately rate how this unit will perform.

Player to Watch: Mike Labinjo


The confounding rash of retirements that came out of Calgary gives this team a little bit of a continuity issue heading into the 2010 season. With veterans like Jeff Pilon hanging up the cleats, the Stamps will have a very different look in 2010. The success of the Stamps hinges on a couple of things. First, Henry Burris must be the Henry Burris of the first half of 2009. Second, Joffrey Reynolds must continue to be the league's best back. Third, Ken-Yon Rambo must return to his former self to make-up for the loss of Jeremaine Copeland. Fourth, the defense must find an identity. This is probably the team in the West that dealt with the most turnover on its roster from 2009 to 2010. It might be a long season in Cowtown if the four things above do not materialize.

PREVIOUS: Saskatchewan Roughriders


  1. Tsoumpas jumping to the NFL hurts too. So that's 3 starting OL gone. I think Calgary's offensive challenges will be large despite the abilities of Reynolds and Burris.

    Will be interesting to see if Romby Bryant and PK Sam can step up, and Arjei Franklin has more freedom to blossom with Ralph gone.

  2. Completely forgot about Tsoumpas. Thanks for bringing him up.