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Calgary Stampeders

(13-5 in 2008 - 1st in West Division and Grey Cup Champions)

General Manager:
John Hufnagel | Head Coach: John Hufnagel
Offensive Coordinator: George Cortez | Defensive Coordinator: Chris Jones

Video: 2008 Rewind | 2008 Statistics | 2009 Schedule | Team Page


Key Addition: Confidence - When you win the Grey Cup and finish near the top of most statistical categories, the biggest improvement over last year's training camp is mental. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Other Signings and Acquisitions: DE Alain Kashama

Key Deletion: DE Charleston Hughes - Among the team leaders in sacks last season, Hughes followed his NFL dream, signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. A solid pass rush is vital in the CFL so Hughes will be missed.

Other Releases and Deletions: QB Dave Dickenson, QB Ben Sankey, LB JoJuan Armour, DB Calvin Bannister, DB Julian Battle, DL Eddie Freeman, DL Tearrius George, DL Howard Hodges, DB Richard Karikari, LB Saleem Rasheed, LB Neil Ternovatsky, DB Lenny Walls

Matt Dunigan's Quarterback Analysis: The defending Grey Cup champions go into the '09 campaign with Henry Burris back @ the helm. Hank is going into his 3rd straight year with George Cortez as his offensive coordinator. The improvement we saw from Year 1 to Year 2 last season was scary-ridiculous and if we see the same gains from Year 2 to Year 3, then the Stamps should be favored to repeat!!! Hank is settling in under George's guidance and he has a full compliment of weapons @ his disposal. Hank put on 10-15lbs of muscle last year and it proved to be beneficial in keeping him healthy. With the offseason gains and dedication paying the ultimate dividend, a Grey Cup victory, Hank went back to work this offseason refining his body and mind once again. Probably a good idea as there is virtually no experience behind Hank, although there is plenty of raw talent! Talent by the name of Barrick Nealy. According to John Hufnagel, Barrick is a QB that has all the measurables and talent to go along with it. He's #2 and is searching for command of the offence and valuable playing time. Fighting for the #3 spot is a seasoned and well-decorated Arena Football star in Matt D'Orazio. His experience in the AFL's fast-paced game, which forces QBs to make quick decisions, should prove to be beneficial in the CFL. D'Orazio is being pushed by Drew Tate, a solid pick-up from the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Jock Climie's Offensive Analysis: There isn't a team in the CFL that can touch Calgary when it comes to the combined power of its running and passing game. Led by last year's Most Outstanding Player Henry Burris, the Calgary Stampeders can look forward to another stellar year moving the football. A good argument can be made that Ken-Yon Rambo has quietly emerged as the league's best receiver. The sure-handed Nik Lewis will once again set up shop over the middle. Last year, we saw Jeremaine Copeland take on more of a supporting role and, with some of the younger talent around him, this may be all that is required of him. Brett Ralph and Ryan Thelwell round out the rest of this veteran-laden group. Joffrey Reynolds, last year's rushing leader, is back and should be just as tough to contain in George Cortez's 2009 offence. Cortez's system is designed to attack defences through subtle misdirection and imaginative play calling. hese elements contribute greatly to Reynolds' success and with Coach Hufnagel's great offensive mind there to assist Cortez, there is no reason to believe that Reynolds won't repeat as the number one running back in the league.

Glen Suitor's Defensive Analysis: In 2008, the Stamps were the #1 team in the league against the run and in the all-important category of points allowed, which is likely why they made very few changes in the off-season. Outside of Brandon Browner, the Stamps did not have a so-called, big-name defence last year. However, it was a unit that played together and improved every game. Browner signed an extension in the off-season so the short-side shutdown corner will be back in 2009 and the rest of what is a young and aggressive secondary has another year of experience under their belts. Defensive end Mike Labinjo emerged in the playoffs and Grey Cup as one of the stars of the future in Calgary and, barring injury, should have an even better season. The only question John Hufnagel may have is who will emerge as the team's dominant pass rusher? Charleston Hughes was showing promise but signed with the Eagles in the off-season so the job is up for grabs in camp.

Duane Forde's Canadian Content: The defending Grey Cup champions prove the theory that quality Canadians are the foundation of successful CFL teams. The Stampeders don't possess an overwhelming collection of big names but when evaluated as a whole, rather than as the sum of its parts, Calgary's Canadian contingent is as good as any in the league. Kicker Sandro DeAngelis, defensive end Mike Labinjo, wideout Brett Ralph, and slotback Teyo Johnson showed in 2008 that they're all capable of being the hero in any given week. And, for as good as the Stamps' Canucks were last year, they're likely to get even better in '09. Guards Dimitri Tsoumpas and Jesse Newman should be able to build on their impressive rookie performances, and running back Jon Cornish and receiver Jabari Arthur will both see their roles in the offence increase significantly.

Chris Schultz's Overview: Last year's goal is again this year's goal in Calgary, but it may be tougher this year to accomplish what the Stampeders did last year. Can they repeat? Absolutely, when you consider all 12 starters are back on offence while 8 of 12 return on defence and 38 of 46 players overall will be back in red this season. Also, and this is of equal importance, the entire coaching staff is back including the cerebral assistance of Dave Dickenson. More...

What Makes Them Good? After suffering through playoff struggles in recent years, the drought is over. And Henry Burris has rid himself of the 'can't win the big one' label.

What Makes Them Vulnerable? No team has won back-to-back titles since the Argonauts did it in 1996-97. Can the Stampeders avoid the dreaded Grey Cup hangover?

Coach Hufnagel Says... "People have to win positions, whether you were on the championship team last year or whether you're just 21 years old out of school. If it's a tie, it'll go to the veteran. The defensive line is going to be the heaviest competition." - The Canadian Press

2008 Statistics

Total 568 58 412 293 135
Rank 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 2nd

Total 387 35 356 291 90
Rank 1st 1st 2nd 5th 1st

2008 Team Leaders

Player, Total Joffrey Reynolds, 12 Ken-Yon Rambo, 1,473
* Led the league
Joffrey Reynolds, 1,310
* Led the league

Player, Total Shannon James, 73 Charleston Hughes, 5
Mike Labinjo, 5
Miguel Robede, 5
Wes Lysack, 4

2009 Draft Picks

Rd Player Position School
1 Eric Fraser DB Central Michigan
2 Tristan Black LB Wayne State
3 John Hashem OT Regina
4 Spencer Armstrong WR Air Force
4 Steve Myddelton OL St. Francis Xavier
4 Scott McHenry SB Saskatchewan
5 Osie Ukwuoma DL Queen's
6 John Kanaroski WR Regina

CFL Feature

CFL on TSN analyst Paul LaPolice opens his playbook and breaks down key plays from each week's games. More...

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