Stamps notes: Westerman looks to make quick impact
Jabar Westerman did what he could to get into game shape, but that’s not particularly easy when you’re not attending a CFL training camp.
Now that’s he signed with the Calgary Stampeders, though, the veteran defensive lineman is doing everything in his power to play catch-up.
It’s a bit of a race against time, though, as injuries have left the Stamps d-line depleted and they’d love nothing more than to add his veteran presence to the roster as soon as possible.
“I do feel like Westerman has played well, when he was with (the B.C. Lions) I thought he pushed the pocket, he was long,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson. “Hoping he has some edge and is motivated. Tough on him, he hasn’t had a training camp. We’ll see if he draws into the lineup. He’s gotta show that the can pick it up and do well, but I think he will help us out.”
Westerman spent the first five seasons in the CFL with the Lions before moving to the Montreal Alouettes in 2017, and he has picked up 88 defensive tackles and 18 sacks throughout his career.
For a Stamps d-line that has already lost Folarin Orimolade and Junior Turner to long-term injuries and also has Ese Mrabure fighting to get fit in time for Saturday’s home game against the Lions, a player with Westerman’s experience could be invaluable.
He just needs to get in game shape, and that’s not something anyone thinks is easy.
“It’s hard without any pads and the atmosphere of training camp,” Westerman said. “The two-a-days, the meetings, you’re up, you’re down, up late or up early. It’s hard to get an actual feel of what the guys are doing in camp, but I did everything I could as far as running and working out.
“Right now, we’re going to see what happens this week with everything. We don’t know who’s going to be up or down.”
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie released a statement last week expressing his disappointment in the Canadian Football League Players Association for its decision to “grieve the two-game suspension the CFL has imposed on Hamilton Tiger-Cat Simoni Lawrence after he struck Saskatchewan Roughrider quarterback Zach Collaros in the head.”
The CFLPA was quick to respond, and Stampeders punter – and CFLPA player rep – Rob Maver also took to Twitter to explain the union’s responsibilities and the reasons why the appeal was needed.
On Monday, he elaborated.
“The PA is not involved in the disciplinary process, so you have to have a mechanism by which you can appeal,” Maver explained. “In the NFL, the PA is involved in handing out disciplines and fines, so it’s handled different. Here, it’s handled by one body and it’s the PA’s job to represent every single member, regardless of what they do or what they don’t do. In this case, the process is likely going to unfold one way because of the nature of the play, but that doesn’t absolve the PA’s responsibility to represent that member.
“It’s about due process, it’s not about the hit itself. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about football or something criminal, everyone’s entitled to due process.”
Dwayne Norman was one of the Stampeders’ standout special teams performers in Week 1 against the Ottawa Redblacks.
But an ankle injury has left the Stamps coaching staff trying to figure out what their best move is with the versatile linebacker.
“He’s fighting an ankle, so he just came out,” Dickenson said. “We’re worried about him. It’s one of those ankles. Is it high ankle? A lot of them take longer than you think. We’ve got to make a call on him. If it’s into that six week area, whether we’d put him on the six-game (injured list) or if we think it’s week-to-week we can try to get him back as soon as possible.”
While Norman has been on-and-off the Stampeders roster for a couple of seasons, his performance against the Redblacks caught the eye and had many in the pressbox wondering whether he could be due for a breakout season.
In general, it sounds as if most of the Stampeders stayed around Calgary for their bye week. The timing of the week off was a little odd, so most of the players who were asked said they took trips out to Banff or Lake Louise, but generally stayed close to the city … Hergy Mayala made a nice one-handed catch at Monday’s practice and you can’t help but wonder if the Stampeders’ 2019 first-round draft pick will take on a bigger role sooner rather than later … The offensive line that practised with the starters on Monday was the same as the group that dressed in Week 1. Dickenson has spoken several times about how his team didn’t control the line of scrimmage against the Redblacks, but it looks like he’ll give his group another shot against the Lions this week.