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Stamps Notes: O-line's strong showing vs. Riders has confidence high

There wasn’t one specific moment where it clicked for Ryan Sceviour that he wasn’t out of his depth against the Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive line.

It’s not something he’d been worried about in the first place, to be fair, but the narrative surrounding last Saturday’s game had implied that the Riders d-line was going to have its way with the Calgary Stampeders offensive line.

That didn’t happen. At all.

In fact, the Stampeders o-line came together for their best performance of this young season. The Riders d-line had their moments, sure, but the Stamps gave quarterback Nick Arbuckle the time he needed to find his receivers and opened holes for their running backs to exploit.

It was an impressive, confidence-boosting performance for the offensive line and for Sceviour, in particular.

“As the game progressed the confidence gets there,” said Sceviour, the Stamps’ first round pick in the 2018 CFL Draft. “You hear all week about how great they and and stuff, but you get in there and realize they’re just guys, so you get more confident and it comes easier and easier as the game progresses.”

The Stamps o-line had come under scrutiny following two underwhelming performances to start the season, but they garnered rave reviews for the way they played last weekend.

They need to keep that going against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but the improvement they showed against the Riders is certainly encouraging.

“It was definitely the best game we’ve had as a unit,” Sceviour said. “When we watched the film it looked like we were all working as one. Part of that, I think is just having the bye-week in the second week, so instead of having two back-to-back games to improve, we got a week off.

“The coaches were saying the biggest improvements are usually between Week 1 and 2, but we didn’t really have that, so our Week 1 and 2 was actually Week 3 and 4.”

NEW ADDITION

The Stampeders made a roster move right before practice kicked off on Tuesday morning, adding Canadian running back Simon Gingras-Gagnon.

The Laval product was picked in the fourth round of the 2018 CFL Draft by the Toronto Argonauts and played eight games with the team last season, recording one carry for 11 yards.

It’s unlikely that he will see a much time on offence in the immediate future for the Stampeders, but he could be useful on special teams going forward.

“We need some special teams help, too, we’re low at Canadian,” Dickenson said. “I don’t know how much Simon’s going to know at this point, but we’re out here trying to make him better and if he gets activated just go out there and do his job.”

WATCHING

The Stampeders were keeping an eye on Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Simoni Lawrence’s appeal hearing on Tuesday.

Lawrence was initially suspended for two games for his hit to the head of Saskatchewan Roughriders QB Zach Collaros in the teams’ opening game of the season, but appealed the suspension and has played in each of the Ticats’ games since.

While the Stampeders weren’t going to comment on the hit itself or what they hoped might happen in the hearing, they were obviously interested in the outcome.

If Lawrence  — one of the CFL’s premiere defensive players — is suspended it is likely that he’ll have to sit out Saturday’s game between the Ticats and Stamps in Hamilton.

“Understand it’s part of the process and certainly interested,” Dickenson said. “I know what kind of football player he is, a good football player. They’ll have another guy if he’s not available but I do think he’s one of the best in the league.”

WAITING GAME

There were quite a few players missing from Tuesday’s practice at McMahon Stadium, but it’s probably best not to draw too many conclusions about who may or may not be available this weekend.

Riley Jones and Josh Huff, both of whom left last weekend’s game early and did not return, seem unlikely to play against the Ticats.

Linebacker Wynton McManis and halfback Brandon Smith, however, could be good-to-go despite missing last game.

“Once again we’re working with some different people,” Dickenson said. “Hopefully the reinforcements arrive. We know it’s going to be a tough game. (The Ticats) had a little extra time with the loss. I’m sure they refocused those guys, they’re already a heck of a team so we’re going to need to go out there and play our best.”

With Smith, in particular, there’s no real need for him to practice if he’s nursing a minor injury and just needs time to recover. He knows the Stamps system inside and out, and has been with the team for over a decade.

Realistically, we’ll have a better idea about his availability based on whether he practises on Thursday.

“For me, as long as you get back by Day 3, you’re OK,” Dickenson said. “But you need to be back by Day 3 and we need to make sure we’re at least able to see you practice.”

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Source: torontosun.com