CFL Pass

Stamps Notes: Greenwood laughs off league-lead in tackles talk

Cory Greenwood is putting about as much stock in leading the CFL in tackles as you might expect.

Not much, basically.

The Calgary Stampeders linebacker has 25 tackles through three games, which is good for tops in the league.

Ask him about it, though, and he makes it pretty clear that it’s not something he’s bragging about in the lockerroom.

“It’s pretty cool, but it’s still really early in the season,” Greenwood said. “I’ll take it. I’m running to the ball and getting tackles. The first couple of games we were playing a lot of snaps, so that’s just kind of cleaning up tackles and whatever, but I’d like to have a lot of two-and-outs, to be honest.

“Watching our offence last week was awesome.”

Greenwood has been a pleasant surprise for the Stampeders so far. When Alex Singleton signed with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles in the off-season, whoever won the starting middle linebacker position was going to have big shoes to fill.

The 34-year-old Greenwood won the starter job at training camp and has been a steady presence in the middle. In addition to his 25 tackles, he’s also added a sack and a forced fumble.

“I’m happy with Cory’s play,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson. “It’s a double-edged sword sometimes, leading the league in tackles. Linebacker, I love it. (Defensive back), not so much, but he’s doing a nice job.

“I know his eyes and his vision and his reads can get better but he is a sure tackler, he’s aggressive, he is a leader in there, as well. He definitely upped his game last week. As long as he keeps doing that he’s definitely trending in the right direction.”

CLARITY

Realistically, this isn’t going to stop people from speculating about whether the Stampeders will pull Bo Levi Mitchell off the six-game injured list early.

But don’t expect him to be back in the next couple of weeks. The injured pectoral muscle that’s put him on the six-game injured list put him there for a reason.

“To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised with a minimum of four,” Dickenson said. “People surprise you, but (Stamps president/GM John Hufnagel) is not in the business of putting guys on six-game unless the injury is closer to six games. When the doctors tell you that, that’s what you go with.”

To illustrate his point, Dickenson pointed to injured receiver Josh Huff, who will be placed on the one-game injured list because the undisclosed injury he’s fighting is expected to keep him out two-to-four weeks. Any longer, and he likely would be on the six-game like Mitchell.

Backup Nick Arbuckle has filled-in admirably for Mitchell since he went down in the dying minutes of the Stampeders’ comeback win over the B.C. Lions on June 29, and the Stamps still have third-stringer Montell Cozart available if need-be.

But in the worst-case scenario where something happens to both Arbuckle and Cozart, they don’t currently have another quarterback on the roster.

It’s something they’ve considered, although the salary cap is a factor.

If Mitchell is pulled-off the six-game injured list early, his entire salary for the time he missed goes against the Stamps’ salary cap, so signing another QB just-in-case could put the team in a bind.

“We’ve talked to some people, we’re ready if something happens,” Dickenson said. “We also understand that in the salary cap era, you’ve just got to be ready. Once (Mitchell) is ready, he’s off and now you’ve paid an extra position, so I’ll let (Hufnagel) handle all that.

“We’re ready, though, we have ideas and we have options.”

Mitchell, by the way, will be travelling with the Stampeders to Hamilton for their game this weekend against the Ticats.

“It’s not ideal when you’re hurt to not play, but he’s still our leader,” Dickenson said. “He’s our guy. As soon as he’s ready he’s back in there, so still good to stay involved, hear the coaching. We’ll be playing this team again down the road so you want to see what they can do and also be a leader.”

NOTES

After missing Saturday’s game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Brandon Smith has missed both Stampeders practices this week. Smith is one of those players who the Stamps coaching staff can trust to step onto the roster and play even if he hasn’t practised all week. They’d love to see him taking reps on Thursday, but one way or another that might not affect whether he’s in against the Ticats … Juwan Brescacin looks like he’s nearing a return after missing last game when he went through concussion protocol. He was in pads and practising on Wednesday … Weakside linebacker Wynton McManis didn’t do as much as Brescacin, but he’s inching closer to a return, as well.

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Source: winnipegsun.com