CFL Pass

STAMPS NOTES: Stamps DBs aim to catch Tre Roberson

Raheem Wilson has one interception so far this season.

He’s been a revelation at the field corner spot for the Calgary Stampeders all year and has made the position his own, but he’s only got one interception.

It’s going to take a gargantuan effort for him to catch team-leader Tre Roberson, who currently has six.

The way the Stampeders defensive backs group works this season, though, that’s not going to prevent Wilson from telling his teammates that he’s planning on winning their internal lockerrooom race to see who has the most picks at the end of the season.

“I’m not in the race right now, but I’m still going to talk as if I have a chance,” Wilson said with a smile. “That’s just part of the game, it’s what makes us unique and close. We love playing and we love competing.”
Roberson came out of the gate catching just about every ball that was thrown anywhere near him this season, and had five interceptions in the Stamps’ first three games.

Those sorts of performances catch the eye of opposing offensive coordinators and quarterbacks, though, and teams have actively started game-planning to avoid throwing Roberson’s way.

That’s left the door open for one of his teammates to try to catch him for the team lead, and while none of them seem especially serious when they talk about it, DaShaun Amos does now have four interceptions.

“Absolutely, right now it’s wide open,” Wilson said. “Tre’s a dangerous man and teams are a little more hesitant to go his way as often as they were early on in the year.”

To be fair, there have been plenty of interceptions to go around this year for the Stampeders, who currently lead the CFL with 18 interceptions.

Robertson Daniel has three, Brandon Smith has two and just about everyone else who has lined up in the Stamps’ defensive backfield has at least one.

Amos is certainly the frontrunner to catch Roberson, though, and after letting out a good long laugh, he tentatively called his shot.

“Yeah, I think I can get him,” Amos said with a smile. “I’ve got a window to catch him before he gets back hot, but I’ve gotta move quickly. “Since Tre started off so hot at the beginning of the season, it’s always been a race. We’ve gotta catch Tre. He set the bar, so at that point it was like, ‘Alright, what are we doing? We’re around the ball but he’s grabbing it, so we’ve got to catch up’. “

WITH GOOD REASON
Another player missing from Tuesday’s practice was defensive back Jamar Wall.

Because Wall appeared to suffer an injury very late in Saturday’s game against the Eskimos, there was understandably some concern among those who stood on the rainy sidelines at Tuesday’s practice.

As it turns out, though, Wall had a very good reason for being absent: The birth of his second child.

“A baby girl, I heard,” said Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson. “We were nervous in Edmonton. He wanted to be there, which we think he should be, so we had a car for him to come back down (to Calgary), but we’re happy for him.”

Dickenson said he was hoping Wall would be back on the field practising with his teammates on Wednesday.

NEW FACE
Right before practice started Tuesday, the Stamps announced they’d added a new defensive lineman to their practice roster in the form of Sterling Sheffield.

The University of Maine product signed with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent earlier this year before attending training camp.

“We planned on it for a while,” Dickenson said. “We’re going to see what the NFL cuts are, we have quite a few guys on our (negotiation list). Sterling, I think, is a guy I’ve seen with the Bengals and he’s a hard worker. He kind of fits our game. A bit undersized, was playing (linebacker) with Cincy. Still have a long way to go with him but happy to have him in the building.”

The Stampeders are short on depth at defensive end right now, and while much of the focus among fans has been on whether the team might be able to re-sign one or two of the players who left Calgary to pursue NFL opportunities in the off-season, it seems just as likely the team will more vigorously pursue players who can add some depth at key positions of need.

Dickenson also said that because his team has a bye week at the end of September, they won’t expand their practice roster until early-October.

NOTES
Chris Casher did not practise Tuesday. The Stamps’ starting defensive end was involved in a car crash last week and missed this weekend’s game against the Eskimos. It’s unclear how much time he is expected to miss … With Wall doing new-dad stuff on Tuesday, Courtney Stephen filled in at the SAM spot. Given that it doesn’t appear Wall is going to miss any more time, he should be back in his spot sooner rather than later … It’s sort of incredible that the Stampeders emerged from their back-to-back with the Eskimos over Labour Day without any more serious injuries. There are definitely some players who are beat-up, but it doesn’t appear that there’s anything too serious.

daustin@postmedia.com

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Source: montrealgazette.com