Stampeders receivers promise to bounce back after two TDless games

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Reggie Begelton called it “embarrassing.”

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Richard Sindani used the word “disappointing”.

The Calgary Stampeders receivers were not happy with their collective performance against the Ottawa Redblacks last Friday.

For the second straight game, they didn’t score a touchdown. They also combined for just 149 yards through the air against Ottawa.

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Defense, special teams and a great performance by running back Dedrick Mills helped carry the Stamps to a 17-3 victory over the lowly Redblacks. But with the high-flying BC Lions rolling into Calgary for a key West Division contest on Saturday (5:00 p.m., TSN/770 CHQR)the receivers know they have to be better.

“Terrible, it was bloody awful,” Begelton said of the game against the Redblacks. “We haven’t scored in two games. We haven’t scored a (passing) touchdown in two games. This is unsatisfactory. This is embarrassing.

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“It’s the kind of stuff that should light a fire in your ass and make you go, ‘What’s wrong?’ What are we doing here that isn’t working? “

There are a lot of things working for the Stampeders this season. They are 5-2 and their only losses have come against the powerful and undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers (9-0) in games where the Stamps have performed as well as they can.

A tough matchup against the Redblacks (1-7) shouldn’t cause anyone to suddenly dismiss the Stamps’ receiving corps. The team scores the second most points per game in the CFL and also has the second most net yards in the league. The running game is a big part of that, but the passing game has done its part as well.

They just weren’t happy with the way they played against the Redblacks.

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“The last game, I honestly didn’t even think we sounded like a task,” Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson said. “It was a tough match. I would like the playmakers to play. The skills have to go up and when the battle is one-on-one on offense you want to win your share of them and that’s what we have to do.

“I think the guys are working hard, but we have to step up in those one-on-one battles and win them.”

If he can recover from a quad injury in time to play Saturday, the presence of wide receiver Malik Henry will provide a big boost for the Stampeders.
If he can recover from a quad injury in time to play Saturday, the presence of wide receiver Malik Henry will provide a big boost for the Stampeders. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Postmedia

If the recipients of the stamps are going to recover, it would be ideal for them to do so immediately. While the offense won’t stop Nathan Rourke and the Lions’ breathtaking attack, it’s safe to assume the visitors from Vancouver, who have a 6-1 record, will at least pick up some points on Saturday.

The Seals will need to match the Lions’ production when the offense is on the field.

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A performance like the one they put on against the Redblacks won’t do.

“It’s not Stampeder football, we didn’t score a touchdown,” Sindani said. “When we talked to (Dickenson) afterward, honestly, that’s not the way our offense runs. We are definitely looking for a refund.

“Never let your opponent see you bleed and whatnot, but this team, they’re good, they’re really good, but we’re not going to praise them too much until they come here and play us. First they have to see us, they have to see us in McMahon.

One thing that could help the Stampeders is if Malik Henry can recover from a quad injury in time for this weekend’s game. Henry is the Stamps’ leading receiver and was limited against the Redblacks.

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He sat out Tuesday’s practice but was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday’s closed practice on the Stamps’ injury report. His presence alone would provide a major boost, though Sean Bain was right next to Henry for the receiver job during training camp and could certainly fill the job if he’s not available.

One way or another, the Stamps receivers aren’t happy with the way they played against the Redblacks and are vowing to be better.

“You can only keep giving up, and everyone has to get involved,” Begelton said. “It’s one of those things where you can’t pinpoint what the problem is, maybe, but you just have to pull yourself together and trust that the guys next to you are going to get the job done.”

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