Monday Camp Report

WR Brett Ralph got stronger in the off-season and is ready for an bigger role . . . DB Crance Clemons was injured a lot last season but has been very effective . . . WRs J.R. Tolver and David Bautista are good-looking recruits . . . DE Terrence Patrick has been stellar, but the whole unit has some fine prospects, including Keron Williams and Alonzo Jackson . . . Rookie FB Rob Cote catches the ball well and, though undersized, is impressing with his effort and might have some upside . . . OL Godfrey Ellis will be hard-pressed to earn a starting spot, but he improved in the off-season and is a big-time keeper . . . SB Jeremaine Copeland impresses every day and might quiet the skeptics by keeping his job . . . QB Barrick Nealy appears to be pulling away from Ryan Cubit for the No. 3 job. His best attribute -- improvisation -- will show in pre-season games . . . Head coach Tom Higgins continues to test players' conditioning. In the afternoon session, he had players run wind sprints before the team portion of camp. Higgins said he wants to see players execute while fatigued . . . As the lone unchallenged camper, Sandro DeAngelis is learning how former Stamps kicker Mark McLoughlin felt for more than a decade. "Sandro is country- clubbing it this year," said special-teams coach Craig Dickenson. "I told him the only rule is that he can't take golf clubs onto the field." . . . WR Markus Howell (calf), LB Justin Phillips (hamstring),

OL Garrick Jones (forearm), OL Tyler Lynem (thumb), RB Ken Simonton (hamstring), WR Roscoe Crosby (groin) missed Monday's morning practice. All injuries are considered day-to-day . . .

DB J.R. Ruffin (knee) and WR David Bautista (quad) skipped the afternoon . . . Stampeders training camp continues today at McMahon Stadium with practices from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The same schedule continues daily to June 13, with the exception of June 6, when a single practice runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.. Workouts are open to the public and admission is free.

Camp Battles

linebacker

  • Returnees -- Brian Clark*, Scott Coe, Marc Calixte, Robert Rodriguez*, Matt Grootegoed*, Khalid Abdullah*, Cornelius Anthony*, Shannon James*.

  • New Faces -- Tony Bua*, Steve Wilson, Justin Phillips, Ian Hazlett, Shaunard Harts*, Rodney McCarter*.

  • Departures-- John Grace*, Marc Mitchell, Cam Yeow, Walter Spencer.

*-denotes import.

  • The Skinny -- James has a firm grip on the strong-side position, but the middle, weak-side and rover spots are up for grabs. Clark and Coe currently are scrapping for the middle job, but it's possible Coe could shift to weak side and compete with Abdullah, Anthony and Rodriguez for that starting position. Bua and Grootegoed are in a battle at rover. Phillips, this year's first-round college pick, will back up Coe.

  • Coach's Comment -- "Of the four years I've been here, in terms of the whole overall group from top to bottom, it's the best I have," said defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan. "We've increased our speed at every position. That's the thing I like most."