Stampeders sack veteran linebacker Clark

Sat, March 8, 2008

UPDATED: 2008-03-08 02:57:08 MST

Calgary Stampeders have cut ties with veteran middle linebacker Brian Clark.

With the recent free-agent signing of JoJuan Armour, there was a glut of linebackers under contract.

Also getting released were linebackers Rob Rodriguez and Cornelius Anthony as the Stamps cleaned house because they will continue to run a four-three system this season.

"It was a difficult decision," Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel said on QR77 radio last night.

"I told him he was no longer in the plans and gave him the option whether he wanted to retire or get released. He chose to be released."

With only three starting spots at linebacker, Armour will battle with Scott Coe, Trey Young, Neil Ternovatsky and Matt Grootegoed.

Clark, 33, who came on board before the 2004 season, flourished under former defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan's three-four formation.

But once Creehan was fired late last season, the Stamps switched to a four-three and Clark was forced to share duties with his good friend Scott Coe.

Because of the import ratio, the Stamps needed another Canadian on the field, and Clark was a casualty, sitting out the final regular-season game and the playoff loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Coe and Ternovatsky shared the duties at that position.

Clark, a nine-year veteran, had 44 tackles in 16 games last season. He was a West Division all-star in 2005.

Rodriguez made one start for the Stamps last season but suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in replacing Clark.

Anthony spent three seasons with Stamps, becoming a starter in 2006 but getting relegated to a backup position last season on a deep Calgary roster.

The Stampeders also released fullback Cory Hathaway, who never played a game with Calgary after rupturing his Achilles tendon in training camp.

I'm not surprised by this at all, the writing was on the wall for Clark last year when the Stamps didn't put him on the roster for the WSF.

I think he would be a good fit for the Argos and their 3-4 defense. Would make a good rotation option with O'Shea and Fletcher to keep everybody fresh. There's no substitude for experience down the strech and in the playoffs.

Seems unlikely.
I like Brian Clark.
Class act; good player.
But as an import linebacker, if he doesn't replace O'Shea, it is unlikely he will just be a back-up.
Which is pretty much true anywhere he goes.
If he still has game, hopefully someone will pick him up.
But at 34 this year, it is likely the end of the line.
Someone may take a look, and if he is content to be a role player, he would be great insurance for a team.

He has the heart of a Lion, so good luck to him whatever the future holds.

I cant believe they let go of Anthony

After what happened last year, not surprised by the out come. I think he has a couple of good years left. Could catch on some where and still be a leader.

I never saw anything 'special' about Clark. If we were talking about a younger NI player then I might be impressed with his numbers.

kel much as you may not like his numbers Kel I doubt you can say he wasn't an effective captain of the D....his ability to rally the forces, see things others did not and generally command the defensive effort was pretty decent....this makes him pretty special in my book...

...good luck BC, a decent player, an even better leader, and an outstanding citizen during your tenure here in cowtown....

Agreed he was outstanding when he played here. On fortunately time has come for a change. I will miss him he is a great person off and on the field.