Sat, June 9, 2007
By IAN BUSBY, CALGARY SUN
Ryan Thelwell has played with some outstanding receivers in the past but he's more impressed with the talent level surrounding him in Calgary Stampeders training camp.
"It's probably the best group of receivers in total that I've ever played with," said the seven-year CFL veteran who signed with the Stampeders as a free agent from the B.C. Lions.
"We had some good receivers in B.C. but here we have six or so receivers who could start anywhere at any position in this whole league. It's a good group of guys too."
Thelwell has lined up with the likes of Geroy Simon and Jason Clermont with the B.C. Lions over the six seasons of his CFL career.
But he compares the depth the Stamps have right now to anyone's in the league. If the Stamps so choose, a five-receiver set could feature Thelwell along with former 1,000-yard players Jeremaine Copeland, Nik Lewis and Marc Boerigter, plus the extremely versatile Ken-Yon Rambo.
So far, offensive co-ordinator George Cortez is moving all his receivers around and making sure each one knows every position inside and out.
"Once the season starts, everyone will have a role," Thelwell said. "You will see that develop.
"There's only one ball so we know we won't get it every time. But we also realize we have to take care of each other downfield. If you don't get the ball, we block for the other guy."
Thelwell just hopes he is one of final pieces to the puzzle on a championship team.
"They made a couple of moves to get over the hump," Thelwell said. "That's how it was in B.C. as well.
"We were a good team but didn't get over that hump until last year. That's what we're looking at here and I think we have the talent to do it."
The Stampeders released import OL Mike Erickson yesterday but the 6-ft. 4-in., 320-pounder will still be around the stadium to rehab a back injury. The team signed OL Daniel Oliphant to take his spot but there is the possibility of Erickson rejoining the practice roster once the season begins ... Non-import WR Shawn White was released ... Thelwell and fellow former B.C. Lion Bobby Singh, who is in his second tour of duty with the Stamps, got their Grey Cup rings yesterday.