Thelwell impressed with depth

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."

EXTRA POINTS

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.

Yep, Calgary definitly has a solid receiving core..

Hey Red, it seems to me the pressure is on and appears to be self imposed by the players.
A "can't miss proposition" in Cowtown this year.
If it does not happen, who will walk the plank?

Read the training camp threads in the Stamps section

Right now it is to close to call. I think they will wait after the game against the Eskies to make any roster changes. But the competition is tough in QB, RB, DB, receiver and linebacker spots. There are a couple of new DB's that are making many talk. Brandon Browner and a new comer in since Sunday Calvin Bannister are very good at man to man coverages. Bannister is a speedster that had run a punt back 110 yds for a TD in the mock game. At QB all four QB's are doing very well. As usual Hank was slow to start but has been getting better. SMith and Nealy are close seconds and Cubit is getting better each day as well. Running backs is real tough some unbelievable talent in the back field. Simonton is very good, Cates has been nothing short of great, Cornish has been very good and Reynolds is outstanding. It is going to be tough on this group. But right now not much seperates these guys. Receivers as well The new comers are pushing for jobs. The problem again this group is so close it is hard to say. Lewis and Copeland have been trying to out do each other Boerigtor has been very good has missed some practise do to some cramping. Thelwell is looking very good but he to has been cramping up. Rambo has been steady catching everything. J R Tolver has been outstanding one handed catch with two db's on his back for a touchdown. Keenan Howry as well has caught everything thrown his way. Of all the years I have watched the Stampeders TC this one has been unreal with the battles for jobs. There is going to be some very good players available soon.