Time to rank Hank No. 1

UPDATED: 2008-11-04 04:59:13 MST

Numbers show Burris deserves nod for league's most outstanding player

By IAN BUSBY

Stamps QB Henry Burris dives for a first down during Calgary's 41-30 win over the B.C. Lions Saturday at McMahon. Burris was named a West all-star yesterday. (Lyle Aspinall, Sun Media)

Henry Burris picked up two more honours yesterday, and the Calgary Stampeders quarterback should expect more in the next few weeks.

Burris was a no-brainer to be named a West Division all-star, which was announced yesterday, and he also picked up the CFLPA player of the month award for October.

But the real telling sign as to whether the voters were paying attention this season will come today when the divisional nominees for outstanding player awards come out.

There is no debate Burris is the top player on the CFL's best team, which should make him a shoo-in to represent the West as most outstanding player at the CFL player awards Nov. 20 in Montreal.

A year ago, there was still debate about whether the 33-year-old from Spiro, Okla., would ever develop into an elite quarterback.

That was when Burris was at the helm of a sloppy, turnover-laden bunch that bowed out in the first round of the playoffs.

This season, with virtually the same group aside from a reworked offensive line and new head coach, Burris put up a career high in yards (5,094), touchdown passes (39) and passer rating (103.8).

"With what our offence did, we have so many great hard-working guys that I'm just a piece of the puzzle," said the ever-humble Burris yesterday. "I just have to make good decisions and get the ball to the right guy at the right time."

Burris' play has helped three other Stamps offensive players become all-stars in the West. Running back Joffrey Reynolds picked up his fourth straight honour, while receiver Ken-Yon Rambo and centre Rob Lazeo earned their first all-star awards. Cornerback Brandon Browner and kicker Sandro DeAngelis also were named to the West team.

When competition has got tougher, Burris has taken his play to another level this season. In games against winning teams, Burris led the Stamps to an 8-3 record and his passer rating is solid at 101.7.

[b]Compared to the quarterback who should be his competition for this award, Alouettes veteran Anthony Calvillo, Burris has a better record, despite the Montreal pivot's great comeback story.

Calvillo is just 3-4 with a 99.4 passer rating against winning teams, while he is 8-2 with a 112.1 rating against the rest.

Burris also beat Calvillo twice head-to-head. [/b]

All of Burris' success comes from cutting down on interceptions and fumbles. In years past, Burris wouldn't be able to do that. For the longest time, he would have flashes of brilliance mixed in with boneheaded mistakes. He doesn't have head-slappers anymore.

Do you give the credit to new head coach John Hufnagel? Doesn't offensive co-ordinator George Cortez deserve plenty of praise for the job he's done?

Burris himself deserves the kudos for heeding advice, maturing and realizing his potential that has been talked about since he arrived in Calgary way back in 1997.

"It's a progression that happens for every quarterback," Burris said. "You have to go through some lows to get to the highs.

"All those times I failed have allowed me to be successful. Between last year and this year, I wanted to keep getting better. If you look at our team, I'm not asked to do as much as I thought I needed to try to do out there.

"We're a much better team in all three phases. We pick each other up and we don't do things that will hurt ourselves.

"As for not making those mistakes anymore, it all comes from things I learned from in the past."

Now the immediate future looks bright, for Burris and the Stampeders.

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nope not even, if he can do a playoff run then maybe but everyone including the media that follows the league still have there doubts on this guy, I know if he was on my team as a starter going into the playoffs i would be somewhat worried, Its to easy to get him off his game getting him flustered and then he makes mistakes, could it be his year? looks like it might be but i would not bet on it, I think two guys that are chosen Wake and Anthony deserve the nod, maybe next year :slight_smile:

Burris had a great season and I would give him the nod for West Division MOP but Calvillo should win league MOP. There's not enough reason to choose Burris over Calvillo with the #s they have.

To tell you the truth, I never really noticed Burris being soooo outstanding this year. He had a good year but did he really stand out like Cameron Wake?

yup totally agree with you on that

Well I would not take a rider fans opinion on this subject due to their out right hatred for the greatest QB the riders ever had other then the late great general.

Great QB's can win a Grey Cup you would hope, lancaster was the best they had, Burris did nothing in Sask but make promises that he broke and he will break your Calgary heart once again, he was by far not even close to being a Rider great, not even on my list. Don't really care if you don't take a Rider fans opinion but in the end you know whos right :slight_smile:

Greatest QB with a losing record ever! Really nice guy though, smiles all the time. :wink:

I have feeling he is going to leave somones fans crying and it won’t be a stamp fan. :smiley:

Just keep this number in your mind 42 -5 ! :rockin:

So, does that mean you didn't consider Peyton Manning to be a great QB before he won the Super Bowl a couple years ago? What about Eli Manning, is he now a great QB because he won the Super Bowl?

I think too much emphasis is put on winning championships. Personally, I don't know if I'd consider Burris to be a great QB yet. He always seemed to have inconsistency problems before this season. This has probably been his best season, but I'll wait and see if he continues to play like he has this season before I say he's a great QB, and winning the Grey Cup won't change my mind.

Burris has never been able to take that next step, and if he ever does then we can maybe say he is a great QB and one thing i don't compare the No Fun League to the CFL :rockin:

What about Kent Austin? What about Kerry Joseph?

Both have led the Riders to GC victories. Please let us know what Burris did with SSK?

I don't believe too much emphasis is placed on championships. They are important. But no, Trent Dilfer didn't become a "great" QB because he won a Superbowl, and Dan Marino is a "great" QB even though he didn't. But when it comes to Hank Burris, one needs to have some added perspective in considering what he meant to the Riders while he was here. For one thing, he had a losing record as a starting QB while a Rider. He at times put up big numbers, but his QB rating was atrocious. Fact is, he never really played very well for us, but he was always exciting and so some fans prefer excitement to effective. The best QB since Kent Austin had been Kerry Joseph. Not Burris. The next best guy was Nealon Greene---again, not Burris. Everyone could see the potential the guy had, and he was beginning to play well at the end of 2004. But he set himself and his career back by bolting for greener pastures in 2005. And so he has yet to fulfill all that potential. This has been his best season. Of course his best to date had been less than spectacular. I think he will be fortunate if he is the West nominee, as there is a lot of momentum for Wake. But I'll wager Anthony Cavillo is the league MOP this year, and deservedly so.

This has been a recording.

Burris is having a great year and deserves consideration for MOP and IMHO should win it.

As for whether championships matter, absolutely they do. Unless Hank can lead the Stamps to the promised land, he will land a spot along side, Dieter Brock and Milt Steagall as the great players who never won a Championship. Does not winning matter, just ask Hank, don't ask Milt, he won't talk to you, he's far too upset about not winning.

Can't argue with that. In my opinion, making a comment like, "Great QBs can win a championship" are just lame. As you mentioned, Dan Marino never won a championship, but you won't hear anyone arguing that he wasn't one of the best. If Burris only played mediocre football in Saskatchewan, then he probably wasn't the greatest. But you can't say he wasn't the greatest just because he never won a Grey Cup.

Actually Chief, I think you can make the arguement that without a championship, Burris will never be “the greatest”. The greats are measured by their ability to lead as well as their playing abilities. Yes, Dan Marino was a great player and argueably the greatest passer in football history but his accomplishments will always take the backseat to Joe Montana’s championships. Like it or not championships are the barometer that distinguishes; The Greatest from One of the Greatest.

I am not a Burris fan but let's give credit where credit is do.....he is always improving. It is only a matter of time before he wins a championship. Would I like him to be playing for the Riders???? Damn right I would. He is coming to his own now. He will be one of the top quarterbacks for next few years.

Does he deserve the MVP.... no, Calvillo has him beat by the numbers. Calvillo deserves it.

Calvillo has better stats, but Burris led his team to more wins. Calvillo didn't have one of those seasons statistically where one QB is head and shoulders above the rest (for example, Ray passed for more yards) But on the other hand, the Stampeders didn't exactly walk away from the field either (for example, the couple of last minute losses)

I think it could go either way. They're both deserving of their nominations and IMO it wouldn't be controversial if either won.

Hank is a "good" QB i won't argue that....but until he shows me (in the playoffs) that he can take a team down the feild in the 4th quarter and make smart decisions and not force the ball, he will always be number three behind Calvillo and Ray. IMO