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Burris predicts Grey Cup berth

Henry Burris succeeded in holding back the tears yesterday but his trademark enthusiasm couldn’t be reined in.

Henry Burris succeeded in holding back the tears yesterday but his trademark enthusiasm couldn’t be reined in.

After receiving the President’s Ring Award at the Calgary Stampeders annual luncheon, the outstanding quarterback unleashed the first long bomb of the year by declaring his squad worthy of a Grey Cup title.

“I have many different families,” said Burris, who plans to pilot the Stamps to the CFL championship game in November at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

“I have a family at home (in Oklahoma), I have a family with me in Calgary and I have a football family. We bless each other every day because we have each other’s backs. We’re going to Montreal this year to bring home that Cup. We should have had it last year.”

Burris was the team’s outstanding player nominee in 2007 after one of the best ever seasons. Despite missing two late-season games with a serious shoulder injury and resting the final regular-season game, Burris led the CFL with 34 TD passes and a sensational 102.0 passer rating.

The Spiro, Okla., native was second in the CFL with 4,279 passing yards and was twice named CFL offensive player of the month, yet the Stampeders failed to get past the West Division semifinal for the third consecutive season.

“This is a big year for us and kicking it off like this, receiving this award, feels so good,” said Burris, 33, who signed with Calgary as a free agent prior to the 2005 season.

“After the disappointment of last year with the (shoulder) injury and everything and then to come back, all the hard work to try to put the team in position to win a championship and get recognized for it by your peers — it hits home then. It means the hard work is warranted and the other players appreciate it.”

The President’s Ring has been awarded since 1967 to the Stampeders player who is voted by his teammates as having exceptional motivational and leadership skills on and off the field.

Burris is just the fourth Stamps quarterback to receive the ring and the first since Dave Dickenson in 2000.

The Stampeders open training camp at McMahon Stadium June 1.


 
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