Calgary at Toronto
John Hufnagel isn’t about to rush to the defence of his defence.
In fact, the Calgary Stampeders head coach is more than willing to admit his squad, second last in the CFL in stopping the run, has got to improve … fast.
The Stampeders defence has allowed an average of 144 yards rushing per game, the second-weakest numbers in the CFL, and a league-worst 7.4 yards per carry.
That’s why during last week’s bye the Stamps recruited a handful of newcomers who could see action when Calgary travels to Toronto to face the Argos Friday (5:30 p.m. TSN/QR77).
“Our No. 1 goal is to try to prevent the kind of running success that (other teams) have had against us and there’s no question that’s one of the reasons why we brought some new people in,” Hufnagel said.
The Stampeders plan to shut down Argos running back Jamal Robertson, fourth in CFL rushing this season and the only bright spot on an anaemic Toronto offence.
Last week the Stamps added import defensive linemen Devone Claybrooks and Jim Davis along with import linebacker Tim Johnson.
Claybrooks has CFL and NFL experience, Davis spent 2008 with the Edmonton Eskimos while Johnson spent five seasons in the NFL. He played in 54 career games and recorded 112 tackles.
Johnson could replace Stamps’ injured middle linebacker Tray Blackmon tonight as the 3-4 Stampeders, two points out of first place in the West Division, return to action. The Stamps could also shuffle their lineup to add linebackers Juwan Simpson and Malik Jackson to help stop the run.