Rookie DB makes most of second chance
Drew Tate tosses the ball at a Calgary Stampeders practice. (QMI Agency)
Fred Bennett saw the open field and could picture himself doing an endzone trot.
Then, it was clank off the hands and to the turf.
If the defensive back was hoping to make an impression in the Calgary Stampeders' mock game, scoring a pick-six would have done it.
Instead he dropped it. Luckily for him, it wasn’t his last play, and a few minutes later he picked off veteran Kevin Glenn at midfield.
“I would have loved that first one,” said Bennett, a rookie out of South Carolina. “It sure should have been a pick-six, but I will take the second one. I played a great technique and did what the coach taught me to make the play.”
Bennett is playing the wide-side halfback spot that's currently occupied by veteran Brandon Smith, so he has an uphill battle to make the team.
Still, he’s keeping his hopes high and believes he did enough to make the coaches happy on Sunday.
“This mock game was really important to me,” Bennett said. “I wanted to come out and do some good things. Every day I try to get better. This mock game brought the beast out in me a little bit.”
MAVER BOOMS POINTS
With the wind at his back, Rob Maver managed to crush a few punts in Sunday’s mock game. Already handed the starting job thanks to Scott Crough’s back injury, Maver went out and proved he has a big leg in the punting game.
His first two were in the 55- to 60-yard range
“Even though we kicked with it, it was tough to control the ball with that wind,” said Maver, the third-year Stampeder who only focused on placekicking prior to this season.
“It affects the snaps coming into you. It was tough to get it up in the air because the wind pushes it down to you. It was a good exercise kicking in that wind.”
HOGGIES TAKE A BREATHER
For the latter stages of Sunday’s mock game, the offence came out in the skeleton formation and the defence played them seven-on-seven.
Because of a plethora of beat-up hoggies, Stamps GM-head coach John Hufnagel sent the offensive line off the field after they reached a limit.
“I couldn’t kill the eight guys I do have,” Hufnagel said. “It was the position we’ve been injured the most during training camp. I only scheduled them to take 35 to 38 snaps. When that point came, they came off.”
There is a new member of the Calgary Stampeders family. Linebacker Marc Calixte, who was absent the first week of camp, and his wife Melissa welcomed a baby girl into the world on Sunday. It’s the couple’s third child. Calixte is expected to join the team this week for his 10th CFL season … The Stampeders added two defensive backs on Sunday. David Pittman, formerly of the Edmonton Eskimos, and Jamar Wall, a product of Texas Tech, joined the team. To make room, the Stamps released P Scott Crough and DB Antareis Bryan.