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Derek Dennis’ face lit up.
Not when he was asked about his own West Division all-star nod, though.
Instead, it was when he was asked about his partner-in-crime on the left side of the Calgary Stampeders offensive line, Shane Bergman, receiving his first end-of-season all-star recognition. That’s when you could really see how happy Dennis was.
“Oh, for sure, I’m happy for Bergs,” Dennis said. “He’s been deserving it for a long time. He probably should have had at least five or six all-star nods next to his name. For him to get it, I’m happy for Bergman. He’s getting all the acknowledgment he’s been missing out (on) for the last couple years, so I’m happy for him that he’s finally getting the attention that he deserves.’
Dennis and Bergman were among the six Stampeders players whose names were included on the list of West Division all-stars the CFL released on Wednesday morning.
Here’s a quick rundown of the list:
Receiver Reggie Begelton , who earned the Stampeders’ nomination for Most Outstanding Player after finishing second in the CFL in receptions (102) and third in both receiving yards (1,444) and receiving touchdowns (10).
Receiver Eric Rogers , who caught 85 passes for 1,080 yards and 10 touchdowns while being an integral target for Stampeders quarterbacks Bo Levi Mitchell and Nick Arbuckle in situations where they needed a catch.
Cornerback Tre Roberson, the Stampeders’ nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player and arguably the best defensive back in the league. Roberson finished the regular season with seven interceptions, 12 knockdowns – third-highest in the CFL – and 41 tackles. He also scored a pick-six and a touchdown after recovering a fumble and sealed a mid-September victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with a dramatic last-second field-goal block.
Halfback DaShaun Amos , who would have gotten serious Most Outstanding Rookie consideration if he hadn’t filled-in for two late-season games last year after signing in October. Amos had five interceptions – tied for third-most in the CFL – and returned one for a touchdown, while also adding 42 tackles and eight knockdowns.
“It does (feel good), I think it’s just a sum-up of the regular season right before the playoffs,” Amos said. “This was my first year, so I didn’t put too much on it. I didn’t get too high on it or too low on it, I was just like ‘It’ll play out,’ and I didn’t necessarily let it (define) the year I had in the regular season.
“The guys in the room and in this building said I played well and as long as I did everything I could to help the team win, I was cool with that. The all-star was just an extra thing, it’s more of an individual thing, we’re going for the big thing, the cup is all that matters.”
With six All-Star selections, the Stampeders had the second-most players on the list from the West Division, trailing only the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who had eight. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats led all teams in the CFL, with 13 East Division All-Stars.
In general, there can’t be too many complaints about the list of Stampeders, although both Ucambre Williams and Wynton McManis would have been deserving, as well.
“Certainly, some guys that could be on that list,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson. “Sometimes, it doesn’t help when they move positions. I would suggest that Ucambre and Wynton McManis are two guys, didn’t get to see (Brandon Smith) on the list, as well, would have been nice to see.”
Reports out of Winnipeg indicated Zach Collaros was taking first-team reps at quarterback for the Blue Bombers.
The Stampeders, though, are fully expecting to see Chris Streveler get some action at QB in Sunday’s West Division Semifinal, as well.
The two bring different skill-sets, with Collaros stronger through the air and Streveler more dangerous with his feet. Why wouldn’t they use both?
“They’ve got good players,” Dickenson said. “You’re always going to use your weapons, so yeah, I would expect they use their weapons and that probably would entail both guys.”
The Stampeders could have practised Tuesday, but opted to give their players an extra day off to rest their bodies. This isn’t exactly surprising, given that they’re playing a Bombers team that is coming off a bye-week. Staying as healthy and rested as possible could be huge for the Stampeders … Royce Metchie, Tre Roberson and DaShaun Amos were all back practising Wednesday, and that could provide a big boost for the Stamps’ defensive backfield. Roberson was slightly more limited than the other two … Derek Dennis was back, too, giving the Stamps the option of going with their regular starting lineup. That involves three Americans and could affect their ability to play Don Jackson at running back under the ratio – although Cory Greenwood’s return to the lineup could impact that.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019