CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders are heading into Toronto under circumstances they remember quite well.
With Jon Cornish’s status doubtful, it appears as though the Red and White will be forced to venture into Rogers Centre lacking the league’s reigning Most Outstanding Player for the second straight year.
Despite missing key starters such as Cornish and slotback Nik Lewis in 2013’s Week 9 visit to Toronto, the Stampeders fought through adversity and managed to return home with a 35-14 win.
Stamps slotback Marquay McDaniel, who was instrumental in last year’s road triumph against the Argos, believes that even if the Stamps are without Cornish again, the situation is different.
“We have guys who have been in the system forever,” said the Stamps’ leading receiver in 2013. “We’re really deep at receiver – Mo (Maurice Price) went down and now we have Joe West playing there. We feel really deep, so it’s different than last year.”
McDaniel hauled in seven catches for 106 yards and a touchdown in last year’s visit to Toronto.
“Each game, you want to just make plays when they come to you,” said a humble McDaniel. “We have guys on this team who can go seven for 100 every game, so you never know how each game is going to be. When the ball is coming my way, I just have to make sure I take advantage of the opportunity. They do play a lot of man coverage and that was the key to last year — beating that man-to-man coverage.”
In order to secure a similar result as last season, McDaniel says his offence needs to all be on the same page.
“We have confidence in Matt Walter and Jock Sanders,” he said. “They’re good running backs. We have to do our job beating man coverage and getting blocks and trying to spring those guys.”
Former Stampeder Dwight Anderson, acquired by Toronto in a trade with Saskatchewan this week, will make his Argos debut although it’s uncertain which Stamps receiver he will be covering.
“We don’t know,” said McDaniel. “That’s the crazy thing. We don’t know where (Dwight) is going to play yet. I’ve played against him before. Anybody that’s out there covering me, it’s not really going to matter to me. I’m just going to go out there and do what I do.”
McDaniel went on to add 87 more yards and another touchdown against the Argonauts when Calgary played host to Toronto in Week 13 of the 2013 season.
“I know they play a lot of man coverage,” he said. “Maybe that’s what it is. Against teams playing man coverage, my job as a receiver is to get open and beat that man. Our o-line and running backs are doing a good job protecting up front, so we’ll see what happens. Every game is different.”