August 5, 2014

Hufnagel: ‘We need to get better’ Staff

CALGARY — Winning can disguise many things in football, but when something suddenly goes wrong, the sirens suddenly go off.

For the Calgary Stampeders, winning their first four games of the season disguised the fact that their offence has not been the powerhouse they were hoping it could be when they announced that Bo Levi Mitchell was going to be their starting quarterback.

The Stamps have been among the top teams in the league through five games, and yet, the offence is ranked among the middle of the pack in most categories heading into Week 7.

They rank fourth in total touchdowns (11), sixth in points (123), and fourth in net yards (1,303), while Mitchell ranks fifth among all quarterbacks in the league with 1,132 yards and eight touchdowns.

The problems might not be at par with what other teams are currently dealing with, but for a team that is supposed to be a favourite to hoist the Grey Cup in November, expectations are rather high.

Those problems were magnified during their loss to the Lions in Week 6.

“I thought we had a better offensive game than the previous two, so I thought we took a step in the right direction,”  said head coach/general manager John Hufnagel adding.

“We need to get better.” he added.

Although the Stampeders did lose their first game in a tight 25-24 battle, the offence looked better against one of the better defences in the league, after Week 6 they rank 2nd in total defence and 1st in passing defence.

The Stampeders were not completely satisfied with their offensive performance, but they did try to look at the positives.

“I was not disappointed in the way we played, we did lose the game though so obviously there’s things we gotta do better,” said Mitchell.

“There were plays that we missed here or there, small things, discipline things that we gotta clean up so we’ll clean it up after some film,” he added.

One of the bright spots for the offence against BC was the emergence of Martel Mallett in the backfield.

With Jon Cornish still injured and Matt Walter sidelines as well, the Stamps looked to the former Most Outstanding Rookie to help them get back to their bread-and-butter of running through the line.

The move paid off as Mallett ran 14 times for 116 yards and caught six passes for 59 yards and a touchdown.

“Martel played well. He ran the ball hard, with authority, showed some explosion, did a good job with his pass protection, and had some key first downs receiving,” said Hufnagel.

Mallett himself thought that his Calgary debut was good, but the result dampened the day.

“I feel like I did ok but there was a lot I left on the field. At the end of the day I wanted to come out and get the W.”

“I just have to get better as an individual, we have to get better collectively.”