Stamps’ Claybrooks doesn’t believe Calgary’s defence has played a’ great game yet’

Donna Spencer, Canadian Press

The Calgary Stampeders’ defence is stingy and so is DeVone Claybrooks’ public praise of it.

In his three seasons as Calgary’s defensive co-ordinator, Claybrooks has never been one to heap love on his players for them to hear or read, even now when the Stampeders are averaging just 11.3 points against per game.

“I don’t think we’ve played a great game yet,” Claybrooks said. “We’ve played some good solid football, but there are tests coming up and it’s a ‘what-have-you-done-for-me-lately’ business.”

Claybrooks says he’ll use Toronto’s 24-point comeback to beat Ottawa 42-41 in the last second Thursday as a reminder for the Stampeders (6-0) ahead of Saturday’s game against the B.C. Lions (2-3).

“(That’s) a perfect example of a CFL team is never out of a game,” he declared.

The Stampeders have allowed just four offensive touchdowns so far this season and lead the league in forced fumbles (10).

Calgary is tied for first in sacks with Edmonton (17) and also tied for first in interceptions (7) with Winnipeg.

Calgary is currently under the club record of 13.1 average points against per game set in 1970. The CFL record of 10.5 was set by the Lions in 1964 ahead of Hamilton’s 10.9 in 1965.

“Our guys know our standard and our standard is pretty high,” Claybrooks said. “We’ve been the No. 1 defence for the last two or three years statistically speaking, so this is not uncharted territory for us.”

Middle linebacker Alex Singleton, the CFL’s defensive player of the year in 2017, says the defence doesn’t expect pats on the back for a job well done in mid-season.

“If we keep playing how we’re playing and we win a Grey Cup and then finish that way, I think he’ll give us all the love in the world,” Singleton said. “We don’t want it until then.

“Until you finish that season exactly where you want and play the way you want, it’s all just numbers and words.”

When defensive back Emanuel Davis dropped a catchable interception July 21 against Montreal, he went to the sideline and did pushups as his self-punishment.

Both Claybrooks and backs coach Josh Bell both nodded with satisfaction because that wasn’t a directive from them.

“It’s an external expression of accountability and it shows our expectation,” Bell said.

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stampeder offence may lean a little more on the defence’s contributions Saturday with star wideout Eric Rogers and No. 1 running back Don Jackson out with injuries.

Rogers, who ranks second on the team in receiving yards, went on the six-game injured list after knee surgery Wednesday.

He has 21 catches for 329 yards and five touchdowns this season. Jackson will miss a second straight game with an upper-body injury.

The Lions are coming off a bye week following a 29-25 loss July 20 to Ottawa.

B.C. quarterback Travis Lulay says avoiding second-and-long situations is key against Calgary’s defence.

“Just as a competitor, you should want to play against the best,” Lulay said. “Calgary’s been the best team in the league through the first six weeks and for our side of the ball, we’re playing against a defence that has been playing at a crazy pace.

“It’s actually exciting. If you’ve got the right sense about you as a competitor that kind of elevates your own game, knowing you’re going to have to play well to win.”


27 Comments on Stamps’ Claybrooks doesn’t believe Calgary’s defence has played a’ great game yet’

  1. White Horse // August 4, 2018 at 7:43 pm //

    When any team plays against a team that is 6 games into the season and remains undefeated, it should elevate every players desire to knock off the best.
    I played receiver at 6’1″ in my day and I knew how it would elevate my desire when playing high school ball.
    Dickenson and Claybrooks will have their game plan ready. The rest is up to the players. Same with Wally and his guys. Lulay is a superb QB and he is never easy to beat.GO STAMP

  2. Evil Empire // August 4, 2018 at 7:49 pm //

    The whole team hasn’t looked as good as they have in many recent seasons. But, good teams win. Even if they’re strugging a little bit in any given game. That’s why they’re 6-0. The LD home, and home Battle of Alberta is shaping up to be a real barnburner.

    I don’t think BC will be able to do much in this game. But, it’s the CFL. Anything can happen.

    • one thing is for sure, deadmonton is the last team that could possibly beat the stamps , they are just not that good.

    • CFLs Best since 1990 // August 5, 2018 at 6:29 am //

      What do you mean they haven’t looked as good as they have in recent seasons? They are 7-0, now, and have been dominant throughout, starting strong, game in and game out, and shutting the door all game long, game in and game out. That’s why they’re 7-0!

      WTF with the struggling thing? No one wins every play or series! But they do manage the whole game masterfully, don’t they?

      Yeah, Labor Day is looking every bit as interesting as it usually does. I have a feeling that Bo is licking his lips looking forward to that one, too. Just a hunch that Reilly might not be the only QB storyline by the time it’s all said and done. I’m interested to see just how good this Edmonton defense is; whether Reilly to W-1 or W-2 deep is something that can be stopped; if Reilly’s protection to date stands up to Calgary’s pressure in the backfield; and how the running games will shake out. I like the odds in the Stamps favor in several of those questions, but agree it will be interesting to watch it play out.

  3. Sorry about your D…maybe next year Claybrooks.

  4. Paul Bomber // August 4, 2018 at 9:46 pm //

    No story here. He’s a good coach because he wants to get better. If he was satisfied, he wouldn’t be doing his job.

    • Be a bigger story if one of his players taught him how to out a hat on straight.

      • CFLs Best since 1990 // August 5, 2018 at 6:41 am //

        It’s just one of his many redeeming qualities, lol. Personally, I like it as it is an indicator of the rapport he has with his players when coach is just a regular guy… with big expectations. The players he has to work with seem to appreciate his approach, and vice versa. I love the sideways hat and hope he never changes it! Lol

  5. Bleeding Green // August 4, 2018 at 10:17 pm //

    This is why the Stamps are so good. Barring some unforeseen circumstance, I think they’re the 2018 champs for sure. There is no team that is even close. Maybe the Esks, but with a small child as a head coach, they’re a little inconsistent.

  6. Evil Empire // August 4, 2018 at 11:25 pm //

    I can’t believe BC tried 3 passes in a row from the 6. The next time they got down there they ran it in. Well no kidding. Bad play calling. Cgy just scored but, it could have been a 1 point game. Mostly watching the UFC. At least while a fight is actually on. But, I’m watching the game too.

    • On the 3rd attempt Burnham was wide open in the back of the end zone. No coverage anywhere near him, but Lulay had heat on him and went with only one read

    • CFLs Best since 1990 // August 5, 2018 at 6:46 am //

      What if they ran three times and that didn’t work out? In fact, seems to me someone tried that against the Stamps from the one recently. It didn’t work out for them, either. Oh well, I guess it’s back to the ol’ drawing board, huh?

  7. Evil Empire // August 4, 2018 at 11:35 pm //


    Rider fans always crying. Somebody ought to tell Mike Reilly a cpl clowns on the internet say the Eskimos have no chance.

  8. Riding the Horse // August 5, 2018 at 2:02 am //

    That’s the cry of a champion. Never satisfied, even though you consistently flirt with greatness.

  9. MR. Green // August 5, 2018 at 4:11 am //

    Riders Defence > Stampeders defence.
    Fact, truth, natural and God’s plan.

    • CFLs Best since 1990 // August 5, 2018 at 5:57 am //

      Guess that means there’s just the matter of the offense that your Riders have to get worked out. In comparison to Calgary’s offense, I mean. Or anyone else’s, for that matter. But hey, one could probably argue your point in the first place, too, God’s plan or not. Good luck with your faith and all, I still like our chances.

    • Riding the Horse // August 5, 2018 at 10:14 am //

      Here’s a cold hard fact.
      The riders defense is good, but it assed age to make it so. Calgary’s added youth and got better!

  10. Not really….your team has flaws, you’re just too daft to see them. BC was a couple broken coverages and a stupid penalty away from a W last night.

    You spout off like a cocky UFC fighter. So busy pumping his own tires and writing his own fan mail, that he actually believes he’s untouchable.

    Only a matter of time until you’re compromised and then your world will come crashing down around you. Rest easy while you can, Mounted by The Horse!!!

  11. Bombsquad // August 5, 2018 at 6:42 pm //

    The Stamps are a good team, a 7-0 record will attest to that. How they won, by how much or by how little is irrelevant when you see they are 7-0. Is it luck? I sincerely doubt it. Sure, in 2 or 3 of their games they didn’t look as sharp and look like they could have been beaten, but the key word is could, because in the end they weren’t beaten, they prevailed. I personally don’t think Calgary is unbeatable but the team opposing them better bring their best game and bring it all game long.

    The Bombers & Esks haven’t played the Stamps yet and i think they have the best chance at knocking them off, heck even the Riders can if Collaros gets the offence rolling, which after a game under his belt and another week of practices after the Riders bye week, could certainly happen. They don’t need any 24 pt 1st quarter deficits though.

  12. Stamps are beatable… but who’s gonna beat them? That D is as good as I have seen in a long time. Davis at DE is coming into his own and Johnson in the interior is great. Singleton is probably now the most complete LB in the league and the secondary is lights out. Claybrooks has them playing very sound and disciplined football, assignment wise. I like that Will LB too- he makes plays. The offense isn’t great, especially without top RB and SB but BLM gives them a chance. They aren’t necessarily a dominant team but they are the best at this point in 2018… and with room to improve.

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