Veteran target Reggie Begelton has set a lofty goal for the Calgary Stampeders’ receiving corps heading into the 2023 season.
“I want four of us to get over 1,000 yards,” Begelton told the team’s website. “As a team, our biggest thing going into this is being a team and I feel like if all of us can have that relationship and especially the starting four or five can get there, we have no choice but to be the most explosive offence in the league.”
The 29-year-old fell just shy of the 1,000-yard mark in 2022, catching 85 passes for 957 yards and six touchdowns over 18 starts at slotback. He and deep threat Malik Henry, who emerged with 62 catches for 1,023 yards and eight touchdowns, were Calgary’s only two receivers with over 500 yards last season.
The club’s receiving corps will have a new look to it this season after Kamar Jorden wasn’t retained in free agency. The six-foot-three, 205-pound target first joined the Stampeders in 2014 and was a member of the team for eight seasons, earning two West Division all-star nods.
Tre Odoms-Dukes, who started four games last season, should have the inside track to replace him, though Floyd Allen, Tony Brown, Felton Davis III, Tommylee Lewis, Andrew Parchment, Tyler Roberts, and Tim Wilson Jr. will also compete for the role.
Canadian slotback Jalen Philpot, who emerged late last season after being selected in the first round of the 2022 CFL Draft, could miss the entire season after undergoing surgery on his hamstring. 2023 CFL Draft first-round pick Cole Tucker recently signed after pursuing NFL opportunities and Rysen John and Clark Barnes should help fill the void alongside incumbents Luther Hakunavanhu, Colton Hunchak, and Tyson Middlemost.
Begelton is expected to take on more of a leadership role following Jorden’s departure, which he plans to do despite his quiet demeanour.
“I’m the type of guy that usually leads by example,” he said. “I’m not really a vocal-type guy, but as long as I’m doing the right things, the guys will look and follow suit.”
Jake Maier is now Calgary’s unquestioned starting quarterback following the departure of Bo Levi Mitchell. Begelton wants him and the team’s receivers to communicate effectively in order to ensure the club’s passing attack fires on all cylinders in 2023.
“Every time we have a question, don’t be afraid to speak out and also have an open mind because he might see something that I don’t or anyone else in the receiving corps. Multiple minds put together can lead to greatness.”