Rambo’s return leaves Stamps overloaded

Rambo’s back, and he’s ready to wreak some havoc.

Rambo’s back, and he’s ready to wreak some havoc.

No, not another lame attempt by Sly Stallone to squeeze a few more dollars out of a corny franchise (although a prequel is reportedly in the works), but Calgary Stampeders receiver Ken-Yon Rambo.

And while the CFL version is every bit as vicious as the battle-hardened Hollywood star, Rambo’s return has cast light on an issue already being whispered about a great deal around McMahon Stadium.

The Stampeders have too many receivers.

The current head count of potential game-ready pass-catchers is up to nine with the re-signing of ex-Winnipeg Blue Bomber Jabari Arthur a few weeks back.

Now, this is not the type of thing that can make or break a team this early in the Canadian Football League season; however, with a potentially tight battle looming against the mean, green Saskatchewan Roughriders machine for West Division supremacy, the horsemen will want to have their roster settled come post-season time.

Calgary quarterback Henry Burris has proven he can shine when the big game is on the line, but only if the right pieces are put in around him.

So, let’s assume Rambo is No. 1, and his first game back against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers July 31 — where he logged six receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown — indicates he likely is.

Seven-year veteran Nik Lewis is a prized candidate for the No. 2 spot, but after that is where things get interesting.

Romby Bryant, who was picked up from Winnipeg in the second half of last season along with Arjel Franklin, has excelled with the red and white, bringing up an issue about whether ever-consistent wideout Ryan Thelwell should be pushed down the depth chart.

Franklin might also fill the spot well, if he rekindles some of the magic he found in the ’Peg a few years back.

And don’t forget about, recently injured big-bodied journeyman P.K. Sam — brought over during the move that sent superstar Jeremaine Copeland to Toronto — and the aforementioned Arthur, who showed flashes of brilliance with the Stampeders before going down with an injury in the team’s final pre-season game last year.

Giving youth a chance to shine is also an important component of any well-rounded receiving corps, and Kansas State product Deon Murphy, 24, along with local boy Johnny Forzani, 21, are chomping at the bit — the latter adds a particularly interesting layer to the already perplexing equation by being the godson of Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel.

That’s a lot of outstretched hands, and there are only so many throws.

Things were much simpler in 2008, when the Stamps last kissed the Grey Cup.

Rambo, Lewis, Copeland and the now-retired Brett Ralph were the big four, with an occasional grab coming from Thelwell or veteran Teyo Johnson.

Try naming this year’s big four.

Now, there is no need to push the panic button. Hufnagel and co. simply need to sit down and make a few decisions in the weeks and months ahead, before Burris is left scratching his head and the team is left to watch the ’Riders seek revenge for last’s year heartbreaking Grey Cup defeat.

It would be a real shame if that happened, as Calgary has the talent to win the whole damn thing.

They just might have too much talent.

Jeremy Nolais is a Calgary-area sports columnist whose column appears in the Advocate every second Wednesday

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the province are a tragic milestone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta hits ‘tragic milestone’ with more COVID-19 deaths

Province up to 500 COVID-19 deaths, adds 1,265 cases

A recent investigation by the RCMP Central Alberta District Crime Reduction Unit led to the arrests of 24 people. (Contributed photo)
24 people arrested following RCMP investigation in central Alberta

Twenty-four people are facing a combined 235 charges following an investigation by… Continue reading

Photo from Town of Sylvan Lake Facebook page
Sylvan Lake communities band together on development plan

Sylvan Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan expected to be approved next spring

Tribe restaurant owner Paul Harris, left, consults with manager Brandon Bouchard about how to proceed under pandemic rules that make it hard for eateries to be profitable. (Contributed photo).
New pandemic rules deemed workable for Red Deer retailers

Stricter COVID-19 reduction measures introduced in lead-up to Christmas

Quentin Lee Strawberry
Man accused in 2019 Red Deer murder will stay behind bars

Quentin Strawberry going to trial next year on second-degree murder charge

Hockey Canada suspends world junior selection camp after positive COVID-19 tests

Hockey Canada suspends world junior selection camp after positive COVID-19 tests

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberals to present bill on single-game sports betting

Liberals to present bill on single-game sports betting

Bayern, Man City win to advance to Champions League last-16

Bayern, Man City win to advance to Champions League last-16

FILE - In this March 26, 2006 file photo, former soccer player Diego Maradona smokes a cigar as he watches Argentina's first division soccer match between Boca Juniors and River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Argentine soccer great who was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity, died from a heart attack on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, at his home in Buenos Aires. He was 60. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)
Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60

Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60

In this July 1, 2020, photo, Salt Lake Tribune data columnist and Utah Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen poses for a photo. Larsen is a sports writer, but with much of that world sidelined during the pandemic he's been digging into coronavirus data and its sobering implications. So when he found himself with a cache of spare change, partially from his childhood piggy bank, he knew plenty of people could use it. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)
Tweet on spare change generates big money for virus aid

Tweet on spare change generates big money for virus aid

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 18, 2020 file photo, a view of a 'Matterhorn-Express' gondola lift in front of Matterhorn mountain in the Zermatt ski resort, in Zermatt, Switzerland. Restrictions to slow the curve of coronavirus infections have kept ski lifts closed in Italy, France, Germany and Austria, as well as countries further east. But skiers are already heading to mountains in Switzerland, drawing an envious gaze from ski industry and local officials in mountain regions elsewhere on the continent who lost most of last season due to the virus. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP, File)
As season nears, Europe ponders skiing during pandemic

As season nears, Europe ponders skiing during pandemic

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2015 file photo, actor John Boyega, right, pose with Star Wars characters during the Japan Premiere of their latest film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Tokyo. Boyega stars in Steve McQueen’s “Red White and Blue,” the third film in the director’s anthology of West Indian life in London from the ‘60s through the ’80s. The five-film series will debut Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)
John Boyega isn’t going to ‘take the money and shush’

John Boyega isn’t going to ‘take the money and shush’

The Hockley Motel in Mono, Ont., is shown in this undated handout photo. An Ontario motel that served as a backdrop for the beloved CBC sitcom "Schitt's Creek" is up for sale. The Hockley Motel in Mono, about an hour's drive northwest of Toronto, was listed for $2 million today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Colliers International
Calling all eccentric millionaires: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ motel up for sale for $2 million

Calling all eccentric millionaires: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ motel up for sale for $2 million

Most Read