Burris: 'I still feel like I can get it done' | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League

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Derek Mortensen/CFL.ca


HAMILTON -- If Henry Burris has his way, he will be the starting quarterback to lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats back to the Grey Cup next year.

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Burris, 38, becomes a free agent in the off-season after two seasons with the Ticats. He says he wants to stay in Steeltown and play at the new Tim Hortons Field stadium that is planned to open next season.

"I want to be back here,'' he said. "We've had a great run. I still feel like I can get it done.''

He showed he could still get it done this season, leading the league with 4,925 passing yards. He completed 373 of 567 pass attempts for 24 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

The 14-year CFL veteran came to the Ticats almost two years ago in a trade with Calgary that included sending quarterback Kevin Glenn to the Stampeders. At the time, Burris had lost his starting job to Drew Tate after seven straight seasons in Calgary and was looking for a fresh start.

Last year, his first at the Ticat helm, the team didn't make the playoffs. This time around, they made it all the way to the Grey Cup before losing the championship 45-23 to the hometown Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The team was at its downtown headquarters in Hamilton on Tuesday for one final pack-up of any belongings and exit interviews with the coaches.

Head coach Kent Austin said Burris has done "a great job'' for the Ticats. When asked specifically if he wanted Burris back, he said: "Yeah, of course. But some of that's in my control. Some of it's out of my control.''

Austin, who is also Hamilton's vice-president of football operations and general manager, has to think about the upcoming expansion draft being held for the incoming Ottawa Redblacks. He will be able to protect a certain number of import and non-import players, including a quarterback.

While he wouldn't divulge any strategies, or who might be protected, one possible scenario would be to hold off on any free-agent signings until after the draft. That way, theoretically, there would be one less player that needed protecting.

Austin said he would hate to lose any one of his players, but that the coaching staff will be looking at areas to improve. If any good can come from such a disappointing loss in the league Grey Cup, he hopes it's that his players will have a better understanding of how to prepare for such a huge game.

"Hopefully, it was an experience that we can learn from and be able to handle situations a little bit better as we mature as a football team which I believe we will,'' he said.

"At least we know now what it's going to take to win the whole thing. We talked about that a lot in our meetings with the players. What they needed to do as a team in the off-season and then their individual instructions from their coaches to get over the hump to win a Grey Cup.''

Fan Comments
There's no way they are going to keep him at the $500,000 per season that he makes now.
December 01, 2013 - 5:26pm
Sorry!! It's $300,000 rather than $500,000
December 02, 2013 - 8:29am
19 Interceptions. That's glaring to me. He played well in the playoffs and that's the only reason this is even being debated. I'd much rather have an average QB that doesn't turn the ball over than a QB that can win you a game and lose you a game by his arm alone. Cut him. As much as I like him as a person Burris simply isn't going to win another Grey Cup.
December 01, 2013 - 4:25pm
HB had moments this past year were he looked like a GC quarter back. however, his inconsistency throughout the year was mind numbing. I know you can't blame all the teams ill's on one player but he was the common denominator in most. hanging on to him would be a big mistake.
December 01, 2013 - 9:37am
The Cats WILL NOT be back in the Grey Cup next year with LeFevour as the starting QB. Not saying he isn't any good. Just not good enough to get them back to the Cup in the next year or two!!
November 30, 2013 - 10:25am
At 38 the window of opportunity is closing in on Henry. I don't know if Hamilton will protect him or not, They need to groom the next one real quick or they will be at the bottom again. I don't want Hank to be in the same situation as Calvillo who hung around one year to long and we know how that ended.
November 30, 2013 - 10:09am
als rule
not as bad as most people think!! yes wasn't a great season BUT did find their QB in troy smith and at least 5 or 6 more up and coming players like edem, carter, sutton, lavarias, berry & lumbala if not a few more BUT your point is well made!!
November 30, 2013 - 3:16pm
he's clearly talking about how it ended for Calvillo ... ie. playing poorly and being injured all year
November 30, 2013 - 7:45pm
als rule
true BUT AC's loss was montreal's gain which was my point!!
November 30, 2013 - 10:32pm
I wonder if Henry will be protected in the Ottawa draft, or will be offered as much money as he wants - if Austin wants him back. Austin keeps giving hints about execution. But Burris is a good quarterback who has had a good career. All the best to him in the future.
November 30, 2013 - 8:39am
als rule
he'll be left unprotected and come the opening of free agency ottawa passes!!
November 30, 2013 - 3:46pm
If Austin has a brain and some of you ??? that? He'll have Burris back next year and LeFevour getting ready to take over. We should ask if Austin will be back? The Ti-Cats with Austin and Burris are coming along nicely. As for Burris taking a pay cut, he had a better year than the Queen and the PM. Why a pay cut?
November 29, 2013 - 10:27pm
als rule
pay cut why? because as a 38 year old QB wanting a bigger salary then he deserves his chances of being picked up by any of other CFL teams is ZIP!! with the money austin saves not re-signing HB it will allow him to spend in free agency and on the open market!!
November 30, 2013 - 3:54pm
Which does Austin little good if he does not have a proven QB! Hank works VERY hard n the off-season to prepare for the next year and the fact that he was able to start in ALL 18 games and 3 playoff games is a testament to his great preparation. He won't hang on too long but can still be productive another season or two!
November 30, 2013 - 5:32pm
als rule
you have no idea if he leaves to early or to late!! austin has LeFevour plus several others in the wings!! it matters not that HB works hard in the off season it only matters again he can't win the big game!! remember austin didn't trade for HB obie and cortez did!! he reached a point in 2008 which was the best that he could be at the time BUT since than all down hill and never mind his stats!!
November 30, 2013 - 10:13pm
It is indeed Hamilton's turn in the sun, as Montreal has had its glory days and now need to rebuild.

Of course the East will be the weak sister what with Ottawa in the mix, who will need 2 - 3 years to be a legitimate contender.
November 29, 2013 - 7:38pm
als rule
RD44: montreal has no need to rebuild as you wish and hope for. in a disaster year for the als in 2013 some positives happened they did make the east p/offs and except for an official's blown call would have made the EF!! found their QB to replace AC in troy smith, found 5 or 6 blue chip players to go along with some outstanding talent: cox, hebert, brouillette, richardson, green, emry, parker, brown etc. so as for the glory days being gone they shall return in 2014 better than ever!!
November 30, 2013 - 4:02pm
Many Ticats fans hope that Henry will be back "to open Tim Horton's Field and to get it done!"
November 29, 2013 - 5:59pm
as well as Hank played in the grey cup, I don't believe he can play any better, let's move on and bring a young quarteback in. Zach Collarors anybody?
November 29, 2013 - 7:58pm
Without HB, the 'Cats wouldn't have been in the GC. Rather than replace him with Collaros or some other young 'un who has yet to take any team anywhere, maybe Hamilton should concentrate on building up a great O-line so that HB can have some security & maybe a dependable running game.
November 30, 2013 - 1:01am
als rule
the trap some coaches and fans fall into with HB is IF HE HAD X Y Z he would have won!! giving HB this and that changes nothing!! time to cut your losses and say good bye if not you get the repeat of another 2013 GC deer in headlights!!
November 30, 2013 - 4:22pm