Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bitterness of Grey Cup Loss Remains with Stampeders' Receiver Daniels

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bitterness of Grey Cup Loss Remains with Stampeders' Receiver Daniels

Article excerpt

Bitterness of Cup loss remains with Daniels


The bitterness of defeat remains within DaVaris Daniels.

The 2016 season was a solid one for the Calgary Stampeders receiver, who was the league's top rookie. But what drove the former Notre Dame star this off-season was working to avenge the club's heart-breaking 39-33 overtime Grey Cup loss to the Ottawa Redblacks last November at BMO Field.

Daniels, in Regina for CFL Week festivities, said he hasn't completely got over the Grey Cup disappointment.

"The crazy part about it is I don't think any of us have really," Daniels said. "It's definitely going to stay there until we kick off this season.

"That's what will drive us and I don't think that's a bad thing."

Calgary posted a CFL-best 15-2-1 record last year and dominated the league awards as Daniels was one of five Stampeders to receive individual honours. But the club couldn't finish the deal as Ottawa claimed the Grey Cup after finishing atop the East with a 8-9-1 record.

It was the first time in CFL history a franchise with a losing mark had finished first in its conference. The loss tarnished a solid rookie season for the speedy six-foot-two, 205-pound Daniels, who had 51 catches for 885 yards and nine TDs in 11 games.

Not bad, considering Daniels figured he was finished with football in 2015. After being bypassed in the NFL draft, Daniels signed as a free agent with both the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, only to be released each time.

"I think I can be a lot better this year," Daniels said. "Last off-season, I wasn't training the way I should've been because I didn't think I'd play football again.

"This year, I came into the off-season knowing my responsibility to the Calgary Stampeders. I don't want to let those guys down at all so I put a lot of work in."

Daniels signed with Calgary just before the start of the 2016 season and admits he came north not knowing much about the CFL. But Daniels said the pass-happy Canadian game and its longer, wider field suit his abilities to a tee.

"It's a passing league and I think I'm just in a good spot with Bo (Stampeders starter Bo Levi Mitchell)," Daniels said. …

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