August 4, 2022

Essential Elements

Opponents would be wise to triple-check Calgary’s game day roster for the remainder of 2022.

The Stampeders’ backfield trio of Ka’Deem Carey, Peyton Logan and Dedrick Mills forms quite the weaponry for the Red and White.

Each offers something a little different.

Carey has long proven his ability to be an every-down back, as the 2021 West Division all-star sits just 13 yards behind the league’s leading rusher entering Week 9 and has run for more touchdowns than any other tailback.

Next up is Peyton Logan, a CFL rookie who has seen time on offence but has really shined on special teams. Not only does he sit third in punt-return average, but he’s sixth in all-purpose yards, highlighted by a 122-yard missed-field-goal return to the opposing end zone in early July.

And that brings us to Dedrick Mills, a fellow first-year pro and a Nebraska Cornhusker alumus. The 25-year-old scored three TDs in the pre-season and tallied 109 yards along the ground in the team’s final exhibition outing before suffering a wrist injury.

This is the week for a healthy Mills to return to action, as Carey was absent from practice nursing a hamstring issue and has been placed on the one-game injury list in advance of the Stamps’ game in Ottawa.

“I think Dedrick is a great player,” said running backs coach TJ Vernieri. “He’s a great person and I love working with him every day. I think the biggest thing is that throughout this process with him being down with the injury, he’s still been in-tune and talking to me about things on FaceTime and in meetings on our own. I’ve just been catching him up and he’s really hit his stride this week. I think Dedrick will do a great job in the game – anyone who is called on for the opportunity will do a great job.”

You can bet that Carey – who played 37 games with the NFL’s Chicago Bears – will take his customary spot in the lineup as soon as he’s available. But Vernieri still expects a strong showing with Mills starting in his place.

“Ka’Deem has been an incredible player,” stated Vernieri when asked about Calgary’s lead horse. “I think we all know and understand that. But there is always room to climb. Ka’Deem and I talk about that all the time and talk about his personal goals and our team goals. I think it’s great for us to be in tandem and build on what he’s done so far. There’s still plenty of games left and more to ascend towards, but in terms of Dedrick stepping up, I think he has a great opportunity with filling that role.”

While Carey and Mills are both powerful runners, Logan uses his speed and smaller stature as a treasured change-of-pace option.

“Peyton is extremely dynamic and I really love the skill set he brings to the table,” characterized Vernieri. “He can catch the ball – not that the other guys can’t – but he’s a really good pass-catcher and route-runner. He’s really a jack-of-all-trades guy and I think it’s always exciting to have that Swiss-army knife in your backfield, for sure.”

Vernieri believes they will all be relied upon at some point to win and is grateful to be working with players possessing an array of complimentary talents.

So much so, he has a special nickname for the unit.

“The more skill sets we have, the more we can game plan and adjust to what we’re doing on the fly,” Vernieri explained. “I think we can use all three of their skill sets uniquely. I jokingly say that they’re Earth, Wind and Fire. You have three different skill sets there and they bring three different things to the table.”

All in all, the Stamps will need to use everyone at their disposal to get back in the win column against a Redblacks team looking to follow up on their successful trip to Toronto.

“They have great schemes and they have awesome players,” complimented Vernieri. “It’s going to be super important for us to not only run the ball, but throw the ball as well, so I think our guys will have just as much value in pass protection as they do running the ball. I’m really excited about this game.”