Henry Burris

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Henry Burris
Henry Burris2.jpg
Henry Burris with Calgary Stampeders in 2007
Date of birth (1975-06-04) June 4, 1975 (age 41)
Place of birth Spiro, Oklahoma
Career information
CFL status International
Position(s) QB
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg)
College Temple
Career history
As player
19971999 Calgary Stampeders
2000 Saskatchewan Roughriders
2001 Green Bay Packers*
2002 Chicago Bears
2003 Berlin Thunder
20032004 Saskatchewan Roughriders
20052011 Calgary Stampeders
20122013 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
20142016 Ottawa Redblacks
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star 2010, 2015
CFL East All-Star 2012, 2015
CFL West All-Star 2005, 2008, 2010
Career stats
Pass attempts 7,221
Pass completions 4,488
TDINT 362–220
Passing yards 61,175
Passer rating 93.3

Henry Armand Burris, Jr. (born June 4, 1975) is an American retired professional quarterback, who mostly played Canadian football in the Canadian Football League from 1998 through 2016. He won three Grey Cup championships, two with the Calgary Stampeders, in 1998 and 2008, having spent 10 years of his career with the Stamps, and one with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2016. Burris won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award in 2010 and 2015. At the time of his retirement Burris was third in all-time CFL passing yards and passing touchdowns. While playing in the Canadian Football League, he was also a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats and spent time in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Prior to his professional career, he played college football with the Temple Owls.

Early Life[edit]

Burris attended Spiro High School in Spiro, Oklahoma, and won four varsity letters each in football, track, basketball, and baseball. In football, he was named the Oklahoma Offensive Player of the Year as a senior.

Burris attended Temple University and finished with 20 passing records. He left the university ranked second all-time in Big East Conference passing with 7495 yards.[1]

Professional Football Career[edit]

Calgary Stampeders[edit]

Burris went undrafted in the NFL, and signed a contract with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders in 1997. He spent the 1997 season on the Stampeders' practice roster.

He had his first, limited playing time in 1998 in relief of Jeff Garcia and Dave Dickenson, while dressing for all of the Stampeders' games. In 1999 he received more playing time as Dickenson's backup. He replaced Dickenson in the third week game against the Edmonton Eskimos, leading the Stampeders to a come-from-behind victory. He started the following two games against the Montreal Alouettes and BC Lions, leading the Stampeders to another victory in the former. He was injured in the third quarter of the latter, and spent the rest of the season on the injured reserve with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Saskatchewan Roughriders[edit]

He moved on to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for his first opportunity to be a full-time starting quarterback. He started the first 16 games of the Roughriders season, throwing for 4,647 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Green Bay Packers[edit]

The Green Bay Packers took interest in him after the CFL season ended, and signed him to a contract. Burris began playing in the NFL in 2001, when he spent several weeks as the Packers' third-string quarterback, before he was released and then he spent the rest of the season on their practice squad.

Chicago Bears[edit]

He was signed by the Chicago Bears in the off-season. In six games for the Bears he completed 18 of 51 passes for 207 yards, with three touchdowns and five interceptions. He received significant playing time only in the last two games of the regular season. He was 8 of 22 for 50 yards and a touchdown against Carolina, fumbling twice, and 7 of 19 for 78 yards and four interceptions against Tampa Bay, for a 10.3 QB rating. While his passing was quite poor he showed better than average running ability for a quarterback, finishing the 2002 season with 15 rushes for 104 yards.

Berlin Thunder[edit]

The Bears assigned him to NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder in 2003 where he performed respectably. Unhappy with being relegated to Berlin by the Bears, he returned to the CFL and the Roughriders, his former club. He immediately became Nealon Greene's back-up. A knee injury forced him to miss the better part of the season.

Saskatchewan Roughriders[edit]

Burris returned to Canada in time for the 2003 CFL season, dressing for 10 games that season. He returned his starting position in 2004, starting in 14 games over the course of the season, and leading the Roughriders to the 2004 Western Final, narrowly missing advancing to the Grey Cup. The Roughriders lost the Western Final in overtime to the favored BC Lions.

Calgary Stampeders[edit]

Burris in 2006.

In the off-season Burris rejected the Roughriders' contract offer in order to re-join the Calgary Stampeders. In 2005 he took the Stampeders to the Western Semifinal, where they lost at McMahon Stadium to Ricky Ray and Jason Maas of the Edmonton Eskimos. In 2006 he once again helped the Stampeders advance to the CFL playoffs, hosting their second home playoff game in as many years, but lost in the West Semifinal to his former team, the Roughriders.

In the 2007 playoffs the Stampeders once again faced off against the Roughriders in the Western Semifinal (this time played at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, where the Roughriders were hosting their first home playoff game since 1988). Burris once again lost to his former team in a close 26–24 affair.

In 2008, Burris won his first championship as a starter, leading the Calgary Stampeders to a 22–14 Grey Cup victory, over the host Montreal Alouettes. Burris also captured the title of Grey Cup Most Valuable Player and was a finalist for the league's most outstanding player award.

In 2009, Burris led the Calgary Stampeders to a second-place finish in the Western Conference. Trying to atone for a year in which he could not beat the first place Saskatchewan Roughriders (0–3–1), the Burris led Stampeders could not defeat the Roughriders in the Western Division Final, falling 27–17. This was Burris' third straight play-off loss to the Roughriders.

Burris quarterbacked the Stampeders to a CFL best record of 13–5 in 2010, finishing first in the Western Conference. Looking for revenge against his play-off nemesis, Burris lost to the Roughriders for the fourth time in the post season, 20–16. He won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player award for that season.

Burris's string of professional starts ended at the end of the 2011 season, when Drew Tate replaced him as the starting quarterback for the last three scheduled regular season games. Burris performed short-yardage duties for the team as the back-up quarterback. Burris returned to quarterbacking the Calgary Stampeders in the second half of the Western Conference Semi Finals against the Edmonton Eskimos. Burris was unable to lead a second half comeback throwing only 7 completions in 15 attempts with 0 touchdowns, having to settle for multiple field goals.

Entering the off-season there had been much speculation regarding the future of Burris with the Calgary Stampeders. The Stampeders seemed ready to move on and hand the starting job to Drew Tate while Burris had stated that he did not want to be a backup quarterback. The Calgary Stampeders confirmed on January 3, 2012 that they had traded Burris to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for QB Kevin Glenn and OL Mark Dewit.[2]

Hamilton Tiger-Cats[edit]

Henry Burris, photographed at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 2, 2013 playing in the last regular season game of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the 2013 CFL season.

In his first season with the Tiger-Cats, Burris had a career year. He threw for 5,367 yards and 43 touchdowns, with a passer rating of 104.4, all career highs. Unfortunately, the Tiger-Cats defense struggled, giving up an average of 32 points per game, which resulted in the team falling to 6–12 and missing the playoffs.

On September 13, 2013, midway through the 2013 CFL season, Burris became the 5th CFL quarterback to throw for 50,000 career passing yards.[3] Burris' 4,925 passing yards was enough to lead the league in passing for the second consecutive year. Burris led the Tiger-Cats into the post-season with a record of 10–8, they defeated the Montreal Alouettes and then the Toronto Argonauts, but ultimately lost to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the 101st Grey Cup game. Entering the off-season, Burris was set to become a free-agent in February 2014 unless he re-signed with the Tiger-Cats. He expressed his desire to stay with the Ti-Cats, saying, "I want to be back here, we've had a great run. I still feel like I can get it done."[4] However, Burris was released by Hamilton on January 30, 2014, following the signing of Zach Collaros.[5]

Ottawa Redblacks[edit]

On February 4, 2014, Burris signed a three-year contract with the Ottawa Redblacks. The 2014 CFL season was Burris' worst season statistically since his 2003 year with the Roughriders. Burris led the inaugural season of the RedBlacks to a 2–16 record. His completion percentage was his lowest since 2009, and only managed to score 11 touchdowns in 18 games, while throwing 14 interceptions. He threw the first passing touchdown in Redblacks history in their first game on July 3, 2014 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He also led the team to their first victory during their first home game of the season on July 18, 2016 against the Toronto Argonauts.

Henry Burris (1), leading the Ottawa Redblacks on offense against the Calgary Stampeders in the 104th Grey Cup.

Burris returned as the starter for the 2015 season and was the only quarterback in the league to start all 18 games that year. With the addition of offensive coordinator, Jason Maas, and several key free agent signings, Burris experienced a renaissance season. On October 1, 2015, Burris set a CFL record for completions in a game connecting on 45 passes for a career high 504 passing yards.[6] On November 7, 2015, Burris became the CFL's record holder for most completions in a season with 481 completions.[7] Additionally, Burris finished the 2015 season as the league leader in passing yards and completion percentage. He led the RedBlacks to a record of 12–6, earning a first round bye in the process. In the Eastern Final, Burris lead the Redblacks over his old team, the Tiger-Cats, personally advancing to the Grey Cup for the second time in three seasons. Prior to the Grey Cup game Henry Burris was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player for 2015.[8]

Burris left the 2016 season opening game in the third quarter after injuring the pinky finger on his throwing hand. He was replaced by backup quarterback Trevor Harris who was brought in as a free-agent during the offseason to replace the 41-year old Burris in the event of an injury or diminished performance. Initially it was reported that Burris would miss only one game,[9] however he was quickly transferred to the six-game injured list.[10] After an injury to backup quarterback Trevor Harris, Burris returned early from his hand injury to play in Weeks 6 and 7. In a halftime interview during their Week 7 match against the Eskimos Henry Burris sounded off in response to criticism from some of the TSN staff regarding his poor performance in Week 6 and the impressive play by Trevor Harris before his injury. He was quoted as saying, “So all the people talking junk out there, you can take that and shove it. All right? That’s all I have to say”.[11] Following a bye in Week 8 Burris started in Week 9 but was once again unable to lead the Redblacks to victory. Trevor Harris returned to the starting lineup from Week 10 through 15 with mixed results. Burris returned to the starting role in Week 17 (the fourth last week of the regular season).[12] Ottawa split their remaining 4 games, winning 2 and losing 2 to finish below .500 with a record of 8-9-1. This was the first time in CFL history that a team with a losing record finished first in their division. Following their first round bye Burris lead the Redblacks to an East Division Final victory over the Edmonton Eskimos in a snowstorm, advancing the team to its second consecutive Grey Cup game.[13]In the 104th Grey Cup, Despite suffering a slight knee injury during warmups, Burris passed for 461 yards and 3 TDs leading the Redblacks to a 39-33 over time win over the Calgary Stampeders to win the Grey Cup for Ottawa for the first time in 40 years.[14] At the Grey Cup parade two days following the victory Burris was in crutches stating he would likely need surgery to repair his knee which he injured in warm-ups before the Grey Cup game. He also told the 40,000 fans in attendance that he would delay his decision regarding the future of his playing career until January 2017.[15]

On January 19, 2017, it was reported that Burris was leaning towards retirement, citing the desire to spend more time with his wife and help raise their children; while at the same time wanting to play in 2017 to help Ottawa win back-to-back championships at the 105th Grey Cup in Ottawa.[16] On January 24, 2017 Henry Burris officially announced his retirement at a press conference.[17]

Post-Football Career[edit]

On February 17, 2017, Bell Media announced that Burris will begin his broadcasting career with them as a co-host on CTV Morning Live.

Career Statistics[edit]

  Passing   Rushing
Year Team Games Started Comp Att Pct Yards TD Int Rating Att Yards Avg Long TD Fumb
1998 CGY 18 0 5 11 45.5 83 0 1 33.5 2 4 2.0 2 0 0
1999 CGY 5 2 36 60 60 529 4 4 83.3 13 81 6.2 16 0 1
2000 SSK 18 16 308 576 53.5 4,647 30 25 79.6 68 188 2.8 17 8 12
2001 GB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2002 CHI 6 1 18 51 35.3 207 3 5 28.4 15 104 6.9 17 0 1
2003 BER 10 NA 55 99 55.6 589 5 5 69.0 7 59 8.4 26 2
2003 SSK 10 0 11 24 45.8 130 1 0 76.7 2 16 8.0 9 0 0
2004 SSK 18 16 322 544 59.2 4,267 23 18 84.4 84 464 5.5 34 7 14
2005 CGY 16 15 265 435 60.9 4,290 23 12 100.1 82 513 6.3 31 9 15
2006 CGY 18 18 305 537 56.8 4,453 23 18 84.3 70 480 6.9 21 5 7
2007 CGY 16 14 285 471 60.5 4,279 34 14 102.0 84 623 7.3 39 5 6
2008 CGY 18 18 381 591 64.4 5,094 39 14 103.8 87 595 6.8 35 3 9
2009 CGY 18 18 339 571 59.4 4,831 22 16 88.0 105 552 5.3 30 11 8
2010 CGY 18 18 370 558 66.3 4,945 38 20 102.0 70 491 7.0 27 3 6
2011 CGY 18 15 281 442 63.6 3,687 20 12 93.6 51 385 7.5 34 4 13
2012 HAM 18 18 391 604 64.7 5,367 43 18 104.4 45 343 7.6 23 0 11
2013 HAM 18 18 373 567 65.8 4,925 24 19 93.2 46 298 6.4 19 0 6
2014 OTT 18 18 315 517 60.9 3,728 11 14 78.7 57 258 4.5 20 2 6
2015 OTT 18 18 481 678 70.9 5,703 26 13 101.0 75 274 3.7 14 7 10
2016 OTT 13 7 180 264 68.2 2,419 12 9 98.0 21 88 4.2 11 4 6
CFL totals 277 229 4,648 7,452 62.4 63,369 373 227 93.5 963 5,653 5.9 34 68 130
Pro totals 283 230 4,666 7,503 62.0 63,576 376 232 93.1 978 5,757 5.9 34 68 131
  • Games mean "Dressed For", not "Played In"
  • Pro totals include CFL and NFL totals only

Personal Life[edit]

He is married to Nicole Burris and they are the parents of two boys: Barron and Armand. He is currently in the process of applying for his permanent residency in Canada.[18]


  1. ^ http://temple-news.com/sports/a-tale-of-two-former-quarterbacks-pro-journeys-henry-burris/
  2. ^ http://www.cfl.ca/article/trading-places-burris-and-glenn-switch-sides Trading Places: Burris and Glenn switch sides
  3. ^ Passes for 50,000 career yards
  4. ^ Burris set to become a free-agent following 101st Grey Cup loss
  5. ^ Scianitti, Matthew (January 30, 2014). "Ticats sign free agent QB Collaros; release Burris". TSN.ca. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Henry Burris sets league completion mark as Redblacks blast Alouettes". Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  7. ^ "Burris sets record as Redblacks clinch east". CHCH – Your Superstation. Retrieved 2015-11-09. 
  8. ^ "Burris named CFL's Most Outstanding Player". TSN. 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2015-11-27. 
  9. ^ "Injured hand to sideline Henry Burris for next Redblacks game". 2016-06-27. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  10. ^ "Report: REDBLACKS place Henry Burris on six-game injured list". CFL.ca. 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  11. ^ "Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Henry Burris takes shot at TSN after hearing criticism". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  12. ^ "CFL Fantasy: Burris back in the saddle". TSN. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2016-10-23. 
  13. ^ "Redblacks QB Henry Burris planning to savour this Grey Cup shot". Ottawa Citizen. 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2016-11-22. 
  14. ^ "Redblacks top Stamps in OT for Grey Cup - Article - TSN". TSN. 2016-11-27. Retrieved 2016-11-30. 
  15. ^ "Redblacks celebrate at Grey Cup parade - Article - TSN". TSN. 2016-11-29. Retrieved 2016-11-30. 
  16. ^ "Redblacks' Burris leaning towards retiring". Ottawa Citizen. 2017-01-19. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 
  17. ^ "Hank Hangs 'Em Up: Burris confirms retirement after 18 seasons". CFL.ca. 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-01-24. 
  18. ^ "Redblacks' Henry Burris still in citizenship 'process'". Ottawa Citizen. 2016-09-17. Retrieved 2017-01-19. 

External links[edit]