CFL Blitz: Tate's return gives Stamps' coach tough decision

Stampeders' QB Drew Tate is ready for action. (Al Charest/QMI AGENCY)

Stampeders' QB Drew Tate is ready for action. (Al Charest/QMI AGENCY)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:40 PM ET

This is why John Hufnagel gets paid good money to do his job, but there can't be too many jealous of his upcoming decision.

Over the next two games, the Calgary Stampeders head coach/GM will work Drew Tate into his offence, hoping his No. 1 pivot shows that he's healthy and capable of withstanding hits on a surgically repaired shoulder.

Whenever Tate has played over the past two seasons, he appears in command of the Stampeders offence and shows signs of being a winning QB.

If Tate is fully healthy, he should get the start for the West semifinal.

Here's the rub. Tate went into last season's West semifinal after three straight starts and victories, and he promptly had his worst CFL outing.

Unless he starts both games against the B.C. Lions and Edmonton Eskimos, Tate will go into this year's playoffs with less playing time.

The easy decision would be to start Kevin Glenn in the post-season, regardless of what Tate does in the final two weeks. Then, Hufnagel could bring Tate off the bench at the first sign of trouble.

Glenn has delivered nine wins in relief of Tate this season, and he's been a valuable member of the team. The 12-year veteran has put a team in the Grey Cup before, but he never played in the big game after breaking his arm in the 2007 East final.

The choice Hufnagel makes will work out this way. If the Stamps win, it's the right decision. If they lose, it will be the wrong one.

Twice, Wally Buono was faced with this type of decision. In 1995, he put Doug Flutie back in over Jeff Garcia and the Stamps lost the Grey Cup to Baltimore.

In 2006, Dave Dickenson played for the B.C. Lions, but lost the Grey Cup with league most outstanding player Casey Printers on the bench.

At least those teams reached the Grey Cup. If the Stamps get there, they will have to go through Buono's Lions, which might be tougher than the big game itself.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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