Burris won't be back(up)

The Edmonton Eskimo defence sacks Calgary Stampeders’ Henry Burris during the fourth quarter of the...

The Edmonton Eskimo defence sacks Calgary Stampeders’ Henry Burris during the fourth quarter of the CFL Western Finals at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Nov. 13, 2011. (PERRY MAH/QMI AGENCY)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:34 PM ET

Henry Burris can’t look into a crystal ball and predict the future.

All he knows is he won’t allow the quarterback situatiuon of the Calgary Stampeders — that saw him relegated to back-up duty behind Drew Tate — to continue in the 2012 CFL campaign.

He’s not kicking and screaming, demanding a trade or forcing a move by GM-head coach John Hufnagel.

At least, he’s not forcing the issue yet.

If the Stamps want him back, it’s as the No. 1 guy or not at all.

At age 37, the franchise’s all-time passing leader is not accepting a backup role.

If Tate is the starting quarterback, as he was for the final three regular-season games and the failed attempt in Sunday’s West Division semifinal against the Edmonton Eskimos, Burris won’t ride shotgun.

“I’m not going to settle for the situation how it is right now,” Burris said. “I would be a fool to do that. I’m still at a level where I can do good things in this game.

“To be in this situation right now — to be asked to finish out my last couple years with the setup how it is — it’s not going to work.

“It’s a decision that will have to be made. I’m patient. I will wait for it.”

The 33-19 playoff loss to the Eskimos is too fresh in Hufnagel’s mind to say exactly what will happen next.

In the last month, it appeared the quarterback of the future was the pivot of the present.

Tate took over for Burris and managed to pick up three wins to end the regular season on a high note.

But Tate got the hook at halftime against the Eskimos, and Burris was called upon to attempt the comeback from a 16-point deficit.

It failed.

Now, the long off-season begins. If Tate is the designated starter, he hasn’t been told of such a fact.

“I don’t have any expectations right now,” Tate said.

“I don’t know what is going to happen.

“I don’t know the decisions they want to make.”

If the Stamps open up a market to trade Burris — who has a year left on his contract — there will be teams interested.

The main two would be the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Toronto Argonauts. If fellow veteran QB Anthony Calvillo hangs up his cleats, suddenly the Montreal Alouettes are a team with question marks at their pivot position.

Burris would like to know what will happen, but he will try to be patient.

“The sooner the better, but I’m patient,” Burris said. “The season is still going on, so I know it won’t be coming soon. It will happen in due time.

“I will enjoy time with my family. At some point, the decision will come.”

Burris still believes he can win a Grey Cup as a starter, but there is also a legacy to cement.

If he was to be a starter for another two seasons, he would enter some elite territory in terms of numbers.

He needs just 121 yards to move past Doug Flutie into sixth place on the all-time passing list and 2,622 to pass Matt Dunigan for fifth.

“I want to go in knowing somebody is giving me the reins to be their guy,” Burris said. “It’s something

I shouldn’t have to talk about. I think I’ve earned that right. I’ve shown that I can do great things with the team.

ian.busby@calgarysun.com

On Twitter: @SUNIanBusby


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