CALGARY - Now that the Calgary Stampeders have cut ties with the past, they are moving on with the future.
The Stamps officially announced Wednesday that Drew Tate has signed a contract extension — a move that was originally reported before the team traded former starting quarterback Henry Burris on Jan. 2 and then released running back Joffrey Reynolds Tuesday.
Tate took over the starting gig from Burris with three games remaining in the 2011 season, and he immediately led the team to three key victories.
Although Burris relieved Tate during a playoff loss in Edmonton, it was clear the baton was passed to Tate going forward.
Tate joined the Stamps in 2009 and took over the backup quarterback duties by the end of that season. In 2010, he put up great numbers with a 133.9 passer rating while also running the short-yardage unit.
In 2011, a shoulder injury kept him out the first month of the season, but he was solid in relief before taking over full-time.
“Drew Tate showed last season that he can be a winning starting quarterback in this league,” Stamps GM-head coach John Hufnagel said.
“I’m looking forward to see what Drew can do over the course of a full season and also excited that he will be a big part of this club for years to come.”
Tate will enter 2012 training camp as the starting QB but should get great competition from veteran Kevin Glenn, while second-year Canadian Brad Sinopoli will also look to take a step forward.
“I enjoyed 2011 more than any season to date in my CFL career and I can’t wait to get started in 2012,” Tate said. “It’s an honour to return to the Stamps and I look forward to working with Kevin Glenn and Brad Sinopoli, along with the rest of the offence.”
Meanwhile, another former Stampeders player has hung up the cleats and gone into coaching.
Jeremaine Copeland, who was with the Stamps from 2005-09, retired from the Toronto Argonauts to become the receivers coach for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Copeland now joins Burris and head coach George Cortez in the Hammer. The trio was instrumental in helping the Stamps win the 2008 Grey Cup.
“During his playing career, Jeremaine was more than just a great athlete,” Cortez said in a statement. “His preparation and attention to detail in the meeting room was unmatched. We're confident that those qualities, along with his familiarity with our offence, will make Jeremaine an asset to our team.”
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