Kevin Glenn no ordinary backup

Derrick Summers of the Argos takes down Kevin Glenn of the Stampeders in the first half of action...

Derrick Summers of the Argos takes down Kevin Glenn of the Stampeders in the first half of action between the Toronto Argos and Calgary Stampeders at the Rogers Centre in Toronto July 7, 2012. (QMI Agency/DAVE ABEL)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:39 PM ET

KINGSTON, ONT. - This is exactly why the Calgary Stampeders wanted Kevin Glenn.

Nobody would call Drew Tate’s dislocated shoulder a positive development, but it’s definite consolation that Glenn gives the Stamps arguably the best backup quarterback plan in three-down football.

“Kevin has been a starter for most of his career, so it’s not going to be a huge factor,” said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel.

“He’ll get himself ready to play and do the things necessary to win football games.”

On Saturday, after watching Tate and stalwart defensive halfback Brandon Smith leave the turf with injuries and then watching as the Toronto Argonauts celebrated a last-second field goal for the 39-36 victory, several Stamps seemed almost stunned by what was another frustrating trip to Rogers Centre.

As he walked by a crowd of reporters in the cramped locker-room, one of the youngsters even muttered something about a “curse” at Toronto’s landmark dome.

On Sunday, they boarded a bus for Kingston, Ont., and literally put it behind them.

While Tate has returned to Calgary for treatment on his shoulder injury, Glenn and the rest of the healthy Horsemen will spend two days on the field at Queen’s University cramming for Thursday’s road test against the Montreal Alouettes.

This is still Tate’s rig, but Glenn — acquired from the Tiger-Cats in the off-season swap that sent Henry Burris to Hamilton — will be driving for the foreseeable future. It’s unknown how long Tate will be sidelined.

“I’ve started a bunch of games. I’ve played against Montreal before,” Glenn said.

“I just know that I have confidence in myself. Hopefully, these guys have confidence in me and I believe that they do. I wouldn’t have been part of that trade if they didn’t.”

Glenn won’t be confused for a quarterback of the future. At McMahon Stadium, that title belongs to rookie third-stringer Bo Levi Mitchell, the second-youngest guy in the locker-room and the interim backup quarterback for the Red & White.

For the immediate future, though, Glenn is as good as any replacement passer in the league.

He’s a 33-year-old who has seen almost everything in this weird and wacky league, started 125 games and tossed for 32,446 yards and 179 touchdowns in 11 previous CFL campaigns. Only a dozen guys in league history have registered more yards through the air than the former Illinois State Redhawk, who has a 61-63-1 win-loss record when he takes the first snap.

Glenn was solid, albeit unspectacular, in relief during Saturday’s heartbreaker against the Argos, tossing a couple of touchdown passes to Nik Lewis to make things interesting until the final buzzer.

He connected on 15-of-19 throws, although two of the four incomplete passes were picked off. He also lost a fumble after failing to recognize a blitz and getting bulldozed by former Stamps linebacker Brandon Isaac and botched a snap with former Hamilton Tiger-Cats teammate Mark Dewit as he barked orders at one of his receivers.

It’s also a concern that speedy wideouts Johnny Forzani and Romby Bryant only caught one ball each — and Bryant’s was nullified by a flag — from Glenn. Proof the Argos’ defence wasn’t showing a ton of respect for his arm-strength, they turned most of their attention to star ball-carrier Jon Cornish, limiting him to six attempts for 34 yards, with half of those coming on one third-quarter scamper.

Of course, Glenn has been around long enough to realize there’s a lot of work to do — and a short week to do it.

He doesn’t seem fazed. He shouldn’t.

After all, he’s been doing this a long time. That’s why the Stamps wanted him.

“This stuff happens,” Glenn shrugged. “I can remember as a rookie in Saskatchewan, Marvin Graves going down and I’m fresh into this league and I had to go in and play. It doesn’t faze you, because it always crosses your mind that it could happen. It’s not one of those things that is a surprise. It happens.”

Email: wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNGilbertson


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