Stampeders QBs: Pick your pony, Kevin Glenn or Drew Tate
By IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency
|Which quarterback is going to get the call to lead the Stampeders into the post-season? Coach John Hufnagel is taking his time before making the call. (DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI Agency file photo)
CALGARY - The date is set, but the opponent and, apparently, the starting quarterback aren't quite clear for the Calgary Stampeders.
On Nov. 11, when the Stamps host the West semifinal, it will be either Kevin Glenn or Drew Tate at quarterback, facing either the Edmonton Eskimos or Saskatchewan Roughriders.
There is one regular-season game remaining, so head coach John Hufnagel hesitates before declaring which pivot will lead the team into the post-season.
"I want to give both quarterbacks time in this next game and I have time to make a decision," Hufnagel said Saturday, a day after both Tate and Glenn threw TD passes in a 41-21 win over the B.C. Lions at home.
"I'm going to take that time."
On Friday night, Tate saw the field for the first time since Week 2 when he dislocated his shoulder, an injury that required surgery.
Although he threw just seven passes, Tate rebounded from an early interception to hook up with Nik Lewis for a 44-yard TD strike.
Better yet, the 28-year-old came out of the game pain-free, saying Saturday he couldn't feel any better. The news the playoff starting job is still up for grabs is positive to him, too.
The onus is now on the season-finale Friday in Edmonton, where it would seem Tate has to steal the spotlight if he has a chance at getting the playoff start.
Glenn has proven to be capable of leading the Stamps, so he would be the easy choice.
"If I do play well enough, (it could be me)," Tate said. "I have to show it on the field.
"Kevin has proven it all year. It's a unique situation. I don't know who is going to start. In my reps next week, I have to take advantage of them and do what I need to do in order to help this team."
There are some who would argue Glenn should be the starter no matter what Tate does against the Eskimos.
Since replacing Tate and making his first start in Week 3, the 33-year-old veteran has delivered 10 wins and secured home-field for the opening playoff round.
When the Stamps brought Glenn on board from Hamilton in the trade that sent Henry Burris to the Tiger-Cats, it was as an insurance policy for Tate, who had made just three regular-season starts prior to this season.
This was supposed to be Tate's year to take the mantle from Burris. Glenn knew the situation, and he never complained.
Nor will he get upset if Tate takes over for the post-season.
"I will be the same Kevin Glenn," Glenn said. "I will prepare as if I'm going to play. I will root Drew on and do everything I can to help Drew play well.
"When my number is called, if it is, I will go out and play. I'm not a selfish person. I'm not a prideful person. Sometimes, people might misinterpret that as I don't care. I care a lot. I've done what I've done because I care.
"The bigger picture is the team. We're trying to win the Grey Cup. However we do it, whether it's me playing or Drew playing, let's get it done."
A year ago, Glenn was in a rotation situation with Quinton Porter in Hamilton, but he said this different. There is a reason he and Tate will split the time over the past two weeks.
The last time he put a team into the Grey Cup was 2007, he was injured in the East final and couldn't play for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the big game.
Now, if Glenn (or Tate) were to get hurt, there is a capable player waiting to take over. That's why Glenn is on board with how Hufnagel is using him.
"The guy in the Grey Cup hadn't had a snap all season," Glenn said, referring to Ryan Dinwiddie. "It's a lot to ask of a quarterback trying to win that game.
"If he had some meaningful snaps during the season, it may not have been that kind of situation. These are meaningful snaps for both of us."
Hufnagel does have a Catch-22 here. No matter who he picks, the results will lead to questions about whether it was the right move.
Tate feels like this is the same as last year, when Burris replaced him during the West semifinal loss in Edmonton.
In 2011, Tate went into the post-season with only three starts under his belt. This year, he's played less, but still feels cohesive with the offence.
And it's not like he's taking the team away from Glenn.
"It doesn't feel like anyone's team," Tate said. "It's our team. The thing is Kevin has played the whole year. He has the reps and the looks all year. I haven't.
"I'm just trying to catch up. With only one game left, he doesn't have to do much. I will try to do what I can and do my job."
On Twitter @SUNIanBusby