November 6, 2012
Stampeders must choose between Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn
By ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency
CALGARY - John Hufnagel said last week he couldn’t understand why having two solid quarterbacks to choose from was considered a problem.
He sees it as a win-win.
Guess it’s all a matter of perspective, as Nik Lewis — to no one’s surprise — sees things differently.
“It’s a lose-lose for the coaches,” explained Lewis of the head coach/GM’s debate over whether to start Drew Tate or Kevin Glenn Sunday against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
“If we lose with Drew, they’re going to ask, ‘Why they didn’t stick with Kevin?’ And if we lose with Kevin, they’ll ask ‘Why didn’t you put Drew in? — He was ready.’
“The only way we can make the coaches look great is by winning it all.”
As Lewis added, “It’s a hard decision isn’t it?”
Talk to ten Stamps fans and you’d hear ten different reasons why they’d lean one way or the other.
But while the reasoning varies from fan to fan, the split remains 50-50 on which quarterback they’d start against the Riders in the West semifinal.
Tate was anointed as ‘The Man’ last year.
He likely has a bigger upside, is the quarterback of the future and has shown very little rust the last two weeks after missing three months due to shoulder surgery.
Then again, he’s started less than a dozen CFL games in his career, including a sub-par effort in last year’s playoff loss.
He’s also had a tiny fraction of the reps Glenn has, and has yet to prove he’s capable of elite status in the CFL.
Glenn was acquired in the off-season for Henry Burris as an insurance policy, proving why insurance is so important in all walks of life. Without him, the Stamps might have squeaked into the playoffs, as opposed to entering the post-season as the league’s hottest team with the second-best record in the CFL.
The 33-year-old Glenn led the Stamps to the regular-season points title, established tremendous chemistry with the rest of his offence and knows the playbook intimately — something Tate, 28, is still learning based on his admission he called the wrong play leading to his sideline spat with Hufnagel Friday.
Detractors will suggest time is up on Glenn’s admirable fill-in duty, as he’s a career .500 quarterback, who has never won a Grey Cup and is still prone to turnover-laden outings.
All valid points.
It would only be natural for a loud-mouthed columnist to weigh in with his thoughts on which man to start.
But that’s not happening here.
Simply put, whoever Hufnagel chooses tomorrow is the right choice.
As a former quarterback who has managed this quarterback quandary brilliantly over the last month, Hufnagel has the keenest sense of who can handle the pressure the best and execute the chosen gameplan most efficiently.
He also has a good feel for how a decision either way will sit with the rest of the team.
Both are well-liked and respected in the dressing room, but what needs to be determined is who can instill greater confidence with the ball in his hands.
Should things go sideways, is it better to have the fiery Tate coming off the bench to rally the team or the calm, steady veteran?
Will the weather forecast prompt Hufnagel to go one way or the other?
So many variables and so many scenarios for ol’ Huf to ponder, as he surely has the last month or so.
The solid effort from both players Friday likely didn’t help Hufnagel make his decision, although some believe it was considered Tate’s job to lose that eve in Edmonton.
Here’s betting Hufnagel hadn’t made a final decision when he woke up Monday.
But smart money says when he makes his announcement Tuesday, he will do so knowing his team will get a lift from the news.