November 21, 2012
Stampeders QB Glenn cherishes second chance
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - A broken arm kept Kevin Glenn out of his last Toronto Grey Cup date, but it did more than that.
It many ways, it ruined the game for a city that was already indifferent to it.
After breaking his arm in a hit with then Argo Kevin Eiben in the 2007 East semifinal, Glenn and his Winnipeg Blue Bombers would eventually be Cup bound, but with seemingly little chance under the stewardship of his replacement, Ryan Dinwiddie.
The result was a 23-19 win by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a “clash” between two teams west of Lake Superior that couldn’t be forgotten soon enough around here.
Glenn will never forget that experience, however, and still believes the Bombers would have won if he hadn’t been injured. Even though his career hasn’t exactly been smooth since, the 33-year-old Stampeders QB is thrilled to get his second chance in this his 12th CFL season.
“It’s a different mindset when you get hurt and everybody’s playing in the game and when you know you’re not going to be able to play,” Glenn said on Wednesday at the traditional West champion’s lunch. “I wouldn’t say I was so low I was thinking about jumping off a ledge, it wasn’t that. It’s hard to explain the mentality and feeling you have. It was more having questions like why it happened to you.
“(This year) it’s just overwhelming. I want to enjoy the whole week from top to bottom. I want to enjoy everything that I missed out on last time because you don’t often get these chances.”
Calgary coach John Hufnagel took his left hand and with all five fingers got a good hold on one of the handles of the Grey Cup for a photo op prior to Wednesday’s annual coaches’ press conference at the Royal York Hotel. But what about the tradition/superstition of the supposed jinx involved with such a move? “I think my name’s on it,” Hufnagel said to great laughter in the room as he referred to the 2008 championship he led the Stamps to. Argos coach Scott Milanovich wanted no part of it, however. “We said as a team, we weren’t going to touch it,” Milanovich said. “Tradition.” ... The two coaches were amiable enough on the podium on Wednesday, but they certainly don’t have a buddy-buddy past. Of most recent vintage, last summer Milanovich drew the ire of the Stamps organization for going after defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones, who eventually joined him with the Argos. Toronto paid the price with a $5,000 fine for tampering, an incident Milanovich said Wednesday that he should have handled differently ... Their first difference of opinion, however, goes way back to 1999 when Milanovich was a quarterback at Cleveland Browns training camp where Hufnagel was the QB coach for the NFL team. “I was released right before my contract became guaranteed,” Milanovich said of being cut by the man he’ll try to beat on Sunday. “I wasn’t a very good player. I hung on as long as I could. I was fortunate to be with some good coaches like coach Hufnagel and coach (Tony Dungy in Tampa).” Quipped Hufnagel: “Scott had a lot of talent. He just wasn’t as good as Ricky Ray.”
WHAT ABOUT DAVE?
The more success his teams have, the more Stampeders offensive coordinator Dave Dickenson will be mentioned as head coach material. Dickenson, who kicked some tires last off-season, isn’t in any rush to wear the lead headsets, however. “I know I’m very young in my coaching career,” Dickenson said on Wednesday. “I think you have to be careful. It’s like quarterbacks. Sometimes if you get your opportunity before you are ready, you’ll get exposed and then once you are exposed and it doesn’t work for you, it’s tough to get back in.” ... The drive to get back to the Grey Cup certainly fired up Dickenson, much as it did in his playing days, but with one major benefit. “Maybe not quite the same as a player, but it felt pretty darn good,” Dickenson said of the West Division win over B.C. “And I was very happy not go wake up with any soreness the next morning.”
START ME UP
In their playoff run to the Cup, the Argos have been quite comfortable with comeback victories, trailing 10-0 to Edmonton in the East semifinal and by the same score to Montreal in the East final last weekend. But they best be careful against the Stamps, who are now 9-0 when leading at the half. “We would love to get started fast,” Milanovich said. “Nobody enjoys falling behind but fortunately if we do, we’ll be okay.” ... It doesn’t sound like either team is paying too much attention to the two regular-season meetings between the Cup combatants for all sorts of sound reasons. Among them: In the first meeting, the Argos were 39-36 winners at the Rogers Centre, a came in which Calgary’s starting quarterback, Drew Tate was chased from the game with a shoulder injury that would open the door for Glenn. And for the Argos? One of the keys on offence was running back Cory Boyd, who is no longer with the team ... Ocho who? Stamps’ slotback Nik Lewis has a nickname for fellow receiver Maurice Price, the late-season phenom in the Calgary offence. The breakout threat for the Cup favourites has a burst of speed that reminds Lewis of a certain NFL star. “I call him Mocho because he reminds me of Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson,” Lewis said of the fading NFL star. “They run routes really similar and they have the same kind of style. They’re fast and they’re built kind of similar. Chad’s a great receiver and so is Mo.”