Quinton Porter is going to take some of Kevin Glenn’s playing time away.
How much, only Marcel Bellefeuille knows, but he insisted yesterday he has a plan in mind.
It’s a bit of a risk what the Hamilton head coach is doing 12 weeks into a 16-week season and you have to give the Ticats head coach credit for making every effort possible to get the most out of his team.
The Ticats are a team that has the pieces, as currently constructed, to fight for a Grey Cup title.
What they haven’t shown is any consistency to make that fight much of a reality.
So coming off a mind-numbingly boring loss last Friday on their home turf to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Bellefeuille is again in shake-up mode.
Starting quarterback Glenn remains No. 1 on the depth chart, heading into a huge Week 13 game in Montreal on Sunday, but no longer will Porter be limited to third and short gambles or garbage time.
Bellefeuille, in an effort to take full advantage of every bit of talent he has on his roster, will incorporate Porter into the offence more than he has so far this season. Asked how much he was planning to do so following practice on Friday, he shed little light on the matter.
“That hasn’t been decided,” Bellefeuille began before switching course. “Well, it has been decided but that’s an internal thing and we’ll look at it week to week.”
Bellefeuille made a similar move once already this season when he got playmakers Terry Grant and Marcus Thigpen more involved at the cost of reps to running back Avon Cobourne and Aaron Kelly.
Initially those moves worked wonders with Grant and Thigpen both putting up big numbers in the win over Calgary in the game played in Moncton. Both have been quieter in the couple of weeks since.
As far as Bellefeuille is concerned what he’s doing with Glenn and Porter is no different.
“It’s not that we’re a two-quarterback team right now and I know that’s not clearly defined,” Bellefeuille said. “But right now Kevin is our starter no different than Avon is our starting tailback and from week to week Terry has a different role depending on what we’re doing and what defence we face. We think Quinton can do some things to add to our offence and we’re going to try to take advantage of that.”
There’s no question Porter is a more mobile quarterback than Glenn and at 6-foot-5 and 228 pounds, he’s not exactly easy to bring down.
Porter is in his fourth season in the CFL and actually had the starters gig in Hamilton for 11 games of the 2009 season before he was replaced by Glenn. So splitting time or swapping roles isn’t new to either of these men. Bellefeuille is counting on the fact that both will see the positives for the team this can create and not be so concerned about any personal agendas.
Porter all but laughs at that possibility.
“I think the coaches wouldn’t even be talking about this if they didn’t think we were able to handle it,” Porter said. “We’ve been through this for three years now. When I was in there, Kevin was right there ready to go and now that he’s in there I have to be ready to go. Obviously it is not ideal, I would say, but if we’re able to make it work and it’s good for the team then we’ll make it work.”
Bellefeuille knows his personnel well enough to be confident making such a bold move won’t backfire.
“We have the traditional system that everyone has (starter and backup) but we also have someone who is developing and coming on and it gives us an opportunity to do something a little bit out of the box. But from the same perspective we haven’t structured it so we haven’t put ourselves in a box. We’re going to be flexible and see how things go.”
Porter did some an increased amount of time with the first time offence in practice this week but how that unfolds in Sunday’s game, only Bellefeuille and his coaching staff know for sure.
It might also interest Ticats fans to know that Porter’s best career game came against these same Alouettes in this same month three years ago. Porter threw for five touchdowns and 429 yards without an interception to produce the rare quarterback’s perfect rating of 158.3
You can be sure Bellefeuille was thinking out that game when he put this plan into operation.
WEBB GETS HIS CHANCE
Grind until I make it.
It’s the first five words, actually the only five words, in Dee Webb’s twitter profile and really it’s all you need to know about Webb.
But now all that grinding has finally paid off and Webb is in a position where the opportunity is there for him.
Webb calls the trade from Toronto to Hamilton for Maurice Mann and a conditional draft pick earlier this week a blessing and you can see why.
It’s not that he didn’t like Toronto, but he is moving to a team where he immediately steps into a starting role and he goes from a team with no shot at the playoffs to one that is already in.
Injuries to a trio of defenders in the Hamilton secondary mean Webb has been lining up with the starters on offence at halfback, something he rarely got to do in Toronto.
“There are a lot of good DB’s over there but I went in and competed, but I had to play my role and my role was playing backup,” Webb said.
While leaving teammates and friends is never easy, Webb admits his situation has been made much easier with the proximity of Toronto and Hamilton. It means he has not had to find a new place to live.
“My roommates are still Lin-J (Shell), Evan McCullough and Sean Smalls,” Webb said. “We are brothers still, we just bleed a different colour now.”