Stamps’ Glenn ready to compete for starting gig
Veteran quarterback still feels he can be No. 1 guy
On his way back east, 48 hours after the shimmering gossamer storyline had turned to ash, Kevin Glenn wasn’t shy about laying his ambitions bare.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say that I think that I’m a starting quarterback in this league,” the 33-year-old admitted, as the Calgary Stampeders cleaned up and cleared out of McMahon Stadium for another winter, left to ponder a comprehensive 35-22 Grey Cup come-uppance at Rogers Centre. “I think I am. If you’re a quarterback and you don’t think that, then something’s wrong.”
The idea of returning, after all he’d done, how far he’d taken them, only to once again understudy Drew Tate was something he was still trying to wrap his head around.
When asked how he’d feel if that were, indeed, the case, Glenn, an inordinately honest sort, could only shrug.
“I don’t know if I can answer that question right now.’’
Fast forward four and a half months:
He’s still here. Still a Stampeder.
And still in search of a No. 1 job that’s someone else’s to lose.
“You always look forward to getting back in the action,’’ says Glenn, who spent the winter months at home in Detroit working out and doing the daddy thing, watching his young son play hoops and helping a one-year-old daughter take her first steps. “Because we made it all the way to the Grey Cup, the off-season’s gone pretty fast. It feels like a quick turnaround. That’s kind of a good thing.’’
With Stamps’ training camp only a few weeks away, his situation hasn’t really changed in any tangible way from a year ago. He arrives pencilled in as caddy to Drew Tate. What has shifted, what Glenn himself altered, is the perception of him as a mere insurance policy; a stop gap.
Instead of being consigned to re-runs, he proved he’s still capable of a prime-time ratings slot.
In a relief appearance worthy of Mariano Rivera, Glenn sprinted out of the bullpen after Tate was knocked off the hill, shoulder separated early in Week 2, to throw for 4,200 yards and 25 TDs as the Stamps finished 12-6, the second best record in the loop. The tough Texan returned to ignite a dramatic semifinal win against Saskatchewan, but once again injury issues thrust company man Glenn into the breach and he delivered, slaying the defending Grey Cup champion Leos right in their own lair in the West final.
After such a memorable, career re-defining run it would naturally be more than a bit of a bummer to go back to shaking pom-poms and wearing ballcaps backwards.
“At the same time,’’ reminds Glenn, “Drew was the starter. And when he played, he played well. No quarterback, no player, can ever predict when they’re going to get hurt. Hey, he played well, too. Never forget that.
“So you’ve got two guys that can do the job.
“As a team, you always want to go into a situation like that. Drew wants (the job). I want it. That only makes everybody better. No jealousy, no friction. That’s the way this profession is built.
Just because a guy is named the starter doesn’t mean he continues to be the starter. You’re judged off each game and practice, too. All kinds of stuff can happen.
“I honestly think that the coaching staff in Calgary likes that. I know if I was a coach, I would. If I had two guys that played the way we both did last year, and a guy like Bo (Levi Mitchell) who came in and helped out, too, I’d be hesitant to break up that chemistry.’’
In the wake his ressurectionist season, he says he felt no compulsion to stride into John Hufnagel’s bunker late last November and issue a play-me-or-trade-me ultimatum.
“I think everybody knows that this is the second team I’ve taken to a Grey Cup. I’ve had numerous seasons of good production. I wouldn’t still be in this league if I hadn’t.
“I’m not holding anything over any general manager’s or any head coach’s head. After a season like that, I don’t think you want to follow that up with a rant of ‘Trade me!’ You go about your business as a professional. All that other stuff is up to the organization. Hey, even if you stress that you want a trade that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gonna trade you. They have the last say.
“The way the league is now, with Ottawa coming back next year, it’s kind of a situation where I don’t think a lot of teams are in the business of trading guys they feel that can help ‘em this season, because they may end up losing them next year in the expansion draft.
“I think organizations and front offices are not looking at this season, but past that, to next year.’’
After the uncertainty of four and a half months ago, with 2013 training camp only weeks away, Kevin Glenn’s still here. Still a Stampeder.
Still in search of a No. 1 job that’s someone else’s to lose, but still not conceding an inch.
Still a professional to his fingertips.
“I want to stress that I’m going to do everything I possibly can to put myself in the best position,’’ he says. “That’s all I really can do.
“I’m coming to camp to compete and do whatever I can to make the Calgary Stampeders a better team. And, really, that’s what we’re all after.’’
Follow George Johnson on Twitter/GeorgejohnsonCH
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