Quarterback conundrum will be answered on Tuesday
Hufnagel will decide on his starter early in the week
The Calgary Stampeders boss will name his starting quarterback — Kevin Glenn or Drew Tate — for Sunday’s playoff game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Why, Hufnagel was asked, even go to the trouble of declaring one at all?
Why not wait till closer to game time?
“I think it’s better that we address it and make people aware — make everyone aware — so there’s not this constant talk about it, and we can concentrate on the important things,” Hufnagel replied Monday morning at McMahon Stadium. “Again, I don’t understand why there’s so much hype.”
He emphasized, for not the first time, that he believes in both gents — Tate, who, after cementing the No. 1 job, wrecked his (non-throwing) wing July 7; Glenn, who admirably took over the reins in Week 2.
“I have two quarterbacks on my football team that can win football games in the Canadian Football League,” said Hufnagel. “I’m confident that either one can get the job done. It’s a position of strength on our football team.”
Hufnagel, for his friends in the media, then offered assessments of the veterans:
* About Tate: “No. 1, he’s fully recovered from his injury. No. 2, he’s thrown the ball very accurately. No. 3, he’s seeing the field very well. Those are things that make Drew the quarterback that he is.
* About Glenn: “There is a reason why he was part of the trade (that sent Henry Burris to Hamilton). I had a lot of confidence if and when Kevin got on the field, he’d be able to do a great job executing the game plan, putting his teammates in good positions to succeed. And he’s done that. One of the things that’s totally impressed me about Kevin is his mental toughness. He’s not a high-volatile type of player — as maybe that other quarterback is — but he’s faced adversity . . . and has usually put his team in a position to win.”
The Stamps boss, though, pooh-poohed the notion of freely revolving the passers.
In other words, no in-game platoon system is in the works.
“A two-quarterback scenario? No,” said Hufnagel. “Whoever’s the starter will have the opportunity to play that whole game and finish it.”
After one pre-season meeting with the Roughriders, after three regular-season meetings with the Roughriders, what challenge does Sunday bring in terms of preparation?
“There is familiarity, but there’s constant change,” said Hufnagel. “Constant change in personnel. Constant change in schemes. They’re not going to come out and do the same thing they did the previous game or the other games. They going to game-plan to take advantage of your weakness and to do great things with their strengths. So it’s not that easy.
“As far as the players are concerned — and the coaching staff — we need to be able to have great concentration, great focus through practice . . . and be ready to play a heck of a football game because Saskatchewan presents a lot of problems.”
CALGARIAN A FINALIST
Calgary’s Brian McCorquodale, of Bishop Carroll High School, is one of nine Canadian finalists for the NFL Youth Coach of the Year Award. The annual honour, in partnership with Football Canada, recognizes coaches who have dedicated themselves to developing young players.
Another Albertan, Kelly Johnson of Cold Lake, was selected from more than 350 nominees.
A winner will be announced Nov. 13.
“These coaches inspire players, rally communities, and help ensure the future health of our sport in Canada,” said Dan Quinn, managing director of NFL Canada. “They are special individuals.”
Previous winners include Paul Kerber (Western Canadian High School) in 2003, Quinn Skelton (Medicine Hat High School) in 2008.
Follow Scott Cruickshank on Twitter/CruickshankCH
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