Calgary’s Quarterback Carousel
It’s been an unusual season in Calgary to say the least; even after the weekends defeat to Toronto (33-27), the Stampeders still have the best record in the league (9-3), but the ‘quarterback carousel’ continues to revolve.
The season opened with Drew Tate under center but, through injury, he gave way to Kevin Glenn. Bo Levi Mitchell took over when Tate’s injury resurfaced later in the season.
Fortunately, for US sports betting fans in Calgary, at least, the three have all been productive and won games. The trio has led the Stamps to the best record in the league: 36 offensive touchdowns and the best time of possession record in the league. Amazingly, the three-headed quarterback picture has resulted in a league-low seventeen turnovers.
Despite the defeat at the weekend, Calgary still hold that record – surprising, as that sort of rotation at quarterback usually leads to a disjointed offence and one that struggles to find any rhythm. The Stampeders have overcome this though. The question remains, however: how have they done it?
Talent is a big key to answering that question; all three of the signal-callers involved are talented and can produce when they get the chance to perform. Tate, when healthy, has demonstrated an ability to win games; Glenn is nearing the top ten in career passing yards in Canadian Football League history and Mitchell, meanwhile, continues to be very productive with every chance that he gets – currently having three wins in three starts.
Often, when you have a quarterback conundrum such as this, it creates a problem in the locker-room, with debate and competition rife as the three jostle for position but, in Calgary, nothing seems further from the truth.
The players all know exactly where they stand based on the depth chart. Stampeders GM and Head Coach, John Hufnagel, have made it abundantly clear what the protocol is for the trio. When he’s healthy, Tate starts. If – as is the case now – he is on the sidelines, Glenn steps up. If Glenn is hobbling, Mitchell steps up. Otherwise, the chart reads Tate/Glenn/Mitchell.
All of that decisive action by the Calgary management has avoided any controversy and it must also help the situation that the two men who have the most contact with the quarterbacks on a daily basis were themselves accomplished quarterbacks. Head coach, Hufnagel, and offensive coordinator, Dave Dickenson, know how to handle and communicate with the trio.
According to the weekend’s live football commentary, Calgary have been in this three-way quarterback position before, back in the mid 1990’s when they had Jeff Garcia, Dave Dickenson, and promising prospect, Henry Burris, on the roster.
The side clearly have experience in handling a situation that has made them the envy of the league; not only in the talent they have at the position but how they have handled what could have been a controversial situation.