CFL Football Column: The York Report on the CFL
Tate's Out but Stamps Should Still Cover
Line: B.C. is favored by 6.5 points.
So last week in this space, I asked rhetorically why Calgary general manager/head coach John Hufnagel would tamper with his quarterbacking situation when it wasn't broken.
Well, this week in this space, I'm sorry to report that something in the Stampeders' quarterback situation is now broken. Very broken. It's Drew Tate's arm.
So Tate will not play in Sunday's Western Final in B.C. against the Lions. Nor would he play in the Grey Cup game later this month should the Stamps squeeze past B.C. on Sunday. Veteran Kevin Glenn, 33, is back as the Stamps' starting QB.
Tate arrived at practice Thursday with a cast on his throwing arm. He had an MRI and a cat scan Tuesday, when the small fracture was discovered.
Yet Hufnagel sounded confident Thursday of Glenn's potential to lead the Stamps from behind center. "We won 10 out of the last 12 and Kevin started eight of those wins so we'll just move on,'' Hufnagel said.
Tate is coming off a resilient performance in Calgary's Western semi-final win against the Saskatchewan Roughriders last Sunday, when he completed 22 of his 36 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns, including a last-minute 68-yard touchdown strike to Romby Bryant.
Tate said the injury happened in the third quarter of Sunday's game after being tackled into the sidelines by Roughriders linebacker Tyron Brackenridge.
It's the latest setback in an injury-plagued campaign for Tate, who missed 14 games in the regular season with a shoulder injury. In his place, Glenn was generally average or above-average during the regular season, which is why I asked the question in this space last week about the need to throw Tate into action for the playoffs.
Anyway, such is life in pro football, where backup QBs are always only a play away from playing. Glenn should be able to handle it. He's handled many returns to action in his lengthy, journeyman career in the CFL, and this should be no different. In fact, I'll let you in on a little secret: Many of the Stamps' offensive players prefer Glenn over Tate.
Marty's pick: Take Calgary plus the 6.5 points.
Line: Montreal is favored by 6.5 points.
Look, I predicted before the season even kicked off that the Argonauts would represent the Eastern Division in the 100th Grey Cup game, which takes place in Toronto later this month.
I'm certainly not about to change my pick now.
I know the Als have a lot of playoff experience and a veteran quarterback in Anthony Calvillo, who's 40, but I believe the Argos have what's required to upset Montreal outright, namely a peaking and healthy QB in Ricky Ray, a decent ground attack, an improved passing game, the East's outstanding player in Chad Owens (a receiver and superb kick-return specialist), better blocking, a formidable kicking game and, most significantly, a first-rate defense.
Their defense is led and orchestrated by defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones, who knows exactly what's required to stifle his former team's offense (he spearheaded Calgary to a Grey Cup win over Montreal with a brilliant game plan when he was the Stamps' defensive co-ordinator a few years ago).
The Als have been here and done this, and that may help them. But I smell an upset in a close one.
Marty's pick: Take Toronto plus the 6.5 points.
Marty's playoff record against the spread in 2012: 2-0.
Marty York is the editor-in-chief of Fantrax.com. He has covered professional football for more than three decades and is internationally renowned for
his countless sports scoops in newspapers, online and on the airwaves. Contact Marty at firstname.lastname@example.org and check him out live on the
air every weeknight from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern at www.nssradiotv.com.
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