REGINA – Riders head coach Corey Chamblin is leaving no stone unturned.
Earlier today, the Calgary Stampeders announced that Drew Tate, who missed the majority of the season with a shoulder injury, would get the start in the Western Semi-Final Sunday when they host the Riders.
Important news to many but Chamblin didn’t seem too fazed by it when meeting with reporters Tuesday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium.
“Drew Tate is the starter but they didn’t say who the finisher is”, Chamblin said with a grin. “So you still have to prepare for both of them”.
The 2012 Western Semi-Final matchup is set as the Calgary Stampeders host the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Here is everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s game.
Yesterday, Stamps head coach John Hufnagel said he wanted to ensure that his players knew exactly who was going to lead them into the most important game of their season thus far, rather than try and keep the Riders guessing as they prepared to face two different quarterbacks.
“I think it’s better we address it and make people aware, make everybody aware, so there’s not this constant talk about it and we can concentrate on the important things,” Hufnagel said.
That hasn’t stopped Chamblin from getting his team ready for both quarterbacks, knowing that just because Tate starts, doesn’t necessarily mean he is going to finish the game. And if Kevin Glenn does indeed enter the game, his defence must be prepared.
Calgary used both quarterbacks in the final two weeks of the regular season as they primed for the playoffs with their second place finish locked up. Tate’s fiery attitude may be a contributing factor into the decision but both he and Glenn pose different challenges to any defence according to Chamblin.
“They are different. Kevin knows he is not a runner but he has a quick release”, said Chamblin who has seen more than enough of Glenn over the years following a stint as defensive coordinator in Hamilton where the two were members of the Tiger-Cats.
“Drew doesn’t have as quick a release but has a bigger arm and can use his legs”.
When asked if he was surprised that Tate got the nod after Glenn started the majority of the campaign, Chamblin’s answer was simple:
“No. Drew Tate was their starter and Kevin has done some good things for their organization but Drew is the starter and that is the way they wanted to go.”
Another weapon Chamblin must prep for is Jon Cornish, who finished the season as the league’s leading rusher. Chamblin made headlines earlier in the season when he guaranteed that Cornish wouldn’t rush for 100 yards in their final meeting as a way of motivating his defence.
The guarantee would hold up but Chamblin refused to make any promises this time around, focusing on the bigger picture of the Stamps offence.
“We understand that we have to stop Cornish and now we have the added threat of Drew Tate and (they always have) Nik Lewis so we need to make sure we go out and play quality football.”
On the injury front, Chamblin says he is encouraged by the progress made by both punter Chris Milo and defensive back/kick returner Tristan Jackson.
“Milo kicked the other day and he did pretty good. He hit it pretty good into the wind and with the wind. It’s very tight with which way we go with that but it looks like he will kick some this week and we will make a decision later in the week depending on how it goes”.
He also said he was “shocked” at the rapidly improving health of receiver Jock Sanders.
“He is one of those miracle cases”, Chamblin continued. “I don’t want to put a percentage on it but I don’t want to rule him out right now but Jock has made some tremendous strides. He has recovered and he has worked tirelessly to get to the point he is at now”.
The Riders will resume practice Wednesday where they may get a better grasp on where all three stand heading into the weekend.