August 4, 2013

Back in the saddle: Tate healthy, will start vs. Riders Staff

CALGARY — After enjoying a bye this past week, the Stampeders were back on the field at McMahon Stadium on Sunday.

Of the most important topics head coach John Hufnagel covered after practice was the confirmation that all three of his quarterbacks were healthy and that Drew Tate will reclaim his position under centre when the Stampeders host the Roughriders on Friday night.

“All three quarterbacks threw the ball and they’re all ready to play. That’s something we haven’t had for a few weeks. It puts you back in the comfort position where you can call on any one of the three. You know how physical the game is,” said Hufnagel.

“Drew was able to play in the last game; he just wasn’t going to be at 100 per cent. Fortunately, (Bo Levi Mitchell) stepped up as a lot of young players have done for this football team and played football in a winning fashion,” he added.

Last week saw Mitchell lead the Stampeders to an impressive 37-24 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In the game, Mitchell threw for 376 yards and 3 touchdowns, en-route to being named Offensive Player of the Week.

Despite his strong play, Hufnagel remained adamant that his mentality regarding his quarterbacks remains unchanged. By that logic, Tate is number one, while Kevin Glenn and Mitchell slot in at the two and three spots respectively.

“Why would my mindset change (based) on the action of one game versus another guy who got us to the Grey Cup last year? I’ll play the quarterback until I believe a change is needed. Whoever that is and whenever that is, that’s up to me to figure out during game day,” said Hufnagel.

With their only bye week of the season in the rear-view mirror, Hufnagel is looking forward to seeing what his team is made of, as they hit the dog days of the regular season.

“(The bye week) was good. A good time to relax but also a time to study our football team and see what we’re good at and see the things we need to get better at. Now we had a practice to work at the things we need to get better at.”

More to come…