It has been, to say the least, a most unusual situation with Calgary quarterbacks in 2013.
Drew Tate opened the season, but an injury gave way to Kevin Glenn who gave way to Bo Levi Mitchell as a result of an injury of his own. Not only have the Stampeders played three quarterbacks, the three have all been productive and won games.
The trio has led Calgary to the best record in the league, 33 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.
How do they do it?
Well, the most obvious reason is the fact all three players are talented. 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.
Mitchell, meanwhile, continues to be very productive at every team. He currently leads league quarterback with a 113.0 rating. But the real rating that counts is three wins in three starts.
Given the talent in the quarterback meeting room and the competitive fires in each player, this three-headed picture could become rather ticklish for the team. But debate in the dressing room? Nothing could be further from the truth.
The players all know exactly where they stand, based on the depth chart. Stampeders GM and Head Coach John Hufnagel has 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 hobbiling, Mitchell steps up. Otherwise, the chart reads Tate/Glenn/Mitchell.
On and off-field testing this week showed Glenn was ready to play, thus the anticipated start. That decision came in spite of a Mitchell win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
It is also important to know the two men who have the most contact with the quarterbacks, Hufnagel and offensive coordinator Dave Dickenson, were themselves accomplished quarterbacks. If any pair can relate to quarterbacks, it is this pair.
So far, whatever they are pitching, the Calgary trio is catching.
Meanwhile the wait for Tate continues. He is on the field daily and has been lightly tossing the ball to receivers in drills. Return date for Tate? Great question. His balky elbow is improving but will it improve enough for the end of the regular season? No one can say with certainty at this time.
The quarterback picture is somewhat reminiscent of the Stamps quarterback factor of the mid-1990’s. At the time, the team had Jeff Garcia, Dave Dickenson and promising prospect Henry Burris on the roster. Those three all went on to wildly successful careers.
Things are slightly different today as Glenn is older than any of that group from the ‘90s.
Regardless, the quarterback trio makes the Stampeders the envy of the league.
Mark Stephen is Sports Director of CHQR Radio in Calgary and has broadcast Calgary Stampeder games since 1996. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkonFootball.