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The Saskatchewan Roughriders will start getting ready for the Western semi-final in Calgary when they take to the Mosaic Stadium turf on Wednesday morning.
When the defence takes the field, they will be preparing for both Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn even though Stamps coach John Hufnagel has publicly declared Tate will be his starter.
“Tate may be the starter, but they didn’t say who the finisher will be,” a grinning Chamblin said. “You still have to prepare for both of them.”
The decision to start Tate seems to have many scratching their head because he missed most of the regular season with a shoulder injury while Glenn won 11 games while throwing for 4,220 yards and 25 touchdowns. While some debate whether or not Hufnagel has made the right choice, Chamblin feels as if he has saying it was his feeling Tate would be the guy.
“No,” Chamblin proclaimed. “There were a couple of people who wanted to bet me on it, but I always knew Drew would be their guy. He was their starter and while Kevin did good things for the organization in his absence, Drew is their starter and that is the way he wanted to go.
While the Stampeders quarterback situation is no longer a mystery, Chamblin and the rest of the Riders realize that if they are to be successful, they will once again have to contain running back Jon Cornish. The Riders got Cornish off his game in a 30-25 win September 23. After guaranteeing Cornish would not run for 100 yards, the league’s leading rusher was held to 67 yards on the ground and was lighter in the pocketbook after mooning Roughrider fans behind the Stampeders bench. Cornish has fired back at the Riders coach saying he isn’t classy, but Chamblin isn’t biting this time around when it comes to guarantees.
“The guarantee right now is the playoffs,” Chamblin said. “Our guys did what they had to down the stretch when it came to intensity and focus. The wins didn’t come in those games, but everyone in that room knows now that if you win you keep going and if you lose you keep going home. We need to stop Cornish, but we need to stop Nik Lewis and Tate too. The key is playing quality football.
When the team does start day one of practice, there may be some players out there who missed the last few games of the regular season that hope to play. Chamblin indicated both punter Chris Milo (ankle) and running back Jock Sanders (knee) might not only practice, but perhaps play on Sunday.