CFL

Calgary Stampeders

Division: WestGM/Head Coach: John Hufnagel
2012: 12-6 (2nd in West)vs. division 7-3
Points29.7 (2nd)
Yards377.0 (3rd)
Pass Yards275.4 (5th)
Rush Yards116.0 (2nd)

Hungry For More

The Calgary Stampeders came so close to winning it all in 2012.

After finishing the regular season second in the CFL's West division with a 12-6 record, the Stampeders dispatched the Saskatchewan Roughriders and B.C. Lions in the playoffs to earn the right to play for the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto.

Going The Distance

Stampeders starting quarterback Drew Tate is vowing to finish every game he starts this season after an injury plagued 2012.

That was where their run would come to an end though as the Stampeders were shut down by the Argonauts 35-22 in the championship game.

The sting of that loss should provide plenty of motivation for a Calgary team returning the bulk of its core players this season

He's The Man

Stampeders head coach and GM John Hufnagel was quick to ensure there would be no quarterback controversy leading into the season in Calgary by naming Drew Tate his starter nice and early.

Tate won the starting job last season as well but his 2012 campaign was marred by injuries leading to questions about his durability. He suffered a separated shoulder in Week 2 and was sidelined until the team's final two regular season games.

Tate then fractured a bone in his wrist during Calgary's Western Semifinal win over Saskatchewan

During Tate's absence, veteran pivot Kevin Glenn stepped up and led the team to nine wins in the regular season while throwing for 4,220 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Glenn also led the Stampeders to a road victory over the BC Lions in the Western Final and started for Calgary in the Grey Cup.

Despite Glenn's success Hufnagel believes Tate is the right man for the job though.

"He's ready to play, I'm ready to have him on the field playing," Hufnagel said of Tate during a preseason teleconference.

"Right now quarterback is in my belief a position of strength for us but Drew will be the starter."

For his part, Tate has vowed to put the durability questions to bed and finish every game he starts.

"My personal goals are to finish every game I play and move the chains and don't turn the ball over," Tate told reporters during training camp. "I've been playing football since 1992. It's just been the last couple of years, a couple times I've gotten hit and I haven't gotten up. Perception is reality and the perception is I haven't lasted, so that's reality."

To help him prepare for the season, Tate spent the winter doing mixed martial arts training. The Stampeders will hope it pays off and he can stay healthy. And if it doesn't, having a proven should help ease the loss.

After Tate, Canadian star running back Jon Cornish will once again be the focal point of the Stampeders' offence.

Cornish ran for 1,457 yards last season, the most ever by a Canadian in the CFL. Despite his success, Cornish isn't resting on his laurels and thinks he still has room to improve.

"I feel like I'm a more mature player at this point and I can better deal with any negatives," Cornish said during the team's pre-season conference call.

In the receiving corps, the Stampeders lost Romby Bryant to the Argos and Arjei Franklin to retirement. Johnny Forzani will also be sidelined by injury to start the season leaving Calgary with a few holes to fill.

They have no shortage of talented receivers to fill in though. Nik Lewis will once again be the go to guy in the passing game after leading the team with 1,241 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Terence Jeffers-Harris is an able deep threat, Marquay McDaniel could potentially see an increased role and Joe West is also in the mix to fill Bryant's spot.

On the Canadian front, the Stampeders would love to see Anthony Parker establish himself as a CFL receiver. Another interesting player to watch is former CIS quarterback star Brad Sinopoli who opted to change positions to receiver this season in the hopes of earning more playing time.

On the offensive line, Dan Federkeil is attempting to revive his football career after concussions forced him to retire from the NFL's Indianapolis Colts in 2009. The Medicine Hat native could be a ratio buster for the Stamps should he prove he is able to play as he would likely line up at left tackle, a spot normally held by an import player.

Toronto native Spencer Wilson is another player to watch on the Calgary offensive line battling for wrok at left tackle. He earned his first start for the team last August before injuries cost him the final five games of the year. With Federkeil and Wilson, the Stampeders could potentially start four non-imports on the line.

Ben D'Aguilar - credit: McMaster Athletics

Analysis: Stampeders second round selection Ben D'Aguilar

is a ridiculously athletic defensinve end. He set a CIS record with 12.5 sacks last year and has a chance to contribute right away for the Stampeders. He will pay his dues on special teams but may also earn defensive minutes. Third round pick Yannick Morin-Plante also has a good shot at cracking the Stamps roster with thanks in large part to his great speed. 6th-rounder Shane Bergman is an intriguing O-line prospect with great potential and a massive 6-foot-7, 340-pound frame. The team's top pick, Brander Craighead, won't be around this season as he has another year of NCAA eligibility left but looks to be a solid offensive line prospect for the future.
Rd. Pick Player Pos School
1 7th overall Brander Craighead OL UTEP
2 13th overall Ben D'Aguilar DL McMaster
2 16th overall Brett Jones OL Regina
3 25th overall Yannick Morin Plante WR Laval
4 28th overall Charlie Power WR Saskatchewan
6 48th overall Shane Bergman OL Western
7 59th overall Dumitru Ionita P Concordia

Stability on Defence

Taking The Lead

After a record breaking season in 2012, Stampeders Canadian running back Jon Cornish is looking for more success.

The Calgary Stampeders will be returning the bulk of their defensive unit that finished third in the CFL last season allowing 23.9 points per game.

11 of their 12 starters from last year's Grey Cup run in 2012 are back with the team in 2013 providing a rare level of stability in the CFL. The entire secondary including West All-Star Keon Raymond is back as is the linebacking corps led by CFL All-Star Juwan Simpson. As well, three-time All-Star defensive back Jonathan Hefney was picked up after being released by the Blue Bombers.

On the defensive line, starters Corey Mace, Demonte Bolden and CFL All-Star Charleston Hughes, who led the Stampeders with 11 quarterback sacks last season, are also back.

The one exception to all that stability is at defensive end. 11-year CFL veteran Anwar Stewart was released during the off-season leaving an opening for Stevie Baggs.

Baggs, who was a force on the Roughriders defensive line back in 2009, was sidelined for the bulk of last season with a quadriceps injury.

04
After a run to the Grey Cup in 2012 the Stampeders are looking to take the next step.

The 31-year-old played in just one game for Calgary last season and is hoping to resurrect his career and prove he can still be a dominant pass rusher.

"Lord knows how hard he's worked in the off-season," said Hufnagel.

Baggs will be competing with Kevin Dixon and Cordarro Law for time.

The Stampeders also acquired non-import defensive end Etienne Legare from the Eskimos in May but he looks unlikely to be ready for the start of the season as he is currently recovering from off-season shoulder surgery.

DEPTH CHARTS

OFFENCE

DEFENCE

LT

Wilson
Federkeil

LG

Deane
Myddleton
Bergman

C

Gott
Jones

RG

Tsoumpas
Peach

RT

Bryant

WR1

Parker
Sinopoli
Morin-Plante
Paden

SB1

McDaniel
Jarboe

SB2

Lewis
Arthur
Kinne

WR2

Price
Hawthorne

QB

Tate
Glenn
Mitchell
Perrilloux

RB

Cornish
Walter
Coker

FB

Cote
St.Pierre
DeSouza

Special Teams: P/K (Parades, Maver), LS (Chevrier, St.Pierre),

Depth Chart is for pre-season game against Saskatchewan (6/20)

Expert Analysis
Chris Schultz: Stampeders have the talent, now just need to mature

Last season the Calgary Stampeders may have found a quarterback, did find a running back, and overcame a lot of injuries. But the roster also has to mature, both as players and people.

Matt Dunigan: Stampeders have best QB situation in the league

Well Stampeders fans, I believe you are well covered and, heading into the 2013 season, have the best QB scenario around! A healthy, reinvented, and newly improved version of Drew Tate raring to go is exciting to say the least. Now if for some reason this does not transpire, never fear, KG is near!

WK AGAINST DATE WK AGAINST DATE
1 vs June 28, 10pm et/7pm pt 11 @ Sep 6, 9pm et/6pm pt
2 @ July 5, 9pm et/6pm pt 12 vs Sep 13, 8pm et/5pm pt
3 @ July 12, 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt 13 vs Sep 21, 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt
4 vs July 20, 7pm et/4pm pt 14 @ Sep 28, 6pm et/3pm pt
5 @ July 26, 8pm et/5pm pt 15 vs Oct 5, 6:30pm et/3:30pm pt
6 BYE WEEK 16 vs Oct 11, 9pm et/6pm pt
7 vs Aug 9, 9pm et/6pm pt 17 @ Oct 18, 9pm et/6pm pt
8 @ Aug 17, 9pm et/6pm pt 18 vs Oct 26, 7pm et/4pm pt
9 @ Aug 23, 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt 19 @ Nov 1, 10pm et/7pm pt
10 vs Sep 2, 5pm et/2pm pt      

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