CFL

Stampeders set to start Tate in place of Burris on Friday

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TSN.ca Staff
10/17/2011 6:28:26 PM
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It appears the Calgary Stampeders will make a quarterback change and start Drew Tate in place of Henry Burris in their Week 17 home game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Tate took the majority of the first team reps in practice on Monday and head coach Jon Hufnagel confirmed that Tate will most likely get the start Friday night.

"When given opportunities to play, Drew has been productive and I believe he'll give us an excellent chance for success on Friday," said Hufnagel. "By no means have I given up on Henry (Burris), but I want him to have this time to regroup and rest both emotionally and physically."

Hufnagel didn't place the team's recent struggles solely on Burris but he did say there has been a drop-off in the veteran quarterback's play from the first half of the season.

"His play over the last seven games has not been as good as the first eight games," the coach said. "But you could say the exact same thing about our entire team."

"We have not played well enough collectively to win games."

Tate, who replaced Burris midway through the Stamps' Week 16 loss to the Toronto Argonauts, said he'll be up for the challenge.

"I've been ready for a while," said Tate, who went 19-28 for 263 yards and two touchdowns after spelling Burris in the second quarter against the Argos. "Now it's about getting the game plan in and executing it the way it should be."

As for Burris, the reigning Most Outstanding Player didn't hide his disappointment with the decision, but said that he'll support Tate and do whatever it takes to help the team win.

"For any guy playing out there, it's never an easy thing to take," said Burris. "The decision is what it is."

"I'm going to support him – he's a good friend of mine and hopefully he does a great job. That's pretty much what my role is now, of course I'm bitter about it, but it's just how it is. When you're used to playing, you want to be in there. Everybody understands that but right now I'm not in that position so I'm going to support my team and make sure we do what we can to get wins."

Drew Tate (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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