The Rouge takes a look at each team and poses their biggest question heading into the off-season. Today, the Calgary Stampeders.
On Wednesday, The Rouge asked if the Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts had what it takes to sustain their 2012 success next season and beyond.
Well, their Grey Cup opponents the Calgary Stampeders are in a similar situation heading into the off-season.
Of course they won't enter next season with the title 'defending champs,' but they appear primed to make another run and perhaps get another shot at hoisting the Grey Cup next year.
And it could be argued Calgary will be a better squad in 2013, especially with the expected return of a fully healthy Drew Tate. The job now: keeping the band together.
The Stamps will have as many as 10 free agents to make decisions on this winter. The one in the spotlight, of course, is backup quarterback Kevin Glenn. While everyone in Cowtown hopes Tate can stay healthy all season, it's never a bad idea to have a strong contingency plan.
That decision will likely be Glenn's of course – there's expected to be a couple of open starting QB positions available around the league – but Calgary needs to determine the value of a strong backup pivot.
Other pending free agents include kick returner Larry Taylor, punter Rob Maver, defensive linemen Corey Mace and Brian Bulcke, and safety Eric Fraser.
Head coach and general manager John Hufnagel also has to keep in mind his coaching staff, and in particular offensive coordinator Dave Dickenson. Barring a surprise head coach opening, Dickenson – a rising star in the coaching ranks – is likely to lead the offence for at least one more season, but that remains a factor to keep in mind moving forward.
The Stamps have a lot of good pieces and should once again be considered a Grey Cup contender next season, provided that the theme of their off-season is continuity.
The Rouge asks: Can the Stampeders keep enough of their key talent to make a similar run in 2013?
As always, it's Your! Call.