Skip to main content


Shiltz pumped for opportunity with Stamps after showing flashes backing up Mitchell

Matthew Shiltz Hamilton Tiger-Cats Matthew Shiltz - The Canadian Press

Despite inking veteran Matt Shiltz to compete with Jake Maier for the starting quarterback role on the Calgary Stampeders, head coach and general manager Dave Dickenson insists he’s fully confident in the incumbent Maier.

Dickenson signed the 31-year-old Shiltz to a one-year contract this week to compete with the 26-year-old Maier. Maier showed flashes in his first full season as a starter after learning under Stamps legend Bo Levi Mitchell for two campaigns, throwing for 4,244 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also struggled with interceptions (15) and often couldn’t extend plays outside the pocket. Despite the signing, Dickenson hasn’t given up on Maier. Far from it.   

“I’m actually very confident Jake’s going to have a great year,” Dickenson said.

“He came up for my [football] camps this January. He looks good. He’s feeling good. Sometimes you’re having your first kid, first start, it didn’t go as well. Things can snowball a bit. I just feel like he’s at peace and he’s doing all the right things. And now it’s our job to put better pieces around him and do a better job coaching him and getting him in positions to succeed. I’m very confident Jake’s going to have a heck of a year.”

Shiltz began last season as Mitchell’s backup with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and started three games after Mitchell went down with injury. He threw for seven touchdowns, five interceptions, and over 1,500 yards. In a league with several entrenched starters, he saw Calgary as a unique opportunity for playing time, as well as a chance to learn under a CFL legend in Dickenson.

“Any time you can get a change of scenery, change of pace, it’ll be great,” Shiltz said.

“Being able to work with Dave, obviously his track [record] speaks for itself and the amount of history that he has there and what he’s been able to do in Calgary…obviously Jake had a great year last year and was the starter. There’s going to be competition at any position on the football field and in the locker room. I think that’s what breeds a healthy locker room and a healthy team, is to get the best out of everybody. Regardless of what my role is, I’m going to compete every day and going to prepare as if I’m the starter. We’ll let everything play itself out.”

Shiltz has texted with Maier about the organization and living in the city.

“We’re going to try to find some time and talk,” Shiltz said. 

“I’ve always respected his game, respected what he’s done, how he’s prepared, how he’s performed with his opportunities. Obviously being a starter for the entire year last year, that says something. He’s a heck of a quarterback [and] heck of a guy.”

Mitchell, who will return to Hamilton this season, continues to have an impact on the organization he built his legacy with. 

“I talked to Bo on [the Shiltz signing],” Dickenson said.

“When it happened, Bo hit me up and there were some good things from Bo [about Shiltz].”

Mitchell also praised the organization during the season, conversations that Shiltz didn’t forget. 

“We talked about his experiences in Calgary during the season when we were there together [in Hamilton],” Shiltz said.

“He obviously had great things to say just on the organization, from working with Dave and everyone over there… [it] made me more excited for the possibility of heading out to Calgary.”

Shiltz played only a year with Mitchell, but learned plenty about the position and how to lead. He will take those lessons to McMahon Stadium, Mitchell’s old stomping grounds.

“One of the best teammates I’ve been around, both on and off the field,” Shiltz said. 

“Whether we’re in meeting rooms or out at the golf course hanging out or grabbing dinner and a beer. He’s just a great guy to be around and obviously his football knowledge speaks for itself, how he sees the game, how he breaks down film, how he game plans, the way he approaches the games, approaches practice…there’s no question on why he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame.”

Calgary opens their season on June 7 when they host Mitchell and the Tiger-Cats.