CALGARY - Their careers intertwined as Calgary Stampeders teammates. On Saturday, the paths of Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn cross again as opposing quarterbacks.
Their backstory is of Tate the prodigy forced by injuries to give way to Glenn, the insurance policy that paid off with 20 wins and a Grey Cup appearance during his two seasons as a Stampeder.
Claimed in the expansion draft by Ottawa and traded to the B.C. Lions to start this season, Glenn continues to be a well-worked, winning backup to Travis Lulay, who re-injured his shoulder in his one start this season.
Glenn ranks third in throwing yards with 2,703 behind Toronto's Ricky Ray (3,206) and Winnipeg's Drew Willy (2,977).
With Bo Levi Mitchell a week away from returning for Calgary, Tate will get his second straight start this season and just the 10th of his career Saturday.
Tate, 29, and Glenn, 35, are in different stages of their careers in terms of experience.
Tate is the developing quarterback still trying to get games under his belt. With the amount of work he's had in recent years, it feels like the CFL is trying to eke every last game out of Glenn before he retires.
The quarterbacks have different strengths. Tate is a scrambler who can turn trouble into a touchdown. Glenn's smarts and patience in the pocket gives the offence time to develop.
But Tate feels some of Glenn's game rubbed off on him during their time as teammates.
"There was a lot I learned from Kevin on the field and off the field," Tate said Friday. "My locker was right next to him so there was just a lot of insight he could give to me personally, professionally.
"He had great poise. He had a quick release on a quick game and had good pocket awareness and good poise to let things develop downfield.
"He's smaller than me which is probably the only quarterback I've ever seen shorter than me. It was neat to see him work and just how he approaches the games and how he is in the huddle and in the locker room."
Glenn, who is five foot 10 to Tate's six feet, says even though he has more experience than Tate, there was still something to learn from the younger quarterback.
"I'm never too proud to say that I've learned something from a guy who may not have as many years in the league as me," Glenn said. "I respect the fire that he has. To be able to overcome some of those injuries he had, it was tough.
"To have that 'injury-plagued' (label) hanging over your head and still be able to come back and be positive and successful. He's the type of guy that believes he can overcome and do anything.
"It's one of those things that you may have inside of you, but it never comes out because you may have never been put in that situation."
Calgary (10-2) lost 31-15 to Montreal last Sunday, but still owns the best record in the CFL. The Lions (7-5) are fourth in the West Division, six points back of Calgary and coming off a 40-23 loss to Toronto.
The Lions are the only West Division team to defeat Calgary and the only team to beat the Stamps at home so far this season. Trailing 11 points at halftime, B.C. rallied to edge the hosts 25-24 back on Aug. 1.
Stampeders running back Jon Cornish didn't play in that game. He missed six games in July and August with concussion symptoms. The CFL's Most Outstanding Player and leading rusher last season also didn't travel to Montreal last week.
Cornish will be back in the lineup Saturday. He'd been cagey about his reasons for staying home from Montreal. Cornish revealed Friday that he landed on his head and felt his neck lock up in a 40-33 win over the Toronto Argonauts on Sept. 13.
"I was being cautious," Cornish said.
Cornish rushed for a CFL single-game high of 174 yards against Toronto. With six games remaining, the 29-year-old from New Westminster, B.C., ranks fourth in league rushing with 587 yards in five games.
The Calgary and B.C. defences are coming off their worst games of the season, but Cornish says the Lions still pose a stiff challenge. B.C. middle linebacker Solomon Elimimian leads the CFL in tackles with 98.
"They're one of the premier defences in the league and I always relish every opportunity I get to play against them," Cornish said. "I get to improve as a player, playing against their players."
Calgary's defence was averaging 15 points per game against in the first 10 games of the season, but allowed 33 and 31 the last two games respectively.
"Technically we're doing good things," said Stampeders defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler. "We just have to play with more passion and get the job done. Hopefully we have our mojo back and we go back and do the things we do well."
Tate completed Calgary's comeback win against Toronto with 6-for-6 passing, two touchdown throws and a two-point convert pass. He ran for two touchdowns against Montreal, but completed half his 30 passes for 152 yards.
The return of Cornish gives the Texan a weapon the quarterback didn't have last week.
"He definitely will make a difference so find a way to get him the ball and make sure it's a clean handoff every time," Tate said.
"I definitely felt I took a step forward in practice this week so I want to continue that into the game. It's really just getting the ball to the playmakers in space. Don't turn the ball over and have a good run game. We do all those things, we should be all right."