The Saskatchewan Roughriders' head coach announced Wednesday rookie Seth Doege will start at quarterback when the club hosts Calgary at Mosaic Stadium. Doege will make his first CFL against a Stampeders' squad that not only boasts a league-best 11-2 record but can become the first team to clinch a playoff berth.
Calgary will cement a spot in the post-season either with a win over Saskatchewan or a Winnipeg loss. The Blue Bombers (6-7) visit the expansion Ottawa Redblacks (1-11) on Friday night.
Doege replaces Tino Sunseri, who made three straight starts for Saskatchewan after incumbent Darian Durant suffered an elbow injury that's expected to sideline him the remainder of the regular season. The Riders were 1-2 with Sunseri as the starter but are coming off a 24-0 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos, their first shutout defeat since 1986.
"Whatever it takes for us to get back into the win column," Chamblin told reporters regarding his decision to make the change. "I'm never going to be afraid to do that and make those changes . . . It is time to shake some things up and maybe that's one of the things that we shake up that we can get back into the win column."
Friday's game is an important one for Saskatchewan, which is currently tied for second in the West Division with Edmonton. The Eskimos visit the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday afternoon.
Sunseri started last weekend against Edmonton, completing six-of-12 passes for 53 yards and an interception before being replaced by Doege. The former Texas Tech star finished 5-of-11 passing against the Eskimos for 61 yards and also surrendered an interception.
Chamblin admitted he could've played it safe by sticking with Sunseri but said he's never been afraid to make changes.
"I can tell you I'm one of those coaches that it doesn't matter what a lot of people say should be done," he said. "That's where my gut is right now and I'm going to go with that.
"They both have different skillsets when you look at it. For this week I thought it was a chance to give Seth a chance to see what he has ... I think he has good command of the huddle this week so I want to see him go forward."
However, Chamblin stopped well short of anointing Doege as the Riders' starter in place of Durant, saying only Doege will start against Calgary.
"We're at a point right now where I want to see what we have in the stable and then be able to move forward," Chamblin said. "As we go forward pretty soon we have to make a decision on who our starting quarterback is going to be if we don't get Darian Durant back."
Chamblin also said Levy Adcock will start at left tackle against Calgary ahead of incumbent Xavier Fulton.
"Going into the playoffs . . . you want to make sure you have every base covered and can backup guys play to get you to where you need be," Chamblin said. "He (Adcock) showed good things when he did play so it was an opportunity to move him back and see what he has now."