It is simply not the Kent Austin way.
Don’t get me wrong, as an unabashed Kevin Glenn fan, I would love nothing more than to see him come onto this loaded Ticats team, guide them to a Grey Cup title and walk off into the sunset removing that final monkey from his back. It would be a storybook ending for one of the league’s all-time great people.
But it is not going to happen.
If the Ticats were interested in Glenn, they would have tried to bring him in when he was a free agent this offseason, but they chose not to. Despite my desire to see the team do just that, they went down a different path, looking towards the future instead of the past and deciding that a veteran backup was not what this team needed. This is the route they chose to go and now with their star QB out for what could be the rest of the season, they will continue down the road they decided to take back in the winter.
Trading for Glenn would be a panic move and Kent Austin is not the type of guy who makes panic moves. He trusts in his abilities, and in the abilities of his players, to get the job done. He preaches a next-man-up philosophy and he would be compromising that belief if he airlifted in a rental player such as Glenn. Austin does not make excuses and he will not use Collaros’ injury as an excuse. He expects players on the roster to play as well as his starters, even going so far as to say the team only has a depth chart because they have to, but that they philosophically do not believe in it.
Trading for Glenn simply does not fit in with what Kent Austin has done since taking over the Ticats. He doesn’t bring guys in midseason, with the only memorable exception being last season’s September signing of Justin Hickman. Hickman was signed to a prorated one-year deal, but was re-signed to another one-year deal in February. But I think it is incorrect to call Hickman a rental player, which is exactly what Glenn would be.
Austin looks to the future as much as he does the present. His eye is towards winning not just this season, but in the many seasons to come. And while the Ticats chances of winning it all in 2015 just took a massive hit on Saturday, we have seen Kent Austin turn never-before-seen adversity into back-to-back Grey Cup appearances: a year in Guelph, delays in getting into Tim Hortons Field last year, the four-game road trip this year, the hours of lost practice time, the injury to Collaros last year, and the ever-growing number of starters who have missed time this year are just some of the hardships the Ticats have endured during Austin’s two-and-a-half years running the team. And while this injury to Collaros might be the toughest test so far for Kent Austin, as Drew Edwards pointed out yesterday, he has shown the ability to traverse these tricky situations and come out on top.
If the Ticats were simply in this to win now, a trade for Glenn would make sense. But this is not a team whose championship window is rapidly closing. They have one of the youngest rosters in the league and don’t look to be in danger of becoming a league doormat like they were for much of the first decade of this millennium any time soon.
Austin and his coaching staff will get Jeff Mathews and/or Jacory Harris ready to play (likely, and rightly, Mathews), and while the team might not dominate like it did for most of the season’s first 13 weeks, they are talented enough to not fall completely off the cliff. And let’s be honest, if the Edmonton Eskimos could win with Matt Nichols starting, there is no reason to think the Ticats can’t do the same with Jeff Mathews.
It sucks that Collaros got hurt, but the Ticats are still 8-4, still sit in first place and probably need to win three of their remaining six games to host a playoff game. With a remaining schedule that features home games against Calgary, Saskatchewan and Ottawa, and road games against Montreal, BC and Ottawa, winning three of their final six isn’t exactly an impossible mission.
And they can win those games with Jeff Mathews at quarterback.
So while it would be one of the great stories of the year for Glenn to come back to Hamilton and have a chance to finally win that elusive Grey Cup, it probably isn’t happening.
And in the end, not trading for Glenn is the right thing for Austin to do.