Monday 22 February 2010

DeAngelis on the Dotted Line

Well I was going to write a gigantic entry entitled "In Defense of DeAngelis," but that is moot now. Today the Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced the signing of former CFL All-Star Sandro DeAngelis.

As people who frequent Blogskee Wee Wee know, I am a HUGE fan of DeAngelis's. I have more than once expressed my opinion that signing DeAngelis was needed. After Drew Edwards's column Sunday I thought that the chance of DeAngelis donning the Black & Gold in 2010 was slim to none, with slim having exited the stadium.

In Edwards's article he quotes a trepidatious Bob O'Billovich. "The problem with a guy like [DeAngelis] is that you need somebody to punt if he's going to kick. If you don't have that scenario on your roster, it makes it tougher." While O'Billovich never came out and said the Cats wouldn't sign DeAngelis, he intimated that the way that the Tiger-Cats roster was currently constituted made it difficult to sign DeAngelis because he didn't punt.

PUNT!?!? Are you serious? Not to demean any punters out there, but they are a dime a dozen. While I admit that punting is not the easiest task to do well, finding one should not have been a problem. Make Ito do it. If having an import do it causes a problem, then find a non-import. Needing him to be Canadian should not have been an issue. The CIS churns outs punters, most, if not all, of which are Canadian.

A lack of a Canadian punter was an insane reason to not sign DeAngelis. With his signing today, it looks like the team saw the error in that mode of thinking and put the name of the most accurate Placekicker in Canadian Football League history on the dotted line.

DeAngelis has a career FG percentage of 83.8 and has never missed an Extra Point in his 5-year CFL career.

This marks the second year that the Ti-Cats have gone out to get a "hometown boy." Last season, the team signed SB Dave Stala. Stala quickly became a fan favourite, and his play was key in the Tiger-Cats ending their 5-year playoff drought. DeAngelis is a native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and his signing gives the team another player that they can market as a "hometown hero." Stala and DeAngelis are to current Ti-Cats fans what Mike Morreale and Rob Hitchcock were to fans in the 1990s. We in Hamilton love our local boys (except I hated Jesse Lumsden, but he's from Burlington, so it doesn't count), and DeAngelis will fit right in.

When free agency started I outlined three positions that the Tiger-Cats needed to focus on:
  • Defensive Back
  • Placekicker
  • Kick/Punt Returner
The team signed Will Poole and Jason Shivers last week to address DB. Today they signed DeAngelis to address PK. Now if they can get a KR/PR the Cats will have addressed their major needs. The team now also needs to sign a Punter. My guess is both positions will be addressed during the annual CFL Draft.

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