Only in Hamilton could the backup's backup get so much attention and adoration. I guess by writing this I'm just as guilty as anyone.
I guess I have to start by saying that I don't hate Adam Tafralis. I hope that makes my critics happy. In my recaps of the Toronto-Hamilton and Winnipeg-Hamilton pre-season games I was critical of Tafralis's play, and some did not take too kindly to my opinion (check out the comments under the two articles). Fair enough; if you have a different viewpoint, share it. I thought I was plenty clear as to why I viewed both of Tafralis's performances as subpar, but sometimes that's not enough for some people. OK, moving on.
What I see in Adam Tafralis is a kid who has grown a lot in his time here, but who still has plenty left to learn. He's on a CFL roster, so he is not a talentless hack, but he's not the second coming of Doug Flutie either. His claim to fame so far is being the Tiger-Cats' short-yardage QB. Of course there is always the one play people cite when talking about how great Tafralis is: the TD pass to Arland Bruce last season.
Was that a nice pass? Sure was. Was it under-thrown? Sure was. Tafralis threw it where only Bruce could catch it. Of course, Bruce had to adjust to catch it because it was under-thrown, and that point is undeniable.
This is where my criticism of Tafralis comes into play. When his throws are on, they are on. He has a cannon for an arm, and he really trusts it. But he trusts it too much, which is a problem. He either gets Receivers tattooed (see Nicolson, Adam), or under-throws them (see Mann, Maurice) or over-throws them (see McDaniel, Damon). His decision-making leaves a lot to be desired.
The debate right now centres on, "Should Adam Tafralis replace Quinton Porter as the backup to Kevin Glenn?" At this point, I say no. The team has invested two years into the development of Porter, and to demote him now would basically relegate him to the scrap heap. If they are going to demote him, they might as well release him. If Tafralis goes above Porter on the depth chart, Porter is likely never to regain his spot. That said, if Porter does not show marked improvement in 2010 – and really, only the coaches will know if he has, since Glenn is the starter, barring injury – then I will abandon this stance. But let's face it, it's not like people are knocking down walls to get to Tafralis, so a decision on him does not need to be made hastily. At this point in time, I haven't seen enough good stuff out of Tafralis to warrant putting him above Porter on the depth chart. It seems as if Head Coach Marcel Bellefeuille and General Manager Bob O'Billovich agree with me.
One last thing I do wonder is if the fans who are now calling for Tafralis to replace Porter are the same fans that were so enamoured with Porter after his gonzo game against the Als in 2008? I was in the stands when fans were calling for Marcus Brady to replace Danny McManus, and then as soon as Brady threw an interception, they started calling for McManus. Ti-Cat fans are among the most fickle in all of professional sports, and while I won't bother hazarding a guess as to whether the "Porter Supporters" are now "Adam Advocates," I think I know the answer.
Now that I've taken a can of gasoline and poured it on myself, feel free to grab a match and light me up.