Whenever a new season begins, fans from every team believe that their team will win the Grey Cup. Seven fan bases end up disappointed, while only one gets the right to gloat. At this time of the year, optimism reigns supreme.
Here in Tigertown it is no different. Some pundits are picking Hamilton to win the East, and even bigger loud mouths are picking them to win the Grey Cup. To say that expectations have been raised would probably be an understatement.
There are a lot of reasons for all the optimism in Hamilton entering the 2010 season, with team continuity being the main one. All of the key players from 2009 return. On Offense, Kevin Glenn is back at QB; DeAndra' Cobb returns to pick up where he left off at RB; Arland Bruce, Dave Stala, Marquay McDaniel and Drisan James are joined by Maurice Mann at WR. This could be the most dangerous Offense in the CFL.
The Defense inspires just as much confidence. The Linebacking group of Knowlton, Floyd and Johnson are the best in the league, case closed. Khari Long has all the tools to lead the CFL in sacks, and the Secondary was improved in the off-season.
Special Teams are no longer a weakness with the off-season signing of Sandro DeAngelis. As much as I liked Nick Setta (being an Irish fan, it's mandatory to like any former Notre Dame player), DeAngelis is indisputably an upgrade.
Expectation among fans has been raised to a level not seen since the McManus-Flutie-Lancaster triumvirate arrived in 1998. Beginning tonight in Winnipeg, the team has a chance to show that these expectations are warranted.