Saturday 11 December 2010

Three Questions: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The off-season is underway and every team faces questions. Today, I look at the questions facing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Who will be the Offensive and Defensive Coordinators in 2011?
We know that Mike Gibson is gone; we suspect that Greg Marshall will be as well. For Offensive Coordinator, I have said numerous times that I hope that Khari Jones gets it. Call me crazy, but I think he could be the Tiger-Cats' version of Dave Dickenson. Jones was a smart player and has apprenticed as the Tiger-Cats QB Coach for the past two seasons. I see no reason why Jones wouldn't be a good choice. Depending on how the dominoes fall league wide, I hope that Richie Hall is brought in to replace Marshall. Hall's tenure as Edmonton's Head Coach was disastrous, but he was a skilled Defensive Coordinator for Saskatchewan before taking the Edmonton job. Another possible replacement is Rich Stubler. He's in BC right now as Defensive Line Coach, and he and Marshall share a similar philosophy, so the change wouldn't be too drastic. As someone who has grown sick of the Marshall philosophy, I can't say I'd love to see Stubler in Hamilton.

Will there be a Running Back competition in Training Camp?
There has to be. I like DeAndra' Cobb, but he was ineffective for much of the 2010 season and he needs to be pushed. Marcus Thigpen is already on the roster, but he doesn't seem to be the type of guy that can take a 15-to-20-carry-a-game load. Looking outside Hamilton, what about one of the Edmonton Running Backs: Arkee Whitlock and Daniel Porter? I'm sure Edmonton will want to keep both of them, but either one wold look really nice in Black & Gold. And is it wishful thinking to think that Jon Cornish might come to Hamilton? Yeah, it probably is, but a guy can dream, can't he?

What to do at backup Quarterback?
With the starting Quarterback position being sewn up for the immediate future, I won't go on about how the Cats shouldn't try and get Ricky Ray from Edmonton. Personally, I'd rather have Kevin Glenn. That's not to say that I don't like Ricky Ray, but Kevin Glenn was not the reason that this team didn't win in 2010. Also, the idea of getting Ray just so the Argos don't is ridiculous. I've heard some people say that and I've never believed in that philosophy. You bring in guys because they will make your team better, not because your arch rival might get them. (OK, I guess I did go on about why the Cats shouldn't get Ricky Ray.)

The backup Quarterback spot is what I am most interested in. It's time for Hamilton to decide if Quinton Porter or Adam Tafralis is the guy for the future. If not, bring in some new blood. Porter looked bad for most of the season, but put up a pretty decent quarter of football when Kevin Glenn was hurt in the East Division Semi-Final. Everyone seems to love Tafralis, but I'm not sold, simply because he's never really been given a chance. I don't think anyone can accurately judge how good a player is based on a handful of garbage-time minutes and a couple of QB sneaks. These guys have been here long enough that it's time to decide whether these are the guys that should sit behind Kevin Glenn.

1 comment:

  1. Hall has also employed a bend-don't-break D. There are plenty of Saskie fans who will tell you how frustrating it was at times to see opposing teams make late-game yards. But he's still a good DC. Personally, I'd be happy to see Marshall remain - I think our secondary is fixable with the right players and some tweaks to how they're played.

    Regarding Ray, if there was a chance to get him in Black and Gold I would do it. If Calvillo is the #1 QB in the league, Ray is #1a - I don't blame the Eskie's past season on him whatsoever. But I don't see it happening (and I shudder to think what it will take to pry him loose - Tillman won't give him away for a couple of picks and rights to a guy playing in the NFL ;-) so the Argos would get raided, cavity searched, and end up giving over some good players to get him... maybe that's not a bad thing). I do believe in Glenn, but Ray would be a step up.

    Tafralis did have a full game of work in 2008. He played quite well. The qualifier is it was season garbage time, and he's been given limited opportunities since (in fact his biggest contribution was that third-down TD pass in 2009). Porter should be moved - I think a change of scenery might help him.

    RBs should not be the focus of a trade IMO. A team might give one up to get the player they want, but to trade for one? There are too many available coming out of the NCAA. I have faith we'll find a few to compete in camp, whether they be guys we've seen before (Summers, Cuttino) or someone we haven't. And I agree about Thigpen, and think his value is going to be the way Amerson was used - kick returns, rotate him in as a receiver, and a few carries per game out of the backfield. He's a multi-bladed weapon and will get dulled if he's asked to grind out yardage all through a game.