Wednesday, 30 March 2011

This Just Sucks

Everyone who has been reading me for awhile knows that I am a HUGE fan of Steven Jyles. I think he has all the tools to be a star in the CFL.

And today, the worst possible thing happened:

Jyles was traded to the Toronto Argonauts. In exchange for Jyles, the Blue Bombers acquired a first-round pick (4th overall) in the 2011 CFL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2012 CFL Draft. That pick could become as high as a second-round pick depending on how many games Jyles plays.

I knew Jyles was never coming to Hamilton, since the Cats are set with Kevin Glenn, but the last team I wanted to see Jyles on was Toronto. He is going to be great for them, especially since Quarterback was one of the biggest weaknesses, if not the biggest weakness, that Toronto had last season. Cleo Lemon, playoff win or not, was terrible. Jyles is a significant upgrade.

This trade only makes Toronto better and more of a threat in the East Division. With Lemon taking snaps I figured the Boatmen were going to win no more than five or six games. With Jyles, who knows how high the Argos can climb. I still think Hamilton has the overall talent edge, but the Argos just closed the gap significantly by acquiring Steven Jyles.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Cats Release Hebert

Kyries Hebert's stay in Hamilton did not last long, as he was released today by the team in a somewhat unsurprising move.

Hebert was brought in last October and did not make much of an impact. Going into the 2011 season, he really did not have a place. The Cats are set at Safety with Dylan Barker and at Linebacker with Markeith Knowlton. Hebert was not going to unseat either player, and with the money he was reportedly getting, he just was not worth it.

It is widely known that Hebert was a favourite of former Tiger-Cat Defensive Coordinator Greg Marshall, so now that Marshall is the Head Coach in Saskatchewan, it is entirely possible that Hebert could be headed to the Prairies. We will have to wait and see. One thing is certain: he is no longer a Hamilton Tiger-Cat.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Cats Trade for Medlock

Today, it was announced that the Tiger-Cats have shipped a second-round pick in the 2011 CFL Draft and the rights to Dalin Tollestrup to the Edmonton Eskimos for Kicker Justin Medlock, Defensive Back Carlos Thomas and a third-round pick in the 2011 CFL Draft.

The key to the deal is Medlock, who has one of the strongest legs in the CFL. He routinely booted 50-plus-yard field goals for the Argos when he was in Toronto in 2009. He went to try his luck in the NFL in 2010 and was cut, came back to Toronto and was cut, and then landed in Edmonton.

The only downside to Medlock is he is an import, which means some ratio flexibility will be needed if the team goes with him as their Kicker.

I was a fan of Medlock's even when he was with the Argos, as I thought he had tremendous upside and a leg that was almost unmatched. I always hoped he would land with the Tabbies because the kicking game has been a little iffy the last couple of seasons. Neither Nick Setta nor Sandro DeAngelis ever engendered much faith from me personally. It would be nice to have someone who you know will go out there and nail the kick. Perhaps Medlock can be that guy.

Either way, the kicking battle should be an interesting one to watch when training camp begins in June.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Let the Extension Game Continue: Glenn Re-ups

If seems that the off-season has two parts: one, free agency; two, contract extensions.

The Cats have already inked Markeith Knowlton, Jamall Johnson, Quinton Porter and Maurice Mann to extensions, and now it looks like Kevin Glenn has been extended as well.

As I noted not too long ago, I felt that if the Ti-Cats were going to go on an extending spree that one of the two guys they NEEDED to get a deal done with was Kevin Glenn – the other, Arland Bruce, is rumoured to be getting an extension soon as well.

Glenn had a monster year in 2010 and continues to be one of the premier Quarterbacks in the CFL. The only thing missing from his résumé is a Grey Cup ring. I think he has his best shot to get that elusive championship with the Tiger-Cats in the next couple of years.

I understand that the deal is for one more year, plus an option, but I can't imagine Glenn playing for any other team, especially if he even comes close to replicating his 2010 success. I'm not saying he needs to put up 5,000 yards and over 30 TDs every year, but something close to that would ensure that he stays Hamilton's signal caller until the day he retires.

Great job keeping Glenn. Now, make that Bruce extension official, and the off-season will be a roaring success.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Two Mo' Years in Tigertown for Mann

The team announced yesterday that it has signed Maurice Mann to a two-year contract extension that will keep him in Hamilton through the 2012 CFL season.

Mann did not get off to the best of starts with the Tiger-Cats. The first pass he ever caught wearing Black & Gold, he fumbled. Later in the season, he went on his infamous Twitter rant where he called out the coach.

That seemed to be the turning point for Mann, as he had his best game of the season the following week against the BC Lions. After that, Mann went hot and cold, but he finished the season with a very respectable 56 catches for 787 yards and five touchdowns.

And let us not forget that he made one of the top highlight reel catches of 2010 against BC in the regular-season finale:

I think another year with the team, and the move to Slotback, will help Mann reach new heights with the Tabbies in 2011. After a rough first year, I think Mann is ready to show all us Tiger-Cat fans what he's truly made of.

Now, can the team get on those extensions for Glenn and Bruce?

Monday, 7 March 2011


No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

I read the Scratching Post blog nearly every day. I am a big fan of Drew Edwards, and I think he does an excellent job covering the Tiger-Cats.

Today, he linked to a story from Perry Lefko (who I don't trust in the least), that says that Angelo Mosca is trying to recruit *gulp* Adriano Belli to come to Hamilton.

I couldn't be any more against this move if I wanted to be. From a personal standpoint, I just plain do not like the guy. I didn't like him when he was here before, and I don't like him now that he's with Toronto.

But aside from my personal feelings, signing Belli would be a mistake for a couple of reasons. One, Belli is 33 (and will be 34 before the season is over) and at the tail end of his career. He has clearly lost a step, and he is no longer the force that he used to be. Two, Belli still takes stupid penalties. He has been in the league for a decade and he continually makes boneheaded plays. The fact that he hasn't gotten passed being selfish just shows the type of player he is.

Signing Adriano Belli would be a step back for the Cats. I respect Angelo Mosca as much as any former player, but that doesn't mean I always agree with him. In this case, he is wrong. Adriano Belli should not return to the Tiger-Cats.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Cobb and Floyd Officially Released

We all knew that this news was coming sooner or later, but today the Ti-Cats released Running Back DeAndra' Cobb and Linebacker Otis Floyd.

Both players became expendable after the team signed Running Back Avon Cobourne and Linebacker Rey Williams two weeks ago.

I am not going to lie – watching Otis Floyd leave is tough. He was easily one of my three favourite players one the team since he joined Hamilton in 2009. He may have been my favorite player. I just loved the way he played. He exuded so much passion, and he brought a take-no-prisoners attitude that the Defense needed. Many times I have called him the heart and soul of the Defense, and to know he will never wear the Black & Gold again sucks. I have a beautiful #35 away jersey in my closet that I will wear with pride. Floyd was exactly the type of player that this Tiger-Cat fan always loves. Should he continue his career in another uniform, I will give him a standing ovation when he returns to Ivor Wynne in 2011. A guy like Otis Floyd deserves nothing less.

I don't want to give Cobb short shrift, but I'm more bummed by seeing Floyd leave than I am Cobb. I like Cobb, but he seemed to regress last season. I hope he finds his way onto another roster, and he was one of the players that helped turn Hamilton around. I will never forget the game against BC in 2009 when Cobb went off. A surprising win that showed that the Cats were on their way back.

It's a bit of a sad day for this fan. Good luck in the future to both Otis Floyd and DeAndra' Cobb. Thank you for the part you played in bringing respectable football back to Hamilton.