announced today that they have released veteran Kicker Sandro DeAngelis.
After coming in with much fanfare in 2010, DeAngelis failed to live up to the hype. He was brought in to replace Nick Setta and performed no better in 2010 than Setta did in 2009. In fact, you might say DeAngelis was worse, because Setta could punt, thus saving a roster spot, whereas DeAngelis could not, which necessitated adding a Punter. First, it was Justin Palardy, who was completely miscast as a Punter and whose gaffes cost the Cats some wins (most notably an early-season encounter with the Roughriders in Saskatchewan). Next came Eric Wilbur, who was fantastic, but was American, which took away an American at a more needed position. DeAngelis's struggles contributed greatly to the Ti-Cats' failure to improve on their 2009 season. The apex of his struggles was the missed 17-yard field goal in the East Division Semi-Final against the Argonauts at Ivor Wynne Stadium. The Cats would lose that game by three, 16-13. Had DeAngelis made that field goal, who knows how that game turns out.
The move itself is not surprising; DeAngelis was expected to be a difference maker and was not. The timing of the move is curious, however. With a little over a week to go before Training Camp, it is surprising that the Tabbies wouldn't allow DeAngelis to come to camp to compete for the job. I know the reasons are that DeAngelis doesn't punt and the finite number of roster spots for Training Camp. But he claims to have worked with Ti-Cat legend Paul Osbaldiston over the winter to get better at punting, and a guy like Wilbur could have been released to give DeAngelis a chance to win his job back.
I would think that DeAngelis's release paves the way for Justin Medlock, who was acquired back in March, to be the Ti-Cats' Kicker in 2011. With Wilbur still in the fold, it's not a lock that Medlock will be the Kicker for the Cats, but it is doubtful that the team would trade for him if they didn't plan on using him. I would be surprised if Medlock isn't the Kicker when the Cats take the field at Ivor Wynne for their season opener against Winnipeg on Canada Day.
I'm also sure that DeAngelis will catch on somewhere. Where that is remains a mystery, but I wish him the best of luck wherever he lands.