Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sandro Given the Boot

In a not-so-surprising move, the Tiger-Cats 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.


  1. It was so overwhelmingly obvious that Coach MB had no faith in Sandro. He would never send in Sandro to attempt anything beyond 40 yards. I can recall sensing and feeling the negativity surrounding the kicking game while I was watching the games. It made the whole game feel nervous. I never had that feeling with Nick Setta. I'm actually quite puzzled as to why Setta hasn't been picked up by any team yet. Are all of the team rosters (in any league) THAT full that there's no room for a guy like Setta?

  2. Is Setta's back still a concern, perhaps?

    Sandro was entitled to his parting shots though the high road would have been so much classier. But I wonder if deep down, beneath the excuses, he's humbled by the fact that he didn't live up to his billing and lost the confidence of the team (coaches and teammates). Future employers *will* consider that as well as his leg, so he needs to ponder it as well.

  3. Don't write off Eric Wilbur so fast. In 2008, Medlock and WIlbur both tried out for the Toronto Argonauts. WIlbur was offered a contract, Medlock was not. It was only after Wilbur instead took a contract with the New York Jets that Medlock was then called up.

    While Wilbur did not kick in college, he is more than capable. For several years, he held the longest field goal record in the Florida High School history, until it was topped this year.

    He is bigger, faster and has a stronger leg than any other kicker on the roster. He has proven that he is not afraid to get his uniform dirty, making 5 tackles last season. He finished the season last year with the highest net average in the CFL.

    This is going to be an interesting match-up to watch.

  4. excuse me, I miss-spoke, the tryout was in 2009, not 2008.

  5. I have written very glowingly about Eric Wilbur in the past. I was a big fan of his last season.I am also a very big fan of Justin Medlock as well. I have never seen Wilbur kick field goals, but I have seen Medlock hit more than a few 50-plus yarders. I'm not saying that Medlock is definitely better, but you don't trade for a guy unless you plan to use him. I would think that Medlock has the leg up going into camp. I would be surprised if he wasn't the kicker. But if he's not, I'd love for Wilbur to be the guy. We'll know soon enough.