Monday, 27 June 2011

8 Teams, 8 Days: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Last Season: 9-9, 2nd in the East (Lost East Division Semi-Final 16-13 to Toronto)

How far have the Tiger-Cats come in just two seasons when a playoff appearance is simply not good enough?

In 2009, a 9-9 record was an achievement; in 2010, it was a gross underachievement.

With any measure of disappointment, change is soon to follow, and there were changes aplenty for the Ti-Cats over the winter. Gone are both Offensive and Defensive Coordinators; gone is former first-overall pick Chris Bauman; gone are former Offensive Line stalwarts George Hudson and Alex Gauthier; gone is Linebacker Otis Floyd; gone is Kicker Sandro DeAngelis; gone is Running Back DeAndra' Cobb.

The Cats have retooled in a number of areas, and the team that takes the field will be familiar – Kevin Glenn, Arland Bruce, Dave Stala, Markeith Knowlton, Jamall Johnson and Marwan Hage remain – but different.

The biggest news of the off-season came with the signing of Running Back Avon Cobourne. Cobourne brings a championship pedigree to Hamilton after having won the last two Grey Cups with Montreal.

Rey Williams has been tapped to replace Otis Floyd. Many are saying that the 30-year-old Williams is Floyd, but younger. If everything pans out, the Cats will once again field the best triumvirate of Linebackers in the CFL.

Like last season, the Secondary is still a question mark. With a new DC in Corey Chamblin, no one knows what to expect or who will play in the defensive backfield.

The Tabbies made a number of moves with the hopes of knocking the Als off their perch atop the East Division. If these moves don't pan out, it'll be another off-season of changes in Steeltown. But if the moves do pan out, the Cats could easily be playing in Vancouver in late November.

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