Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Why I'd Pass on Henry Burris
Now that the Argos have solidified their QB situation by acquiring Ricky Ray from Edmonton, the only possible landing spot that could give Burris what he wants – the starting job – is Hamilton.
It is a move that I stand firmly against and hope doesn't come to fruition.
I have nothing against Henry Burris; in fact, I'd even call myself a fan of his. I have always viewed him and Kevin Glenn, the man Burris would be replacing should he come to Steeltown, in the same light. They are two players cut from a very similar cloth. They play the game differently, but each have been dogged by the same doubts when it comes to their careers. Namely, that they couldn't win. Burris got that monkey off his back in 2008, while Glenn has yet to. So I have always had an affinity for Burris and wanted to see him succeed (as long as it didn't come against the Tiger-Cats).
But that doesn't mean I want him as the Tiger-Cats Quarterback next season. Three or four years ago, sign me up. But it's going to be 2012, and my gut and my eyes tell me that his best-before date has passed.
Two skills are brought up as to why Burris would be an upgrade over Glenn: arm strength and running ability. But if you watched Burris near the end of 2011 – especially the game in Toronto where he was finally pulled for Drew Tate – he was skipping passes at an alarming rate and seemed to have lost his speed. Without the cannon arm and escapability that has defined his career, Burris is not much more than an older version of Glenn.
That brings me to the other concern: age. If the team chooses to get rid of Glenn, I might not agree, but that's the way the ball rolls sometimes. I didn't agree with the Cats trading Arland Bruce, I didn't agree when the Maple Leafs traded Doug Gilmour, I didn't agree when the 49ers dealt Joe Montana, but that's the way sports works. Guys get traded, released or sign elsewhere and we just have to accept it. But getting rid of a 33-year-old for a 36-year-old seems like a mistake, like the team would be taking a step back instead of a step forward. If the Cats are going to change their signal caller (which insiders like Dave Naylor think is a given), it makes more sense to go after a guy like Montreal's Adrian McPherson, who has spent the last four seasons behind Anthony Calvillo, and will be just 29 when the season starts.
But would the Cats make such a move with the spectre of 2013 hanging over their heads?
Ah, yes, 2013. The year without a home.
My main concern in regards to all Tiger-Cat decisions is that the homeless year is the driving force behind every move. Did Marcel Bellefeuille get shown the door for what happened on the field or because the brain trust is worried that another .500-ish record followed by a playoff loss could hurt the team as they prepare for a year away from home? Similarly, are the Cats potentially ditching Glenn because of his performance or because they're worried fans will leave and not come back if the team stands pat and doesn't improve?
None of us know for certain what are the reasons behind the moves the team makes. I just hope they aren't sacrificing the long term for the short term when it comes to their decision making. Signing a Henry Burris smells like a short-term solution, not a long-term one.
I want to see the Tiger-Cats end their Grey Cup drought just as much as any other fan. If the team signs Burris (or any other Quarterback) and wins the Grey Cup, I'll be ecstatic. I just don't think that will happen. I think the Cats have just as much of a chance at winning their sixteenth championship with Kevin Glenn as they do with Henry Burris (or anyone else) in 2012.
But I, thankfully, don't make those decisions, I just react to them.
But if the decision was mine, you know where I stand.
I'd pass on Henry Burris.