Friday, 14 September 2012

We Should Have Seen This Coming

With the notable exception of Chris Williams, there has been nothing to cheer about for fans of the Ti-Cats since the end of July. It has been five games since the Ti-Cats last claimed a victory, a thrilling 35-34 come-from-behind victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Everything looked up for the Ti-Cats when they entered their bye the following week. Some were arguing, rightfully, that the Cats were the best team in the league at the time. What has happened since has obliterated any thought of the Ti-Cats being the best team in anything. The team is now 3-7 and the season is quickly getting away from them. But in looking at the situation, should we really not have seen this coming?

Despite Obie's "more better" proclamation last winter, we probably should have all been prepared for what has transpired. I'm not saying a five-game losing streak, but when a team changes so much, growing pains are to be expected. Maybe not to this extent, but a losing streak or some adversity was on the menu this year for the Tabbies, regardless of how things were spun by the team.

Coaching, and especially player, changes happen often, but the Ti-Cats went out of there way to overhaul the coaching staff and roster of a team that fell one game short of the Grey Cup last year. I'm not here to argue whether those changes were the right ones, but the number of major changes that occurred in Hamilton during the winter months made a rough patch or disappointment inevitable.

The team also made a number of questionable roster decisions after training camp started that have also led the team to where they are today. They let Belton Johnson go so they could start Marc Dile, which looks like a horrible move in retrospect. They sat Markeith Knowlton in Week 1 because of ratio problems, but thankfully they quickly reversed that decision the following week. They continue to sit Avon Cobourne, only playing him when Chevon Walker is injured and Sam Giguère continues to see more playing time than Dave Stala, despite the latter clearly outperforming the former.

Rookie coaching mistakes and a lack of chemistry between the players was the inevitable byproduct of the off-season overhaul. With eight games remaining, the time is now for the team to turn things around. That said, the growing pains and struggles we have all witnessed to this point should have come as no surprise to anyone.

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