Monday, 31 December 2012

Ti-Cats Following the Double Blueprint

When teams fail to reach expectations, like the Tiger-Cats did in 2012, sometimes we look for silver linings. We try to find the little things that make the big things seem not so bad.

I could go on once again about the great seasons had by Chris Williams, Henry Burris and Luca Congi. Or I could try to shed light on some underappreciated seasons, like the ones had by Dee Webb, who started all 18 games and did not allow a player he guarded to score a touchdown, or Brian Simmons, who gave up one sack and was called for just three penalties all season.

But that is terrain we've trudged down before. This is something different. Maybe this is me grasping at straws, or maybe this is me just being ahead of the curve. But taking the Tiger-Cats 2012 failures into account, I am starting to wonder if they are following the path of their nearest rival.

Yes, I mean the Toronto Argonauts.

To put the Tiger-Cats terrible season into perspective we have to travel back to 2011. That was the year the current Grey Cup champions went a disappointing 6-12, lost five games by seven or fewer points, missed the playoffs and underwent a drastic makeover. In the off-season, that team acquired itself the head coach it had wanted for over a year, a quarterback that will be headed to the Hall of Fame when his playing days are done and flipped over a roster filled with underachievers. Things didn't go swimmingly at first, and they finished a rather pedestrian 9-9 in the regular season, but they got rolling at the right time and won the ultimate prize.

Now let's look at the 2012 season for the Ti-Cats. They finished a disappointing 6-12, lost seven games by seven or fewer points, missed the playoffs and then made a huge change at the top of the organization. So far this off-season, they have acquired a head coach they have been after for over a year and will go about making over a roster that needs a few tweaks, but no massive overhaul. They, unlike the Argos, don't need to go get a future Hall of Fame quarterback because they already have one, so the Ti-Cats may be better positioned to succeed in 2013 than the Argos were in 2012.

Maybe I'm just an optimist and 13 years of championship-less football hasn't dampened my spirits as much as others. Or perhaps I'm just a fool who tries reading too much into things during the downtime between the Grey Cup and free agency. But there are many similarities between the path taken by the Argos the last two seasons and the one the Ti-Cats look to be on. We'll find out in about 11 months if the end of that path is the same for the Ti-Cats in 2013 as it was for the Argos in 2012.

1 comment:

  1. The Dirty Hank Burris1 January 2013 at 08:35

    I think the Cats have a longer way to go than what the Argos did.

    The Argos had a great defense and they had some minor tweaks. Even on offense, they have had a good oline and running game the past couple years. What they needed was a smart head coach and a QB.

    The Cats need a major overhaul on defense. I'm not sure that it will be done in 1 season. The dbs as a whole are weak, we have issues at MLB and we don't have a pass rush. We lost 2 great DEs in Baggs and Hickman and we are still trying to replace McIntyre.

    We are okay offensively, I'd like to see an upgrate at right tackle with Dile and better back ups but our O will be just as good this year. We just need to run the ball more.

    I like your comparison to the Argos but as I explained, we are actually behind them in terms of building.