Friday, 11 January 2013

Cats Clean House

The Ti-Cats trimmed six players from the roster today, releasing linebackers Byron Bullock and Ike Brown, defensive backs Geoff Tisdale and Carlos Thomas, running back Terry Grant and defensive lineman Eddie Steele.

Thomas is a player I thought had a bright future with the Ti-Cats. I know the defense, especially the secondary, took a lot of flak last year, but I always liked the hard-hitting presence that Thomas brough to the defense. I also think a switch to linebacker was in his future. He played there briefly in 2012, and I thought if given a chance to play there fulltime he could become the next Markeith Knowlton.

Grant will become the greatest "what if" should his career not continue. He showed flashes of brilliance during his brief time on the field in 2011 and the horrific injury he suffered a year and a half ago in Montreal ended his career before it even started.

Steele saw his role decrease in 2012 following the training camp retirement of Maurice Forbes. Without a capable backup on the roster, Steele was forced into a secondary role. He, like Grant, suffered a gruesome leg injury that may end the Manitoba products career.

Brown was a special teams ace and looked to be the heir apparent to Otis Floyd and Rey Williams, but injuries derailed him. As good as he was, he just couldn't stay healthy and that's a shame.

Tisdale was healthy most of the year, but he was scratched in a few games in the middle of the season. Tisdale just never seemed to recapture the magic that made him such a sought-after free agent following the 2010 season. Tisdale just never looked comfortable with the Cats after being reacquired from Calgary last summer.

The final player released was Bullock, but it's hard to comment on him because he never played a down for the Ti-Cats. He was hurt in training camp and missed the entire 2012 season.

It looks like injuries played a role in most of the releases (only Tisdale didn't spend time on IR in 2012), but that's not the only reason they were let go. When a new regime comes in, it is not surprising to see players released. I also wouldn't be surprised if these are just the first of many changes to the roster prior to the start of free agency next month.

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