Thursday, 12 February 2015
Hickman Stays Put, Woodson Comes Aboard
The first occurred yesterday when the team announced the signing national running back Anthony Woodson.
Woodson was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 CFL Draft by Winnipeg, but spent the last two seasons in Toronto. He hasn't seen the ball much in his career, but he is a very good special teams player and will be a fine addition to Jeff Reinebold's crew. I also think that Woodson can contribute on offense, both as a runner and receiver, so he adds another dimension to the Ti-Cats multi-faceted system.
The second move the Ti-Cats made occurred this afternoon when the team announced they had reached a new deal with defensive end Justin Hickman.
Hickman returned to Hamilton last season after spending the previous two seasons in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.
While Hickman did not immediately return to his 2011 All-Star form, a full offseason and training camp will help him immensely. He admitted himself that his body was not right for the CFL last season, and with his desire to remain in Hamilton and make the CFL his home, I doubt very highly that it will be a problem in 2015.
What will be a problem, however, is Hamilton's defensive line. A HUGE problem for opposing teams, that is.
The Ti-Cats defensive line is a stacked crew and is in the conversation when it comes to discussing the best d-lines in the league. The Cats will have 2014 East Division All-Star Eric Norwood, Justin Hickman and Antonio Coleman (who has tremendous upside and could end up being a major contributor) to rotate in at end and Brian Bulcke, Bryan Hall and 2014 East Division Most Outstanding Canadian Ted Laurent manning the middle in another stellar three-man rotation. This is going to be one defensive line that is going to give opposing offensive lines, and offensive coordinators, fits.
So in the first three days of free agency, the Ti-Cats have bolstered their Canadian content with two very good signings and kept one of their prized free agents from heading elsewhere. It may not have garnered the headlines other teams' moves have, but Hamilton has quietly had a very good couple of days.