Tuesday 26 April 2011

Touchdown Atlantic Ticket Info

The Canadian Football League announced earlier today the ticket information for the upcoming game in Moncton between the Ti-Cats and Stampeders.

The pertinent information for Tiger-Cat fans is that any season-ticket holder wanting to go to the game will get first crack at purchasing tickets. An exclusive presale for Tiger-Cat and Stampeder season-ticket holders will take place starting at 10:00AM on Monday, May 9th and ending on Wednesday, May 11th.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, May 11th.

I wonder how many Ti-Cat fans will make the trek out East. All I know is that cheap Keith's and easy access to seafood has me primed and ready to go.

Monday 25 April 2011

Who's Number Four?

With Adam Tafralis being released earlier this week there would seem to be an open Quarterback slot on the roster.

In the past, the Cats have had three QBs on the roster and one on the practice squad. The last two seasons it has been Jason Boltus (who is now the presumptive number-three QB following Tafralis's departure).

It is entirely possible that the Cats won't bring in a fourth Quarterback, as Coach Bellefeuille hinted in the aftermath of Tafralis's release.

But where is the fun in not playing a little virtual GM? So with that I ask a simple question:

Who should be number four?

There are a lot of veterans out there, but we can dismiss them right now. Michael Bishop, Kerry Joseph, Casey Printers, etc. will not be coming in, and rightfully so. Glenn is the starter; Porter is the backup; bringing in a veteran would be pointless.

Perhaps a guy from the NCAA who doesn't or hasn't caught on in the NFL could be headed to Hamilton. A guy like Todd Reesing was in Saskatchewan for training camp last year, and I was high on the former Kansas standout's prospects in the CFL. He was released early on in camp and never resurfaced. A player like Reesing might be a good fit, but I think the Cats should go in another direction.

A direction that would be great for the the league.

A direction that the Toronto Argonauts went in last year. (Yes, I hate to give any credit to the Boatmen, but this one they got right.)

I think even a blind man could see where I'm going with this.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats should bring in a Canadian Quarterback.

If the Cats were to go this route, I think there are two great options sitting out there: Brad Sinopoli and Erik Glavic.

Last season the Toronto Argonauts did something right (for once) and signed Queen's QB Danny Brannagan. Brannagan remained on the team for the entire 2010 season, seeing action the team's last game against the Alouettes in Montreal.

It's time the Tiger-Cats got on board and brought in a Canadian Quarterback, and either Sinopoli or Glavic would fit perfectly.

Glavic is a two-time Hec Creighton award winner (2007, 2009); Sinopoli won the award in 2010. Both players have the talent to turn into something special, and with the Quarterback position being the toughest one for a Canadian to get a shot at, I think the Cats adding one of these two players to its roster would be great for the league and the team.

With the Quarterbacking in the CIS getting better and better, it is only a matter of time before someone takes a chance and it pays off. The Argos have the head start with Brannagan; I think it's time the Tiger-Cats caught up.

Will it happen? I don't know. Should it happen? That's not for me to say. Would I like it to happen? Absolutely! And I don't think I'm alone in that regard either.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Tafralis Released

It looks like the Tiger-Cats have made their choice, as Adam Tafralis has been released by the club.

I have taken a lot of heat for my opinions on Tafralis. I have been called "a moron" and "not brite" based on my opinions on Tafralis's play back in the 2010 pre-season.

I tried to clarify my stance, but that was also apparently not good enough.

Anyway, I always thought that Tafralis had potential: that if given a chance he could be something special. But after two seasons with minimal exposure to any real game action, the team felt that they were better served with Jason Boltus as their number-three Quarterback.

This move firmly entrenches the recently re-signed Quinton Porter as the team's primary backup to Kevin Glenn. The entire Quarterback depth chart is secure, with Glenn the undisputed number one, Porter the unquestioned number two, and Jason Boltus seemingly secure in his role as the number-three/developmental guy. There will be no Quarterback controversy in Hamilton this year at any tier.

I still feel as if Tafralis can make something of himself. He is still a young guy at 27, and he could still develop into something. He just won't be doing that development in Hamilton. I wish him luck in wherever he lands, and I thank him for his time with the Cats.

Thursday 14 April 2011

No Belli-ache for the Tabbies

While he has yet to make a choice, Adriano Belli has decided it is either the Toronto Argonauts or retirement.

Phew, dodged a bullet there.

I have made no secret of my contempt for Adriano Belli. I did not want him to return to Hamilton, as I think he is an over-praised, pompous jerk. He still takes stupid and costly penalties, even though he is a 10-plus-year veteran, and that to me is inexcusable. I like players that play with an edge, and I don't even mind the occasional rough penalty, but Belli takes it too far.

I'm just glad he won't be taking those costly penalties in a Tiger-Cat uniform.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Cats Announce New Coach... at Fundraising Dinner? [UPDATE]

While I and, I imagine, most of you was busy watching the federal leaders' debate, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were hosting the "Touchdown Dinner and Awards." The event was to raise funds for Hamilton minor football.

However, at the event the Tiger-Cats decided to announce the hiring of Scott Fawcett as the team's new Special Teams Coordinator.

Don't know much about him except what was written in the linked piece about him being the former Assistant Head Coach at the University of Windsor.

Fawcett is replacing the much-respected Dave Easley. He has big shoes to fill.

UPDATE: Apparently I am unable to read, as Fawcett has been hired as an assistant. My bad. I thought something didn't make sense here.

Saturday 9 April 2011

Ti-Cats Release Three

The Tiger-Cats released three players today: Linebacker Shannon James, Defensive Back Will Heyward and Receiver Willie Thornton.

None of the three made much of an impact on the Cats. James didn't play much, mostly contributing on Special Teams. Heyward seemed to show a lot of promise in 2010, and I would have liked to see what he could do with a new system being implemented on Defense. As far as Thornton is concerned, he was hurt in 2010.

These releases don't have the same emotional impact as the Otis Floyd one. I don't mean to demean these players, as I am sure they gave their all, but their contributions were minimal, and I am sure that the team will have no problem filling their positions.

But I wish all three of them the best of luck in the future.

ABIII Getting an Extension

Arland Bruce is staying in Black & Gold, as TSN is reporting that he and the team have agreed on a contract extension that will run through the 2012 season.

If the off-season were to end today – and God, don't we all wish it would? – I would now consider it to be an undisputed success. When the Cats went on their re-signing spree in February, I made it known that two more players needed to be extended. Kevin Glenn got his in March; now Bruce is about to get his.

Re-signing Bruce, in my opinion, is the final piece needed. Since arriving in Hamilton in the summer of 2009, Bruce has been a model citizen and an outstanding performer. He was the team's Most Outstanding Player in 2009 and likely would have lead the CFL in receiving yards in 2010 had he not sat out the last few weeks nursing an injury. Arland Bruce has been everything, and then some, since first donning the Black & Gold.

I know that teams don't win championships in the off-season. For years we've seen teams in every sports league "win" free agency and spend the next year in their division's basement.

That said, the fact that these great players (Avon Cobourne, Rey Williams, etc.) want to come to Hamilton and others (Bruce, Glenn, Jamall Johnson, Markeith Knowlton, etc.) want to stay in Hamilton shows the faith that the players have in this team. These guys wouldn't come here or stay here if they didn't think this team had a chance to win.

With Bruce et al. locked up for the foreseeable future, the Cats have had one of the better off-seasons in recent memory.