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2023 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Mitchell Signs In Hamilton

The first major domino in the 2023 CFL Free Agency fell today as Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell signed a 3-year contract with the Tiger-Cats.

Without question, this signing should indicate the Ticats are making serious push to win the Grey Cup on their home turf this coming season. Mitchell has a lengthy resume and track record as one of the elite Quarterbacks in the CFL, when healthy.

The 32-year-old native of Katy, Texas played for ten seasons with the Calgary Stampeders, starting as backup to Kevin Glenn from 2012 to 2013 before being named QB1 for the next nine seasons in 2014 leading to two Grey Cup championships. The two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player was demoted to backup for Jake Maier early last season.

During his career with the Stampeders, Mitchell passed for 32,541 yards, 188 touchdowns and 89 interceptions. In 2019, Mitchell became a member of the CFL All-Decade Team.

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2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2021 Season Preview

For the first time since the 2019 Grey Cup, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats return to action as the Canadian Football League resumes action after a long, COVID-19 layoff.

Since the resounding defeat in the hands of Winnipeg, the team, like the league itself, has seen a profound turnaround of talents via retirement, or in between clubs. With the Grey Cup scheduled for mid-December, the Tiger-Cats inherit expectations of winning the championship at their home turf.

Hamilton will take to the field on Thursday at Winnipeg with the returning QB Jeremiah Masoli leading the team. It will make the first time in over two years the incumbent played in a game. Surrounding Masoli will be a potentially-potent offence anchored by the reigning league MOP Brandon Banks, Braylon Addison, DeVier Posey and Jaylen Acklin.

The offensive line will feature a mix of returnees and youth with Brandon Ravenberg and Chris Van Zeyl leading the core, while Darius Ciraco takes over retiree Mike Filer under centre.

Like the offence, the defence will feature familiar faces from the 2019 team. The front seven is set to feature the returns of Ted Laurent, Dylan Wynn, JaGared Davis and Julian Howsare in the line,.

Simoni Lawrence anchors the linebacker group that’ll feature free agent signee Jovan Santos Knox (formerly of WPG) in the middle, and former NFL player Kameron Kelly at the SAM spot (right side position linebacker).

The secondary should still be formidable with Mike Daly, Frankie Williams (2019 Special Teams MOP), Jumar Rolle, Trune Adaleke and free agent acquisition Ciante Evans. The depth could be contested following the retirements of Rico Murray, Delvin Breaux, and Courtney Stephen.

Perhaps the newest core of talent in the team will be in the special teams. Doing the kicking duties will be the former NFL kicker Taylor Bertolet and global selectee Joel Whitford doing the punting. 2019 CFL draftee Gordon Whyte replaces longtime veteran Aaron Crawford as the long snapper.

With the mixture of youth and experience, the 2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats hope to renew their dominance of the Eastern Division and eventually the overdue cultivation of winning the most lucrative prize in Canadian football.

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2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Masoli To Start at QB on Opening Night

If there was any doubt.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Jeremiah Masoli the team’s starting quarterback for the season opener in Winnipeg Thursday against the Blue Bombers.

The news comes as no surprise to no one who followed the team in a regular basis. After all, he earned the right to win the job after what he went through over two years ago.

Ticats coaching staff did the right thing condensing the distractions and made the quarterback competition less of a spectacle for the franchise who is attempting to steer course for a championship in December.

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2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Stephen Retires

Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats Defensive Back Courtney Stephen announced his retirement Thursday.

A consummate professional and devoted community man, the Brampton, Ontario native spent seven of his eight seasons with the Ticats, played 113 games and nine career postseason games with Hamilton and the Calgary Stampeders. Stephen tallied 274 total tackles, two Quarterback sacks, 12 interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

Stephen was the 2012 Jake Gaudaur Veterans Award nominee.

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2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Ticats Releases Watford

Quarterback David Watford was released by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats today.

The third-down, short-yardage specialist played 12 regular season and two postseason games with the Black and Gold in 2019. Watford scored six rushing touchdowns, tied for sixth in the Canadian Football League rushing touchdowns, and was the team’s TD rushing leader.

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2018 Ticats Season

Manziel Heads To Montreal

The Johnny Manziel Experience is over before it really started. For the first time in his professional career, Quarterback Johnny Manziel is on the move via trade. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have traded Johnny Manziel to the Montreal Allouettes for DL Jammal Westerman, REC Chris Williams, and two high level draft picks in the next two years. Also going to Montreal is OL Landon Rice and OL Tony Washington.

With this move, Hamilton has officially indicated that they are going to be doing due course with Jeremiah Masoli as their top guy. It is also a major gamble and risk which it could lead to higher reward depending on the turn of the season. The Ticats are currently 2-3 and still in the running for the first place spot in the Eastern Division. With Manziel departed, there’s no concrete alternative option for a strong committed backup quarterback at this point.

It’s also a homecoming for Chris Williams who starred with Hamilton in his two seasons with the team before controversially departed for the NFL in 2013. Only time will tell how the loyal Hamilton fan base welcome the latter with open arms. 
Speaking of controversial, when Johnny Manziel signed with the Tiger-Cats, one was among the few that supported the move, as well exposing the ignorance of several Ticats fans who disregarded Manziel’s newly diagnosed mental state for their one-sided opinions (no knowledge of mental illness). For one, I appreciated Manziel’s professionalism and loyalty during the two month stint with this city, and hope for the best in his career going forward.

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2018 Ticats Season

Saskatchewan 31 Hamilton 20

On the night in which one great player was honoured, the players’ latter former team didn’t play honourable football yesterday, as the Ticats were defeated by Saskatchewan 31-20.

If there’s any question as to whether Ticats HC June Jones should insert QB Johnny Manziel as their starter next game, yesterday’s performance from the incumbent starter has increased its difficulty towards maintaining status quo and go with the alternate. QB Jeremiah Masoli (186 yards passing) wasn’t at its best last night. Especially in the second half in which he failed to generate sustainable drives and capitalize to keep the game within striking distance. 

As for the Defence, they were not strong in the second half either, despite the strong first half. Give Saskatchewan a lot of credit adjusting and played a quality sounded second half performance. A tip of the cap goes to the ever-loyal Rider Nation fan base for their presence in supporting this team.

Before concluding this post, I would like to congratulate the great former Ticats Reciever Andy Fantuz on his retirement, and wish him the best of luck in his future. He was the consistent force on the field, and a classy man off the field.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats dropped to 2-3, while Saskatchewan improves to 3-2. The Tabbies host the Ottawa Redblacks next Saturday.

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2018 Ticats Season

Hamilton 13 Saskatchewan 18

In a game in which the Hamilton Tiger-Cats should have dominated, untimely decision  making and penalties costed the visitors a victory tonight at Regina

In order to be an elite quarterback in a pro football league such as, in this case, the CFL, a player in question should close the game out in a consistent basis. For the case of Tiger-Cats QB Jeremiah Masoli, despite the record share of 300+ passing yards established tonight, he didn’t get the job done, and shouldn’t be established as an elite quarterback…yet. 

His decision making in the first two series of the game proved to be a deterrent regarding the outcome of the game. It wasn’t all of his fault or wrongdoing, though. The running game, in which played an integral part of their two game winning streak, was shutdown by the stalwart defensive unit of Saskatchewan, despite a promising start. Furthermore, the offensive line and the special teams were mostly felt overwhelmed, leading to Masoli being diressed and bad field position all game. 

In the game that had a bunch of negatives, the most consistent positive critique would ultimately be the Hamilton D. Much like their opposing counterparts, the Defense played well, and give the secondary considerable credit for challenging the Roughriders receiving corps into situational catching for most of the game. Despite the positives, they ultimately became stressed out as their team offensive unit couldn’t capitalize with consistent long drives to close the game. 

With the defeat, the Ticats drop to 2-2. Hamilton (along with Saskatchewan) have a bye next week. These two clubs will be playing against each other in two weeks in Hamilton. 

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2017 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Kent Austin Revokes Head Coach Role, Remains VP of Football Operations

After four plus years at the helm, Kent Austin has officially relinquished his duties as Head Coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Austin will remain with the team as Vice President of Football Operations. June Jones will now assume the role as Head Coach. 

Austin joined the Tiger-Cats in 2013 as VP of Football Operations, Head Coach and General Manager. No noble Ticat fan will forget the significant impact Kent Austin made in his tenure as HC. From taking over a team in disarray (Full season in Guelph in 2013, half season at Mac) to a Grey Cup challenger every year. Furthermore, he led an organization through the Mount Rushmore full of injuries every season and made the playoffs every year. 

Now, as of this time of writing, I haven’t seen any posts on social media praising or critiquing this news. However, what I have seen over the last month is, for the most part, is the unnecessary bashing of the team and its amount of selfish. I’m all for fair discussion and proper critique, but to unfairly critique without merit and lack of knowledge in the business and the sport buy overlapping others opinion to justify ones needs is wrong. 

The football team is not perfect. Ever since Quarterback Zach Collaros went down in late 2015, the team lost its position, not its edge, as a prime contender for the Grey Cup championship. Despite a due diligence of a season last year (Masoli played admirably given the quality of the team that was again derailed by injuries), the team never had a proper formula as they once again this year had several key players out. Jeff Reinebold was released as Defensive Coordinator earlier this month, signalling that the end of Kent Austin with the team is closer than it was originally predicted. 

I respect and commend Kent Austin for what he has done with this team on the field. He shouldn’t have been unfairly reprimanded almost every week by these bandwagoners whose agenda is to feed their lack of knowledge and one sided perspective to social media (most notorious is the Facebook group page Hamilton Tiger Cats Fans) during the four plus seasons with organization. Glad he’s still the Vice President of Football Operations as he got a great eye for talent.

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2017 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2017 Season Preview

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats head into the 2017 Canadian Football League Season with lofty expectations. 

The team had a compelling offseason as well as training camp, with big key moves to strengthen the secondary and a kicking competition in which it had question marks going into, and still now heading for the season opener. 

Here is the look of the three phases of the team….

Offense

Quarterback Zach Collaros comes into the season as the ace of the franchise. Despite the great talent and memorable performances ever since he dawn the black and gold, Collaros’ kyryponite has been injuries. In his past three seasons with Hamilton, the Cincinnati, Ohio native has never played a full season. With great talent and entering the prime of his career, Collaros needs to stay healthy. If he can accomplish that, both he and Tiger-Cats are destined for an oppurtunity to compete for the Grey Cup in Ottawa. Jeremiah Masoli has proven that he can be a primary insurance policy, but afterwards, there’s a logjam of third string quarterbacks. Everett Golson (currently on the IR), and Logan Kilgore will do recurring duties as the third stringer this season.

Running Back C.J. Gable appears to be more healthy than he has been since his stellar 2013 rookie season. After his respectable season last year, the USC alumnus will look to retain his good health, and put together a thriving 2017 campaign. If so, it will benefit not only him, but the Tiger-Cats offense that is counting on his production and protection. Ross Scheuerman will be the prime backup, along with second year Canadian Mercer Timmis. Carl-Oliver Prime 

The receiving core should be good this year. The core consisting of Terrence Toliver, Luke Tasker, Brandon Elliott, Mike Jones and Bryan Tyms should provide speed and reliability for Zach Collaros to ulitize. After a great showing at camp, Felix Laubert-Laussier and special teams ace Brandon Banks are the most notable backups for the receiving core.

Regarding the Offensive Line, this is the most important question for the offense this season…Can they consistently protect Collaros? All things considered, this O-Line is better than the previous years. The core consisting  Xavier Fulton and rookie Jordan Swindle anchor the blindside (Tackle) areas, while second year Brandon Revenberg and Ryan Bomben is at Guard, and Mike Filer in the Centre position. 2017 draft pick Brayden Schram and Landen Rice provide the backup.

Defence/Special Teams

At the Defensive Line, Johnathon Chick, Ted Laurent, Michael Atkinson and Adrian Tracy anchor the line that can cause a ton of damage and headaches to the opponents offense this season. Justin Capicciotti will serve as a primary backup to Chick and Tracy, and should be a beneficial contribute this year. Rookie D-Linemen Hamiltonian Justin Vaughan, first round 2017 pick Connor McGough, and Davon Coleman will play a critical role this season as they bring a lot of promise. Look for Evan Gill to also play a factor, when healthy.

For the Linebackers, Simoni Lawrence will anchor a tenacious trio with Larry Dean at the middle, and newcomer Will Hill at the SAM. Second year Terrell Davis and McMaster alumnus Nick Shorthill is expected to play a role in certain defensive formations throughout the campaign. 

In the secondary, Emmanuel Davis, prized free agent Abdul Kanneh, Craig Butler, and Courtney Stephen anchor what could be a special group that can cause repeatable damage to the opponents. Cornerbacks Justin Rogers and Richard Leonard will get to play a key role, while Ethan Davis and recent signee Aaron Berry will join Jay Langa and Mike Daly as valuable backup pieces, but just as important at special teams.

Under a familiar face in Jeff Reinebold as Defensive Coordinator, expect a lot of aggressive pass rush, and lot of in your face coverage this season.

Returner specialist Brandon Banks is looking to re-establish himself as the dominant special teamer he can be. Sergio Castillo overcame multiple kickers to win the kicking job after an impressive showing during preseason albeit there was no field goals.  With new Special Teams Coordinator Dennis McKnight, and the unit already showing great strides at camp and preseason, all good things can be delivered.

Prediction

Hamilton finishes first place in an interesting Eastern Division, with them going to the Grey Cup. If the team gets fully healthy down the stretch, they can contend as advertised for the Grey Cup, with the record of 12-6.