Monday, April 30, 2012

Cats Still Have Holes

With Training Camp just around the corner, the Ti-Cats still have a few roster questions to answer.

Who the team's kick returner will be has yet to be determined. Marcus Thigpen left to sign with the Miami Dolphins and the team has not replaced him. Over at Examiner, I looked at a few players the team could be considering as a replacement for Thigpen. This is something that likely won't be answered until well into camp.

The Cats still have questions along the Offensive and Defensive Lines, and that is where the draft could yield some prospects. The Cats hold the third pick and could add an impact player on one of the lines with that selection, and they could also add some reinforcements in later rounds. I expect a very intense battle in camp for starting and backup positions along both lines.

The kicking game is still in a state of flux. It looks like it will come down to Luca Congi and Josh Maveety at kicker, but the Cats recently signed an Australian punter named Josh Bartel, so he will be in the mix as well. He won't be the team's kicker, but it does mean that whoever doesn't win the kicking battle in camp is likely out of a job. In any event, it looks like the Cats will be going non-import at both kicking positions, which is a change from recent seasons.

The time between the draft on Thursday and the start of rookie camp at the end of the month could see the team add some players to the mix. While the team is mostly set, the Cats still have some holes left to fill.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ti-Cats to Unveil New Jerseys on Tuesday

Next week, all eight CFL teams will unveil new jerseys for the 2012 season. The East Division will reveal theirs on Tuesday, with the West Division showing their new duds off to the world on Wednesday.

The Tiger-Cats have now revealed the time and place of their jersey unveiling: 6:00PM at Lime Ridge Mall.

It is unknown what the new uniforms will look like, but I was told that they will resemble the 1970s throwbacks that the team wore in 2010.
1970s Hamilton Tiger-Cats Throwback Jersey
I really like the 1970s throwbacks, so I hope that what I was told turns out to be true. They are slick looking jerseys, and it would be nice to get a little taste of history (even if it is just an inspiration and not an exact replica) for the final season at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

We will find out for sure Tuesday evening.

Cats Cut Seven

The Tiger-Cats announced the release of seven players yesterday. The releases come a week after the team held a three-day mini camp at Ivor Wynne Stadium. Out of the seven, three names stand out: Brandon Denson, Loyce Means and Jeremy Kelley. None of the three were big-time contributers, but they all saw time on the field in 2011.

Means probably had the biggest impact of the three after signing with the Cats mid way through the season. Means started a few games last year and looked pretty good. It looked like he had a future with the team

Denson looked impressive coming out of camp last year, but with three All-Star-level players at Linebacker, a decent backup in Ray Mariuz and the signing of former Argo Kevin Eiben, there was little room or need for another player at Linebacker.

Kelley, like Denson, was a victim of the numbers game. Hamilton has so much talent at Receivers – a point I made in my latest piece over at Examiner – that it would have been extremely difficult for Kelley to find his way on the field. It's a shame, because he looks like a player that has the size and skills to be a very good Receiver.

The Cats also let go of Cobrani Mixon, Marc Schiechl, Thad Turner and Brandon Gilbeaux.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Gig at Examiner.com

Recently, I have been given an opportunity to write about the Ti-Cats for Examiner.com. I have already posted articles about the newest big-name Ti-Cats, the importance of mini-camp and Henry Burris' road to redemption.

While I will focus on providing extensive content for Examiner, I will still be maintaining my work here. The Examiner stuff is going to be more reporter-like in its substance, while the stuff I write here will continue to be more opinion-based and personal.

This is a new and exciting opportunity and I hope you all enjoy what I write there.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Giguère Fatigue

Since being drafted in the first round in 2008, Sam Giguère has been among the most talked about players in the CFL, and he has yet to attend a single practice. Every time Giguère breathes it seems to make news, the latest being that Henry Burris made a pitch to get Giguère into Tiger-Cats camp this year.

I have been caught up in the Giguère melodrama like everyone else; I even made a bit of a boob of myself for reading way too much into a tweet Giguère sent out a couple weeks back. And I wasn't the only one who jumped to that conclusion. That is how much Giguère has griped the minds of Tiger-Cat fans.

That said, I have reached a point where the only news I want to hear about Giguère is when he's actually joining a roster. Whether that be by signing with Hamilton or getting traded to Montreal (or somewhere else) or finally making it in the NFL, it doesn't matter to me. The outcome of the saga is no longer as important as their just being an outcome. Just give me an ending, whatever that ending may be.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cats Sign Former UM Standout Crable

The Tiger-Cats are looking for players along the Defensive Line, and if pedigree counts for anything, they may have found one in Shawn Crable. The Cats announced today they have signed the former University of Michigan Wolverine standout to a contract. Crable was a third-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2008, but injuries derailed what should have been a promising NFL career.

Crable was a great player at Michigan, and was a havoc-wreaking Linebacker whose specialty was getting to the Quarterback. From the sounds of it, the Cats brought him in to pass rusher, which bodes well for his chances of sticking with the team. If Crable makes it out of Training Camp, the Cats might have found the answer to their question at Defensive End.

In addition to Crable, the team also signed fellow Defensive Linemen Jada Brown, Ronnell Brown and Brandon Gilbeaux.