CFL Preview

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

(3-15 in 2008 - 4th in East Division)

General Manager:
Bob O'Billovich | Head Coach: Marcel Bellefeuille
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Gibson | Defensive Coordinator: Greg Marshall

Video: 2008 Rewind | 2008 Statistics | 2009 Schedule | Team Page


Key Addition: OL Dan Goodspeed - This acquisition, along with Alex Gauthier, offers some much needed help on the offensive line. No one will appreciate their talents more than new starting quarterback Quinton Porter.

Other Signings and Acquisitions: Offensive Co-ordinator Mike Gibson, WR QB Kevin Glenn, WR Dave Stala, Defensive Co-ordinator Greg Marshall, LB Agustin Barrenechea, LB Otis Floyd, DL Matt Kirk

Key Deletion: RB Jesse Lumsden - Say what you want about his injury problems but non-import feature backs are hard to come by. He was a ratio-buster, who allowed the Tiger-Cats to use an import at another skill position.

Other Releases and Deletions: OL Gerald Davis, WR Tony Miles, FB Jeff Piercy, QB Casey Printers, OL Charles Thomas, QB Richie Williams, LB Cornelius Anthony, LB Michael Botterill, DB Sasha Glavic, LB Tim Goodwell, DE Alain Kashama, DE Sacha Lancaster, DL Nautyn McKay-Loescher, DE Terrence Patrick

Matt Dunigan's Quarterback Analysis: The Hamilton Tiger-Cats Power Practices during training camp under new bench boss Marcel Bellefeuille's guidance are fantastic. I was throughly impressed with the Ticats QBs and how much they were being coached up as a whole. Khari Jones has a smooth way of conveying his messages as the new QB coach and he has a ton of talent to work with. Starting is Quinton Porter, who showed glimpses of brilliance last season with limited PT. He was poised and flashed signs of being extremely mobile and productive with his feet. Talking to Bob O'Billovich last week @ pratice, Obie feels that his O-Line could be the most improved and, quite possibly, the most talented in the league. That's great news with all the promising youth @ QB. Behind Porter, you have veteran Kevin Glenn, who looks extremely comfortable in his new digs. He is being pushed big-time by Adam Tafralis, who looked ready when I watched practice, and Jason Boltus, who also impressed me with his ability to make all the throws. I'm telling ya right now, the Ticat stable of QBs is very impressive and far more talented than their arch enemies down the road.

Jock Climie's Offensive Analysis: At the end of last season, we saw glimpses of brilliance from two newcomers to the Ticats that should give the Tabby faithful plenty to cheer about in 2009 – Quinton Porter and Prechae Rodriguez. The last time we saw a young quarterback with this much potential was Ricky Ray. It is true that half a season does not a career make but all the signs are there that the Ticats have finally found a quarterback that can bring this team out of the basement. Over the last number of years, Hamilton's QBs have been justified in complaining about a lack of talent at the receiver position. The reality was that Geroy Simon, Ben Cahoon and Milt Stegall couldn't have turned the Black and Gold offence into an explosive passing team. If Rodriguez continues to impress and some of the other young receivers like Scott Mitchell, Chris Bauman and Chris Davis continue to improve, the Ticat passing attack will be one to be reckoned with. As far as the rushing attack, it may be fair to say that no CFL team has three more talented running backs than Hamilton. Much will be expected from Kenton Ketih who at no point last year showed the form he had while a member of the Roughriders or the Indianapolis Colts. He is joined by the most underrated running back in the league, Terry Caulley and last season's rookie sensation Tre Smith. These three tailbacks have the ability to take a lot of pressure off Quinton Porter if they can get some solid blocking up front.

Glen Suitor's Defensive Analysis: If any team in the league is due for a good year, it is the Hamilton Ticats. Their struggles are well documented, but they have been closer to pulling out of the spiral of losing than most people think. Once again, there will be changes in Steeltown, lots of changes. In fact, ten players who started at least one game on defence last year in Hamilton are gone. The question is, have they finally found the right chemistry? A good defence starts with the system and the coach and this year, the Ticats have an experienced and proven coordinator in Greg Marshall. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were Grey Cup finalists in 2007 with Marshall as their DC, and his system has been successful wherever he has been. Also, the secondary in Hamilton last year finished second in the CFL in interceptions with 23 and, in the second half of the season, were showing signs of becoming an elite unit. The challenge in Hamilton is once again finding a dominant pass rusher. The last real good one they had was Joe Montford, whose last year in Hamilton was 2004.

Duane Forde's Canadian Content: Despite the offseason loss of their most gifted Canadian player in running back Jesse Lumsden, the Tiger-Cats have actually upgraded their overall homegrown talent base since last season. The biggest keys to that improvement are the free agent signing of tackle Alex Gauthier and the return to health of safety Dylan Barker and guard Cedric Gagne-Marcoux. Additional reasons for optimism in Steeltown are provided by the arrivals of veterans Matt Kirk (DT), Dave Stala (SB), and Augie Barrenechea (LB), plus top O-Line prospects Simeon Rottier and Zac Carlson, all of whom will give the Ticats more depth and ratio flexibility than they have had in some time. If former high draft picks like receiver Chris Bauman and defensive tackle Jermaine Reid are able to consistently play at the high level shown in flashes last season, Hamilton could finally make a move in the East standings.

Chris Schultz's Overview: It is the beginning of a brand new year and, as with every year, optimism is everywhere with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. And it should be when you consider the uphill battle the organization has endured and continues to climb. Hamilton has a high number of players that have an excellent ratio of youth and experience. As a team, they are not too old and not too young; a balanced mix. More...

What Makes Them Good? After years of losing, major moves should have the team moving in right direction. Owner Bob Young deserves some success on the field.

What Makes Them Vulnerable? The culture of losing may be tough to break in Steeltown. If the team loses some games early, the negativity could creep back into the locker-room.

Coach Bellefeuille Says... ''Kevin (Glenn) has shown he has some game left in him and that he can still play at a high level. Quinton (Porter) has shown he has the ability to pick up where he left off last year.'' - Hamilton Spectator

2008 Statistics

Total 408 44 357 249 141
Rank 6th 6th 7th 8th 1st

Total 537 54 440 325 127
Rank 7th 7th 8th 8th 7th

2008 Team Leaders

Player, Total Prechae Rodriguez, 7 Prechae Rodriguez, 1,099 Jesse Lumsden, 584

Player, Total Markeith Knowlton, 95 Darrell Adams, 8 Chris Thompson, 9
* Led the league

2009 Draft Picks

Rd Player Position School
1 Simeon Rottier OT Alberta
1 Darcy Brown WR Saint Mary's
2 Ryan Hinds DB New Hampshire
3 Scott McCuaig DL UBC
5 Guillaume Allard-Cameus RB Laval
5 Raymond Wladichuk DB Simon Fraser
6 Cassidy Doneff WR Washburn
6 Bill McGrath OL Indiana State

CFL Feature

CFL on TSN analyst Paul LaPolice opens his playbook and breaks down key plays from each week's games. More...

Ask the Panel!

The CFL on TSN panel is all set to answer your football questions!

Send your question on Twitter to @CFLonTSN using the hashtag #AskThePanel.

TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television