Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ticat Canada Day Depth Chart Analysis

The Cats have posted their depth chart for tomorrow's game against the Argos at Ivor Wynne. The Cats haven't named a starting quarterback yet to keep the Argos guessing, although Porter seems to be the favourite to start.

On offense, there are five of the seven mandated Canadian starters. Dyakowski, Hage and Gagne-Marcoux make up the interior of the line. Gauthier starts at left tackle. The last Canadian spot on offense is where things get strange. When the Cats play four receivers and a fullback, the starting fullback is listed as John 'Star Wars' Williams, with Mac product Sadeghian backing up and Ticat draft pick Darcy Brown from St. Mary's being the backup backup. Starting Williams seems odd considering he was released before camp and then brought back at the end of training camp. Likely they knew what they had in Williams, a career special teams player, thought correctly no other team would pick him up, used the training camp roster spot to evaluated someone else and then brought him back when camp was done. That makes sense if all he was going to do was play special teams, but one would figure if he was going to be the starting fullback, it would be better to get some reps at training camp. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

When the Cats have five receivers and no fullback, Dave Stala is listed as the starting slotback, with Bauman backing him up. Stala always seemed to burn us when he played for Montreal. Considering the Williams situation, maybe the Cats will go with five receiver sets more often.

Former Bomber import Dan Goodspeed is in at right tackle for what is hopefully an improved line over last year's. Caulley and Smith are listed as the starting running backs. Perhaps the Cats will play some two back sets with Stala as the fourth receiver. At receiver is Rodriguez and Airese Currie, who I know virtually nothing about. Chris Davis is the import slot and McDaniel will play the other slot when a Canadian full back is in.

All in all probably a better offense starting in game one than last year, although the receiving corps doesn't seem that amazing.

On defence, the two Canadians are Matt Kirk as one of the tackles and Sandy Beveridge listed ahead of Dylan Barker at safety. I'm curious to see what the other CFL teams do in terms of Canadian starters on defence and offense. Obviously with the offensive line, more of the nonimport starters will be Canadian.

At end, Khari Long, a career NFL practice squad player and Justin Hickman who also seems to be a career NFL practice squad player, although Long seems to have the more distinguished of practice squad careers if you had to compare. No CFL experience prior to training camp. What are the odds these guys will be the starters by the end of the season? Adams in at the other tackle position and likely the best of the line considering his eight sacks last year.

At lineback, Markeith Knowlton and Otis Floyd at the two outside positions, with newcomer Dennis Haley at middle over Canadian Barrenechea. Haley has some legit NFL experience, however having him start at middle linebacker is a question mark. How the Cats do will depend on how well Haley plays in the middle.

At the corners, Bo Smith and Gordon. At the halfback Thomson and Tisdale, with Thomson having had nine picks last year. Tisdale had two interceptions.

The back eight (as opposed to the front seven) appear to be decent on defence, with how Haley plays being important. Once again the front four is the wildcard. I'm not sure the linebackers and defensive backs are good enough to compensate for a feeble line. Maybe Obie will prove me wrong, but his offseason task of finding guys how can play legit end seems to be a load of fail.

We'll see how things go tomorrow. I predict a lot of penalties against the Cats.

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