Friday, May 25, 2012

Only Four CFL Pre-Season Games on TSN in 2012

Tigercatatonia has hyped showing pre-season games on TSN forever. Last year TSN showed seven of the eight games on TSN or TSN2. This year they only show four, although the good news is both Ticats games are shown. No Montreal games are shown and surprisingly only one Saskatchewan game. One would figure with the rabid Rider fan base and Saskatchewan's high per capita income, showing both games would be a gimme. Certainly the games cost money to produce, but the rights are already paid for and the games are a big long commercial and preview for the season to come.

Could be that there are time constraints but with both TSN and TSN2 available one would think that would not be a problem.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

May 2012 CFL Power Rankings

1. BC Lions
Won the Grey Cup last year, players that seemed like they would be going to the NFL ended up not going and the best quarterback in the game (taking into account his relative youth versus Anthony Calvillo). The other West teams look weak this year too so BC should at least get the chance to play for the Grey Cup in Toronto.
2. Hamilton Tiger Cats
No one can blame the Cats for not making moves in the off-season. Whether Henry Burris is better than Kevin Glenn remains to be seen, but with the signing of Andy Fantuz, plus the receivers the Cats already have, should make Burris better. Signing receiver Samuel Giguere adds Canadian depth at receiver. Offensive and defensive lines still somewhat suspect, but the Cats should score a lot of points.
3. Montreal Alouettes
Anthony Calvillo is yet another year older. Provided health issues don't crop up, expect good performances. Defence was poor in the second half and in the process of being rebuilt. GM Jim Popp always seems to be able to unearth quality imports, so Montreal at the least will be average this year with decent upside.
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Quarterback Buck Pierce proved last year he can stay relatively healthy and play well. There's no guarantee of that this year. The Bomber defence was awesome last year and should still be good, although the retirement of non-import defensive tackle Doug Brown hurts. Winnipeg didn't do much on the free agent market.
5. Calgary Stampeders
Starting quarterback Drew Tate really didn't prove a lot last year so how he plays this year is unknown. The Stamps having Kevin Glenn as a backup at least ensures that if Tate starts to suck, the offence won't fall apart. Decent defence.
6. Toronto Argonauts
Adding quarterback Ricky Ray helps the Argos where they were weakest last year, although their receivers were a mediocre bunch. Offensive line is still questionable. Defence was reasonable last year and kept the Argos in games. Special teams were great.
7. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
The Riders were bad last year (although they had enough talent) and now they've lost receiver Andy Fantuz to free agency. Fantuz didn't do a lot last year for the team after returning from the NFL and getting injured, but the season was pretty much a write off by that point anyways. Darian Durant regressed at quarterback last year. How they do this year will depend on whether he's the 2010 version or the 2011 version.
8. Edmonton Eskimos
Look to be in a rebuilding year. Steven Jyles as a starting quarterback doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Started last season hot and were cold in the second half. This being the CFL, the Eskimos could surprise, if Jyles plays well.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Forcier In, Boltus Out

So the Cats have released third string quarterback Jason Boltus and signed Tate Forcier. Forcier is interesting because of his play at the University of Michigan before academic problems. I would be curious to see his Wonderlic scores. Forcier is really young at 21 which is intriguing so what he does at training camp and during the exhibition games is worth watching for. Given the history of Ticat third string quarterbacks of late (i.e. Boltus) who knows what happens with Forcier.

Will Boltus get picked up? He's been around the CFL for a few years now. Maybe some other CFL team that finds out their quarterbacks all suck would give him a shot, although the Ticats giving up on him would probably give them pause. The Argos signed former Ticat third stringer Adam Trafalis so who knows.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thoughts on the Ticats 2012 Draft

The draft this year went pretty well for the Ticats this year in my opinion. Trading down for more picks seems like a prudent move with more and more players getting looks in the NFL and disrupting getting the drafted player into training camp right away.

I don't know a lot about defensive back Courtney Stephen but getting some good Canadian content in the secondary can't hurt.

I like picking up Laval linebacker Frederic Plesius with the tenth pick overall. I could see Plesius contributing this year on special teams.

Drafting Laval defensive end Arnaud Gascon-Nadon in the third round was also a good pickup. I was impressed with Gascon-Nadon's play in the Vanier Cup this year. There aren't a lot of non-import defensive ends in the CFL, but having good Canadian defensive linemen is important, especially with the frequent substitutions on the defensive line.

Picking up Sherbrooke receiver Simon Charbonneau-Campeau in the fourth round also seems like a good move. Anyone who can get 1,121 receiving yards in the CIS in a single season has to have some talent in getting open.

Obviously how this draft year plays out won't be know for a while. Pretty much the most that can be hoped for from this year's crew is some special teams play. Still the Cats appear to have a good pipeline of Canadian talent.

One final thing about the draft, why not have it on Saturday at 11 am, rather than during the day on Thursday? Certainly more people could watch.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thoughts on Ticats Samuel Giguerre Signing

The Cats having finally signed first round draft pick Samuel Giguerre after his four year sojourn in the NFL requires a bit of analysis.

Giguerre probably wanted to play in Montreal and I'm guessing the Alouettes likely offered a low draft pick in return. My theory is that GM O'Billovich played hardball and made clear there would be no trade with Montreal.

After four years of NFL practice rosters, where is Giguerre in terms of what he can contribute? One would assume that if he signed with the Cats initially, after four years this year he would be contributing. What will Giguerre do this year for the Cats? Is there any chance to start, or is just depth and a special teams player?

Injuries. What condition will Giguerre come into camp with? Is he now injury prone?

A good signing though prior to the draft and puts less pressure on the Cats to draft a receiver.