Thursday, December 26, 2013

Former Ticat Chris Williams Signs with Chicago Bears

Just saw on CHCH that former Ticat receiver Chris Williams was signed off the New Orleans Saints' practice roster. Williams of course grieved his Ticat contract and didn't show up to came, ultimately winning the opportunity to sign with an NFL team this year.

Maybe Williams will actually see some game action.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Quick Thoughts On Ottawa Red Blacks, Expansion and the Import Ratio

The quarterback and the non-imports are the most important just due to the fungible nature of imports in the CFL. Thinking about the expansion picks, the Rider defensive tackle Shologan allows the Red Blacks to start him on defence. The Ticat fullback Delahunt can start in a traditionally Canadian position for four receiver sets and then switch off for a fifth non-import receiver who is probably pretty mediocre. So that's two out of seven non-import starters.

The Red Blacks could go with four non-imports on the offensive line, with an import tackle which are relatively easy to find, although Ottawa could take a page from the Ticats book and start two American tackles and have a decent line from the get go. I'll go with four on the line though. If the Ottawans can find a decent Canadian receiver who can start that's seven total. If they go with the two American imports, they'll have to find another Canadian starter on defense, maybe Stampeder Eric Fraser as the safety.

Finding the decent Canadian receivers looks like it might be the hard part.

Cats Lose Marwan Hage to the Red Blacks in Third Expansion Round

he Cats just lost centre Marwan Hage, non-import, in the third expansion draft round.

I'm not sure if Hage will end up retiring, however he does hail from Montreal. He has never won a Grey Cup in his long career so playing this season in Ottawa will be tough in that regard

That's Cats now need to find a new centre. Not a bad pick for Ottawa. Hage is relatively old however centres often last a long time in the CFL. 

As a person Hage was awesome at charity work in Hamilton and the city itself loses. Probably good for an expansion team to have someone who will be really visible in the community.

Tiger-Cats Lose Fullback John Delahunt in Second Round Red Blacks Expansion

The Cats lost Delahunt in the second round in the non-import round, which hurts a bit. However the Cats were far more likely to go with five receivers except on short yardage situations, so fullback wasn't a critical part of the Ticats offense.

Still Delahunt was decent and while they still have Diedrick (unless he's a free agent, I can't remember) although Diedrick is pretty crotchety. Delahunt was also an OK receiver when the time came (and it didn't come particularly often). Maybe the Cats draft somebody new, but for Ottawa a really good pick.

Other noteworthies in the second round were Saskatchewan's defensive lineman Shologan and Argo offensive lineman Joe Eppelle (ouch). Weirdly Ottawa took three fullbacks in the round. Trade bait perhaps? No receivers though. Maybe all the teams protected their decent non-import receivers and left their fullbacks open.

Ticats Lose Chevon Walker in First Round of Red Blacks Expansion Draft, Kevin Glenn Picked

Meh. The Ticats still have Gable and as I have said many times here, import running backs are a fungible commodity in the CFL. Not a bad pickup by Ottawa as Walker does have some speed, but was not great in short yardage.

Kevin Glenn getting picked seems like a smart move. Will give Ottawa decent performance at that position immediately and he was the quarterback for a team that had an awesome regular season record in 2013.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Jon Cornish Wins Lou Marsh 2013 Canadian Athlete of the Year

A little surprising, as I didn't even consider a CFL player would win. Cornish was the obvious choice for Most Outstanding Player in the CFL, which is a rarity for a non-import. Cornish probably benefits from no other obvious athlete having a fantastic year (Milos Ranoic has had a good year for a Canadian tennis player, but certainly wasn't close to a slam or anything). 2013 isn't an Olympic year either which probably helps (soccer player Christine Sinclair won it last year).

In case you are wondering, the last CFL winner was McMaster alumnus Russ Jackson in 1969, that rarity in the CFL a starting Canadian quarterback.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ticats Don't Get a 2013 CFL All-Star?

Seems a little weird. One issue is that the Cats had a ton of injuries this year and generally becoming an all-star requires a player playing almost all of the games. Unless you're Ricky Ray. Actually the Cats record considering all their injuries is pretty remarkable. Or testament to the fungible nature of import players in the CFL.

Mike O'Shea Named Winnipeg Blue Bomber Head Coach

Argos special team coach and former Argo and Ticat player Mike O'Shea has been named the Bombers new head coach. I don't think it is a bad move, although going from special teams to head with no coordinator experience is a little weird. O'Shea has plenty of experience as a player in the CFL though, and he could follow a model of appointing strong offensive and defensive coordinators and in general deferring to them.

In any case, after a 3 and 15 season, posting a 6 and 12 season would be an improvement.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New York Times Fourth Down Bot

I really like the concept of the New York Time's fourth down bot, that tweets what NFL coaches should do on fourth down. This accompanying post has some great stats, including the expected amount of points to be scored from a first down at a given yard line (below a certain yardage the value is negative). I would love to make something similar for the CFL as well as a third down bot.

Toronto Lynx Not Coming to Hamilton, Ticats Cited

Looks like the plan for the Toronto Lynx to play at Tim Horton's field won't happen. When I first heard it, it seemed a little strange as Ticat owner Bob Young had talked about a soccer team of his own in Hamilton.

From the CBC article:

"But the Lynx had competition from the Ticats organization, which has been negotiating with the city for a pro soccer partnership. The city and Ticats organization are looking for the highest possible level of soccer to be played at the stadium and the USL Pro League is at least a third tier league. City staff recommended against a deal with the Lynx."

I haven't heard much about the Ticats' plans for a soccer team lately, but evidently they are still pursuing it. Bob Young had owned (until 2010) a part of the Carolina Railhawks, now in the North American Soccer League (the second tier league), along with Canadian teams FC Edmonton and the Ottawa Fury.

If Bob Young can get a NASL team, that's obviously better for the city than a third tier team especially one that's just a farm team of Toronto FC.