ARTICLE: Porter or Bust

The moans and groans in Tigertown could be heard across the country in their home opener against the Toronto Argonauts. Cautious optimism quickly turned to barefaced pessimism when Hamilton found them selves trailing 20-0 after the first quarter, on route to a 30-17 loss. And, as usually happens when the Ticats (or any football team for that matter) struggle – the quarterback took a chunk of the heat. But who could blame the 23,000-plus who have endured countless losses and more quarterbacks then a vending machine. Danny McManus led the Tabbies to a 9-8-1 record and the team’s only postseason appearance in what is now an eight-year span. Since then, Kevin Eakin, Marcus Brady, Ritchie Wiliiams, Jason Maas, Timmy Chang, Casey Printers and Quinton Porter have all started under centre for Hamilton and have all faltered to a degree. However, the latter is a unique situation.

Porter did falter at times, particularly against the Argos a week ago, but no Tiger-Cats quarterback in the post-Danny Mac era has showed such promise as Porter has as a young starter. The 26-year old Boston College alum took over the helm of what looked to be a hopeless offense in 2008, under then starter Casey Printers, and completed 66.7 percent of his passes while throwing ten touchdown passes and finished with an impressive 102.3 efficiency rating.

Porter showed rare Canadian Football League poise in a rookie American quarterback and elusive mobility to go along with his six-foot-five, 230-pound frame. Porter’s official coming out party was last season when he did the seemingly impossible. In only his second CFL start he threw for 429 yards, five touchdowns (0 interceptions) and ran 42 yards. If that doesn’t seem impressive…well I’m not done just yet. In the process he led Hamilton to a 44-38 win over the top team in the East from Montreal and gave the Ticats only their third win of the season. I guess the offense wasn’t as hopeless as Casey Printer’s made it look for most of last season.

The point is, Porter has got to be “the guy? this season – and for the entire season. He will struggle at times and both he and coach Marcel Bellefeuille acknowledged that.

“Quinton did some good things,? said Bellefeuille regarding Porters opening season loss to the Argos. “And there are things that he needed to do better…he’s going to continue to get better and that’s just the reality of it.?

The biggest mistake Hamilton can make now is sitting Porter and going with the veteran Kevin Glenn. The team is continuing to restructure, whether the fans are feeling impatient or not, and the only way the Cats can continue to grow in the right direction is to give all of the reps to their budding star quarterback. If it doesn’t immediately catapult Hamilton in to the post-season then it will next year, and the next, and the next. But this is the CFL – a league in which a team can go from a 1-17 season to a 9-8-1 playoff season. The organization would rather be a consistent contender rather then a one year wonder like they were in 2004, and the only way to do so is to stick with Quinton. And really, Porter gives the Tiger-Cats the best opportunity to win now anyway. Some may disagree, but for the franchise and fans sake, hopefully we’ll never fully find out how good Glenn can be in Tigertown.


"Dedicated to all things Tigertown"

Very well said .Stay the coarse and the wins will come. :thup:

Welcome to ticats .ca Urch.

Excellent article.

I particularly like your 'big picture' point.

The team is continuing to restructure, whether the fans are feeling impatient or not,

and the only way the Cats can continue to grow in the right direction
is to give all of the reps to their budding star quarterback.

If it doesn’t immediately catapult Hamilton in to the post-season
then it will next year, and the next, and the next.

Many fans here denounce the team because
we have been restructuring for many years

and it hasn't borne fruit.

That does not deny the truth of the fact
that restructuring still needs to be done.


Stay the course with Porter for sure. Look at the Giants, stayed with Manning and look at the results. Yes, the Giants have the luxury of a waiting list for seasons tickets and dont' have to be concerned with selling tickets but the Cats should stay with Porter all the way for a few years and he'll be a good, maybe great, one.

As unfortunate as it is, the Cats just started their rebuilding phase at the end of last season. Meaning this is their first full year under this restructuring phase (new coaches, new qb) and while this is the CFL and at this stage of the year every team is a contender, suffering fans may have to endure even more patience.

...I know I know, I'm tired of hearing that word too.

Every Year we told we are Better and we get Little for our Money in the wins Dept.
The Game Day Experience has not changed at all..
I want playoff game this year Porter Be Damned If he can give us it fine if not Start Glen.

Well, I’ll be pretty peeved if that happens and turns into another Calvillo. I, too, want to win. But I’d rather have a solid string of playoff runs versus one year of .500 football and 8 of losing again.

Thats silly talk, an aging QB, whose best days are seemingly behind him, to help us make the playoffs even then if he would somehow pull it off it would be a bandaid solution simply put. Glenn is not the future of this team, he is a vet brought in to help the new QB's mature and progress in a system they have yet to climatize themselves to. Glenn will do his job, he will mentor the new blood. Porter will get the job done. He looked shakey in game 1, but I'd say that was due to a lack of coverage and the fact that his receivers weren't always getting themselves open..

We need to keep giving Porter the snaps.

I agree. WPG had the best OL and probably some of the best WR's in '08, they let Glenn start and what do they get? 7 wins, with 20 TD passes and 20 interceptions.

Let's not forget that it was the first game of the year, he's starting in front of a less-than-tolerant home crowd against a historic rival.

I'm sure he was feeling the jitters.

No doubt buddy, well said. Done and Done. Lets go Porter, he's due for a better game this game. I thought he wasn't all that bad last game. Last year it took Printers and Williams 6 games to through a passing TD. Porter already has 2 TD passes

Everyone says hope he doesn't turn into another AC and let him get away you seem to forget when AC left he mentored under an aging vet. If he stayed here and continued on the path this team had he would never be where he is today. Porter's developement would best be servered under Glenn watching the vet for a season or 2 from the sideline and coming in in no pressure situations so he can slowly gain confidence and adjust to the speed of the game. The year before AC took over as starter he a had a few amazing games and look what happened it was no pressure situation when he came in much like Porter last year his success last year was in all situations where it wasn't must win and low pressure to perform. The point is last week he showed he isn't ready for the speed of the game makes slow reads and just overall isn't anywhere a starter needs to be. I think sometimes the best learning in sports comes from watching not being out there learning in trial under fire. We are sacrficing wins and slowing developement on a young qb you seem to forget its been years since he has even started in a meangingful game with pressure.

You know it's funny...

Danny Mac practically got boo'd out of Tigertown and as it turns out - our offense has not been even a tenth of what it was with McManus at the helm.

The lesson is: Be careful what you wish for T-Town Faithful

Remember when everyone was calling for Marcus Brady to be our starter instead?

Some sound observations and advice, AU. Welcome to our forum and please continue with your insightful entries.

What a difference a day...or night makes! LOL

Tonight was a demonstration of the poise of Quinton Porter in the face of a lot of heat. If this club plays together and the coaches can game plan consistently to get Porter's receivers and backs loose, the kid is going to develop quite nicely, TYVM!

Porter-Cobb-Rodriguez: it's way too early to call them "Triplets North," but it is the responsibility of Mike Gibson and Marcel Bellefeuille to expand on the strengths folks can see tonight in these players, showcase them, and build a weekly approach to attack defences with guile, moxy, and a little guts. Every great team establishes that identity over time.

It will take time. The potential is there.

Oski Wee Wee,

Case in point: on the Cobb TD pass, the Cats flooded the wide side with four receivers and Cobb. From the slot, Bauman crossed underneath, Davis -- motioning behind Bauman -- dragged his flare route to the flat enough that it effectively rubbed Javy Glatt and it caused him to stumble adjusting to Cobb who swung out from behind on a circle route into the middle of the field, gaining separation from Glatt and allowed him to dodge Glatt, a diving Barron Miles, and Darren Toney to bust it to paydirt.

In short, a mobile stack that got the Lions reeling in a hurry!

It was not a screen as was characterized by the TSN call. What it was is an example of using motion, route design, and correct reading of the opposing defence to spring a super-quick back on that cow pasture known as a CFL field.

It is not rocket science to develop a "Cobb package" for isolating him on opposing linebackers. Prechae causes enough headaches for opposing DBs to force the safety to cheat to his side over the top. It is understanding that those intermediate seams can be exploited horizontally during games now and getting that together on a weekly basis.

You don't necessarily need to start using static bunch formations, whether on the edge of the line or spread out as the Lions do. The point is that motion provides the opportunity to move the bunch from side to side dynamically -- the trick is to switch the guys up so that it becomes harder to teams to key their assignments when in man. As a result, you see more zone defences against your young QB and life can become easier.

I'm a fan and I see this. The lessons one can glean from tonight's game tape can be built open by our offensive staff and the offense can grow appreciably by that. Time will tell how the brainstrust reacts.

Oski Wee Wee,

Yes Porter can build from this tuff win tonight. He answeed every time he needed too and on the road. The kid looks alright and can only get better.

The most telling sign of Porter and the teams maturity was the simple fact that they had an answer every time BC scored. That was unheard of last season.

I'll get more in depth this week in my article so stay tuned but I called my dad who was in Boston to visit family and told him that he just missed the best Ticat game in 10 years, everything considered.