There is a good article on Dylan Barker by Drew Edwards in today's Hamilton Spectator. Two important developments noted in the article are:
Dylan Barker has undergone intense rehabilitation of his injured ankle and leg over the past 10 to 11 months and says he is ready to play;
Ticat GM Bob O'Billovich said the Ticats are committed to using a non-import safety this season. Dylan Barker, Sandy Beveridge, Sean Manning, Sasha Glavic and Jason Nedd will all be competing for the starting spot.
I think it will come down to a battle between Barker and Manning. Manning showed some very good instincts in limited playing time last year. Plus Manning practiced with all the great Calgary DB's for a couple seasons.
Like I said.. it will be either Barker or Manning.
I really hope Barker's hard work these past twelve months does indeed pay off. From everything I've read he seems like a quality person and football player. Of course the selfish desires of contributing to a TiCat revival influence my well wishes.
What will the Ticats do with the nonimports who are competing for the safety job, they are at leats 3 potential starters deep if not 4, what will they do with the ones who dont make it, imho they should be looked at as starters for other D.B openings! To just go and CUt a player like beverage would be a huge waste of team resopurces for the last 3 seasons ,In pro football players are supposed to have time to mature , so they can contribute in their prime not get cut. to appease an import quota!
Barker will be the guy eventually, and for a long time. Whether or not he is in there week 1 remains to be seen. He showed flashes of brilliance in his limited pre-season action last year including a huge goal line stand on first down - the Bombers proceeded to turn the ball over on 2nd down. He's going to be a great player one day.
Sandy Beveridge was special teams captain last season. He makes a good contribution there. And a year ago when his contract was up for renewal he said he wanted to be in Hamilton, that's where he wants to play. I like him and I hope he continues to contribute as he has.
Barker looks like an excellent prospect. I hope his injury recovery turns out as well as he thinks it will.
I think our depth at safety is pretty good actually.
Dylan Barker is indeed a quality person and player.
He is/was our #1 draft pick under a Team Management that we are just beginning to appreciate, and is, at the very least, a "patch" to our suspect secondary of previous years.
Very sorry, but Rob Hitchcock is a "hero" of yesteryear. We have to let that go and evolve new guys, like Barker.
Great things were done in the past, but this team needs address "tomorrow"!
Maybe bringing back some of the great players like Hitch, Winfield, Philbrick, Covington and such to give this year's team some sense of "tradition" and history would dodge salary cap issues and get some hearts and minds working together on the field.
My thought only...Bob has not approached me with an offer to coach...
We just cant imagine how frustrating it must be to be #1 draft pick and get hurt in preseason and not play all year. Sitting and watch the team play without you, Dylan cant wait to prove himself and a lot of fans are in his corner. :thup: