Be a Virtual GM: What's the training camp plan?

We're all edgy. Presumably our GM DOES have a plan. Is that a given? If not, we're sunk and Desjardins past record is all smoke. That seems unlikely,

So.... let's look at the parameters.

  1. We've cut veterans- leaving us with holes.
  2. We still have some veterans who MAY be holes... or who may not.
  3. We have a number of second-stringers from last year.
  4. The free-agent market hasn't been the place where the 'Cats seem to be playing much this year.
  5. We seem to have some cap space.
  6. No major US import signings yet.

So.... what's the plan? How do you see it going from here. I'm not interested in one-line 'Desjardins is an idiot' type of comments. There seem to be enough threads for that.

Can we predict the plan- right now? I presume that within 2-3 weeks that it will have to be in evidence.

So class- here are some questions to get you thinking.

a. Will this be the kind of training camp where EVERY position is up for grabs? If you think so- why? What proof is there? How do you think that it will be accomplished?
b. Will this be the kind of camp where specific positions are targetted but overall the GM & Coach think that an attitude change and better coaching are good enough for 2/3 or more of the team? Is so, besides what we've seen with releases, what are the other targets? How will pressure be applied at these positions?
c. Is this the kind of camp where specific 'units' will be dismantled and re-built but others are basically sound and just in need of tuning? Why do you say this? What needs to be done with what units? (We have a thread that explores the o-line like this.)

Have we seen any 'tells' so far? Is this going to be a 'go with Canadians first and fill with Americans' kind of team or will it be built on US impact players with Canadians to fill the gap(two very common but distinct CFL philosophies)?

Is this going to be a 'go with the rooks' and let them grow team or will it be a 'get some people with experience' kind of team?

I'm interested in getting some reasoned thoughts on this. We can then see how accurate we were in the near future.

in the secondary, and O-line, there is an abundance of players that were brought in at various points last year. I suspect taht those two units will be shaped out of those curent players. Coaching and schemes will change, but lilely few, if any, new players brought in for camp.

Receivers will be building from scratch. The few returning players were kept for a reason, and this was surely an area of focus in US scouting. They gotta establish a clutch guy - MM is too old to be the every down guy, and BR is the speedy deep guy. They should have been searching for a Vaughn-type stud with the sure hands. At this point you just need some bodies.

D-line has solid NI content in Wayne, and now NM-L. Collier is hot on one end, but someone has to be fond to compliment on the other side. My first choice: FA Rahim Abdullah. Just a bit of tweaking to do here.

At QB, expect a healthy Maas to look sharp in camp. Butler at #2. If Timmy Chang is lured out to camp, he will need some time at #3 to learn the game, otherwise Williams of course.

RB's are fine - anyone brought in here will pretty much be TC fodder.

Finally, Linebackers. LB's are the heart of a defense, and should be in on amost every play. I see that battle being pretty wide open for vets to step up, or lose the position just as easily.

I think with a new regime all positions are up for grabs. I think a lot of evaluations will take place at camp.

I do agree that both the O-line and Secondary will be made up of the guys brought in last year. Maybe a signing or two

At WR we have a lot of Canadian content so I think we'll be looking to add depth and find a starter. I think a good addition here would be Jamal Richardson. A guy to watch for is Ivan Birungi.

QB I think Maas is still the starter but Charlie will have a quick hook. Hopefully we can bring in Chang and start his development.

I'd also like to see Abdullah signed, but Collier and Josue are good at that spot too. I like our rotation at DT.

We have good depth at RB and LB.

We need linebackers and a safety. I would also look for a kicker/punter (or both) to challenge Boreham and Fleming. I will be VERY disappointed if I see Boreham in a Tiger-Cats uniform again simply because he's the incumbant. That has happened far too much under the Marshall Plan. Play your starters because they have always been starters. Heavens forbid we bring in a Tackle that is head, shoulders, torso and waist above the incumbant and he shuts down the (at the time) best DE in the league. (For those who cannot figure out whom I'm talking about - RIP #57).

It's time for the veterans to step up and demonstrate the leadership that is expected of them . It's time for the backups and never-got-a-chancers to show their hungriness for a starting role. I EXPECT a professional training camp, and I EXPECT some team cohesion.

I believe that many positions will be up for grabs, but a certain few are basically set.

At QB I think we're pretty cut and dry. Maas will be the starter. I'm sure he has to earn it in camp, but he definatly has the ability and experience to do that. That being said, I think Butler is here to push him and to be dropped in if Maas struggles. As for our #3, Williams obviously has the edge and I'm fairly sure he'll end up in that role. All the talk surrounding Chang is just that, talk. Even if he comes to camp, based on his lack of experience and limited play time recently, he'll be a practice roster guy.

Our O-line is set, just a matter of shuffling the guys we have around into their respective postions. The same can be said for RB. Lumsden will be the starter with Holmes as the spell guy, but I think it would be wise to use him in the slot packages as well. He's a great player with explosive capabilites and it would be foolish to squander him for yet another year.

Receivers is a sketchy area for us. I like Ralph and I think bringing MM back for another year was a great idea, but we definatly lack a #1 go-to guy. Is it possible that one of the many guys we have could become that player. Of course, but they aren't there yet. I think the addition of another "name" receiver is a priority.

On the D I think our line is pretty solid. My questions come at depth. Injuries are a part of the game and I question the depth we have on the d-line. Our secondary is also pretty solid. Shaw is a question mark, but I don't think he's done. However, we have plenty of other guys who can step up into that role (Beveridge, Gordon). We do need at least one more guy on the corner, whetehr that's a starter we add or not I think will become evident in camp.

LB is a major problem for us. Hitch is no longer a starter (as much as it pains me) and I think we've got a good group of players but no impact guys. We lack leadership on D and I think a top flight LB can provide that kind of leadership.

On the whole I think we;re a pretty good team that fell into a brutal losing sprial last year and never managed to pull out of it. I think with our new coaching and front office staff and a new attitude where nobody is safe unless you play and play well will seriously improve our team.

I'm optimistic this year. Last year I was worried becuase there seemed so much reason for us to win and a letdown was in the cards. This year there is only one direction we can go and I think we have a real chance at finishing 2nd in the East. A couple of key sigings will be the differance between a middling team and a contender.

Very good posts, eh Mark?

Here are my thoughts on the pre-Training Camp period.

I love it that we have been re-staffed with all new coaches
who will bring a fresh approach and a spirit of enthusiasm
to the holdover players they keep from last year's roster.

It excites me that Charlie and his whole staff
will be in town from Mar 5th on reviewing film
on our roster players for 2 1/2 months until TC.

The Offensive Coaches will design a system
with numerous plays which suit and exploit
the strengths our top playmakers.

To start the season I see us emphasizing the running game
because our strengths there are Jesse, Corey and Anthony Davis.

Our import receivers will be newcomers to the team and,
except for Morreale and Ralph, our non-import receivers
will be mostly inexperienced returnees and newcomers.

I see Corey running out of the backfield a lot,
to create mismatchs running against LBS.

I see Jesse getting more swing passes
so we can exploit his outside speed.

Rod Rust will know exactly what defensive system to use
after he views film and finds out his player's strengths.

I think we are fine a LB with the addition of Jackson, Nattiel and Moreno. We still have Cox, Mariuz, Auggie, Hitch. There's a couple other guys on the roster too that can play ST.

Good work so far. Let's keep riding this one.
I think I agree with Ron about starting with the running game and the use of Holmes. What's the possibility of an offense built around hi and Lumsden's talents. We're looking ball control which has been Maas' style in the past. That changes the receiver picture as well.

Have we guessed at the other tendencies we might see... general philosophy or likely way players will be moved into camp?

One of the things I would love for the new coaching staff to change is practice procedures. Apparently when the ticats practice the defence doesn't really give an effort. They let the reciever or running back just make the play. I think you need to practice llike you play. Maybe not hard hits but good contact and have the defence try to make the play. Challenge the offence like other teams will. This could help the offence in all respects.

virtual Gm eh- ok- the team is set at RB, Fb and tail back, set at QB, (for now)-Oline needs some work, three candidates for the ALL important Centre spot, Hopefully one steps up their game, ( at guard and tackle, coachable rookies to challange returning players, -- recievers we need to replace the two 4.3 recievers we traded, Go with rookies, from CIS and NCAA, at beginning of camp, if none are performing then look to trade a nonimport fullback, ------on D lots of holes on the line (Bring back Montford to anchor some rookies. again if we need help thru camp make a trade, at LB im looking for baranchia to mature into a dominant force in the middle, with the help of some import free agents, at db, go after cfl free agent who have proven themselves in CFL,now sssSAFETY- if beverage doesnt step up ,work a trade to secure the deep threat or move Hitch back there and keep looking. :cowboy:

Starting with D, safety should be open to competition. I cannot stand the way Shaw plays and I'm hoping that he's not inserted yet again into our starting line-up. We have plenty of good safety prospects, now the time has come to give them a look.

The secondary I like, albeit I think we should bring in some more young prospects for depth and development.

Linebackers. I see Auggie moving to the outside if Moreno proves to be what we all expect him to be. I would love seeing Mariuz-Moreno-Auggie as our LB corps. We've been missing the big guys for far too long.

D-Line. I liked what I saw from Josue last year, and look to see him solidify himself as a starter. McKay and Wayne will probably solidify the middle and dunbrack gives us flexibility and depth. On the other end we have Collier, and hopefully a draft pick or prospect so we can spell him.

Offense, I think our line will be solidified by our draft picks, but lets bring in some American tackles. I think we have enough Canadian talent everywhere else to spread some from the line.

WR is my greatest concern, we just dont have the skilled guys other teams have. Hopefully Alston proves me wrong.

Quarterback is also a concern. Will Maas be healthy? I think Dejardins has done the right thing by stocking up on QB talent, even if it's not type flight.

RB/FB we're good.

K/P who knows.

I don't think this team is a Grey Cup contender, but hopefully we'll at least be competitive.

I would hope that by now, based on the talent that remains here and the prospects that will show up at training camp, Taaffe has some kind of philosophy in mind to start this very new team on the road to a successful future.

I'd guess that the Ticat front office and scouts have feelers out just about everywhere, from college ranks, NFL Europe and NFL candidates who fail to make the grade in that league. to accommodate
Taaffe's philosophy.

I'd further guess that people looking for talent for this organization have been given "Charlie Taaffe Specifics" on what to look for.

Given the smallness of this team at the moment, I find it difficult to speculate any further at the moment. We need more talent! Lots of it!

Wat ever happend to Brooks?? he was doing solid at MLB last year but got hurt, anybody know his status??

I think a new attitude and good competition for jobs will mean at least 1-2 wins this season. And if Maas is healthy all year it could mean some more wins. I think the new coaches should mean some wins,with some good plays and imaginative thinking,like using a tight end now and then and so on. The sounds like it will be better also with the departure of Goss.He might've been a bit of a cancer in the locker room last year,at least it sure seemed that way. This year has gotta be better than last! (I hope I hope!) :thup:

a cancer in the locker room, i dont think so he got along with every1 and was a wicked player not a bad guy at all, just thinngs at home mest him up

Brooks wasn't all that great, certainly no better than what we had in Auggie, or if so, not good enough to keep him around.

Brooks just didnt have the speed and was no better at plugging the run.

Brooks had the intangibles that Auggie doesn't. He DID stop the run better (but with zero effort from Belli, every team ran well against us). He had a better eye for the ball on passing plays, and was a leader on defence.

Auggie was in WAY over his head as starting MLB.

BTW - for the love of all that's holy, GIVE UP ON MONTFORD!!! He's done. Burned his bridges. Crybaby. Why do you think that NO OTHER TEAM signed him last year?

sigpig wrote--BTW - for the love of all that's holy, GIVE UP ON MONTFORD!!! He's done. Burned his bridges. Crybaby. Why do you think that NO OTHER TEAM signed him last year?------- Montford set the Ticat alltime season sack record, and had his best years as a TigerCat- possibly the best DE in CFL ever! AND he should be a candidate for the WALL of Fame- Bring him back as a player coach role!----imho Now back to thread topic !