HT Blog: Five Things We Know So Far In TigerTown

Seven games are in the books and Hamilton heads into their bye week at 4-3. Despite their most recent loss in Saskatchewan, The Tiger-Cats sit in 2nd place in the East Division and in a tie for 2nd place overall. While there is still plenty of ball left (11 games to be exact), here are five things that we've learned about the Ticats to this point:

These guys are (finally) good

No longer the whipping boys in the CFL; after a shaky week 1 loss to Toronto, Hamilton has been a tough opponent every week. In week two they went in to BC and upset the Lions as 16.5-point underdogs. Week three saw Hamilton squeeze out a home win against Winnipeg. Week four, despite a 13-point loss in Montreal, Hamilton had plenty of opportunity to score in the redzone and simply could not deliver on the road against what was an immortal Alouettes team. In week five and six Hamilton beat BC and Edmonton, respectively, at home as underdogs in both games and just this weekend the Tiger-Cats erased a 23-point deficit at halftime, only to eventually fall in hostile Saskatchewan territory. There's winning...and then there's winning when you're not supposed to. It's Hamilton's ability to reach down deep against unfavorable odds that is most encouraging. Other teams take notice, and there's something unsettling about playing against a team without quit.

Quinton Porter has room to grow

Seems hard to believe that a six-foot five, 230 pound, 26 year old can still grow. Hamilton committed to the young Porter as their quarterback from day one in training camp and they've stuck with him -- despite using the hook on Quinton three times this year in favour of the veteran Kevin Glenn. But the team and the quarterbacks acknowledge that this was the plan from day one. Porter's "the guy" but there will be no hesitation in replacing him with Glenn if he falters. To this point, Porter has still started every game and the team plans to stay the course. At this rate, Porter should continue to progress into the quarterback he's been projected to be. He's been great, he's been serviceable and he's been downright awful. Isn't that exactly what you would expect in a young American quarterback who is growing in to the Canadian game? Now if only the team can simulate Saskatchewan weather for him in practice.


[url=] ... tigertown/[/url]

Ummmm..... that's two.

What happened to the other 3 things we know so far ?? I liked the first 2 …

Couldn't be that he only posted two to attract our attention and get us to put more hits on his blog would it? Surely not. . .


On the offensive

Despite some inconsistencies at quarterback, the Tiger-Cat offense is among the top in the league…on paper. Yes, “that’s why they play the game? but a talented offense often translates into wins in the Canadian game. Deandra Cobb has rushed for 429 yards, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. A lot of the credit in the running game has to go to the offensive line as well. Cobb has been able to hit his second and third levels untouched at times. Oh, and remember two-time West Division All-Star and 2006 West Division Most Outstanding Player, runningback Kenton Keith? Well coming off an injury, he hasn’t even been factored in to the Cats offense yet. Prechae Rodriguez and Arland Bruce III highlight a talented receiving corpse that has matchup difficulties written all of it for opposing defenses. It looks as though the offense is still trying to hit its stride but it should only be a matter of time before the offense produces at an elite level.

On the defensive

Even Angelo Mosca has to be impressed by this young, fast defense. Because the offense has been so inept over the last four or five seasons, it’s been tough to gauge a mostly gassed Ticat defense that has spent three-quarters of games on the field. But this year, the defense has finally been able to showcase what has been a shutdown secondary and blazing linebacking core. The defensive line doesn’t have the sack numbers to brag about but they’ve had quarterbacks on the move and throwing in a hurry all season. The most important aspect of the defense might be at the top. In what could potentially go down as the best free agent signing in recent Tiger-Cat history, defensive coordinator Greg Marshal has his unit meshing and making plays. All you can ask for in a CFL defense is to give the offense every opportunity to win games, and that’s exactly what they’ve done; chipping in with some big, game changing plays themselves.

Ivor Win Stadium

Once upon a time, Ivor Wynne Stadium was a scary place to play. Not only was the home team good, but it was tough to ignore the intimate setting. There are stadiums that can claim that “the fans are practically right on you? — but at Ivor Wynne, there’s nothing practical about it. The fans are literally overtop of the dugouts and only several feet separate the first rows of fans and the players. The problem in the recent is past was that the teams were push-overs and the fans were out of the game by the mid-way point of the third quarter. This team has given fans something to cheer about, and it’s led to a 3-1 home record. The only blemish was a flat season opener performance against the Argos.