Greetings Ladies & Gents!
The TiCats have a true test of their recent growth & increasing success as a team this Friday evening. What better way to test where they are as a team than a road trip to the left coast against the Lions!
As far as keys to the game I thought I'd break it down a little differently this time. First is preparation/travel. Second is the three phases of the game. Third is the game within the game.
I'll start with my first key to victory & add to it in later posts in order to break it up & not irritate people with its extensive length. (Or more accurately ... As Mrs. FG says ... stop writing so much! No one cares you verbose bag of verbal diarrhea!)
Key #1 - Preparation & Travel
It appears that the TiCats are getting healthy while other teams are having to now deal with injury. Continuity is something that has been mentioned by the coaching staff as well as others on this forum many times. With a relatively healthy line-up, one that should basically be the same as last game outside of perhaps one player, the TiCats can focus their practice and preparation upon expanding the playbook rather than just figuring out who can play where & what they need to know.
They're in the enviable position to continue to add wrinkles both offensively and defensively. My personal sense is that we've seen only 20 to 25% of Coach Austin & Condell's playbook offensively. On Defense, as players get used to playing beside each other more & more, they can take more chances, be more aggressive, and Coach Steinhauer can bring pressure from even more places & at different times & different angles.
I'll expand upon this later, as long as Mrs. FG doesn't lock the WiFi, but I think practice & preparation will see Hamilton continue to expand LeFevour's play package as well as other wrinkles including some on ST's. Not necessarily saying "trick" plays, just expanding and evolving the playbook. Building upon previous successes and displayed tendencies. As stated earlier, I think we've only seen a glimpse of what Coach Austin & Condell have planned this season and are being very calculated in opening it up little by little each week!
But my NUMBER 1 KEY IS ... Prepping for & traveling to & getting acclimated in Vancouver!
Hydration. Hydration. Hydration! The key is not only hydrating during the flight, (at least 8 ounces of water per hour, so 32 ounces in all or even more for Davis, Brian, Figs & Big Pete!), but the REAL key is hydrating before the flight. I know I'm sounding like my mother, or any of our mother's for that matter, but eat Bananas for the potassium & BP management in altitude. Replace electrolytes. Stay away from alcohol & caffeine (This means you Dyakowski & Wojt ... the caffeine I mean!) Hydration. Move around the cabin. Hydration. Move around the cabin. I know this sounds like mothering these guys, but this may be the first time for a lot of the young guys have had to travel 4 plus hours in the air & cross 3 time zones & play a game!
I'm assuming that the team is flying out Thursday. Conduct walk through Thursday afternoon @ BC Place. Settle in Thursday night. Go through normal game day preparation on Friday. KEY HERE IS TO GET IN A GOOD WORKOUT ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING! Exercising in your new time zone is the best way of acclimating yourself to a new time zone.
Granted ... it's easier on your body to travel westward ... but special attention has to be paid attention since this will be a new experience for many of the rookies and young players on Hamilton's roster!
Next ... We'll look at the Game Plan & Player Match-Up Keys ...