There are several factors to the reworking of the linebacking that has been the Ticats’ only candidate for best-in-the-league unit over the past three seasons.
The most important was the way Eiben, fitter and faster, arrived in Hamilton like he’d been shot out of a cannon. Which, metaphorically, he was, if you dress the cannon in double blue. He was fitter and faster and more stoked than he had been in some time.
And, because he’s Canadian, Eiben is a ratio breaker and that jibes quite nicely with the way Cortez has been working things during the pre-season. The early evidence is that his application of the import/non-import ratio will be more fluid than we’ve ever seen in this town. He’s looking for a slew of different ways of reaching the minimum seven Canadian starters, and it could change from series to series, so Eiben is a key factor, allowing the Cats to use Americans in other spots where the Canadian talent isn’t quite as buoyant.
And, while he was a league all-star in 2009 and ’10, and the CFL’s most valuable defensive player in 2010, Knowlton’s play fell off for at least the first half of last season. But, as his defensive teammates said at the end of the year, he played hurt much of the season and then-co-ordinator Corey Chamblin’s system wasn’t geared for Knowlton’s unique style, which stems partly from instinct. As beat writer Drew Edwards wrote a couple of years ago, Knowlton had a rare line among CFL defenders, recording good numbers in sacks, interceptions, knock-downs, blocked kicks and tackles. And, he’s the team barber.
Maybe Creehan’s even greater commitment to press and man-to-man defence suits Knowlton even less than Chamblin’s system did...
Hate for this to happen, but if we could trade Knowlton for an experienced DE then Obie should pull the trigger. I would rather have Knowlton playing over Eiben but we can't keep his salary if he's on the bench.
Not sure what to say to this other than, like most others, we know he is one heck of a player but good on Eiben for coming to camp in shape and ready to do it, as long as he is ok with the injury thing.
Knowlton may be sitting, but Ticats Fans will be Standing when we Score a TOUCHDOWN, and on DEFENCE !!
MAKE SOME NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOISE !!!! :rockin:
Excluding the 3 QBs,the 19 dressed imports for friday's game should consist of:3 WRs,including KR,2 OL,5 DL,3 or 2 LBs,5 DBs and 1 or 2 RBs.
If 2 RBs are dressed,there will be only 2 LBs dressed,meaning that Knowlton won't dress/play; in order for him to play,only 1 RB would have to dress/play.
The 1st pre-season game was pitiful for fan noise, I could pretty well hear every conversation going on all around me.I really hope that was just because it was pre-season, our boys wont have a home field advantage if we aren't loud.Spread the word, GO CATS GO!!! :rockin: :rockin:
We will dress at least 3 import linebackers, maybe even 4.
I wouldn't be surprised to see it as:
If not that, then 3 linebackers and a 5th import at either defensive line or in the secondary.
Unless they dress Steele and only four import DLs. In which case, Knowlton could dress and sub in with Steele, with Eiben and one of the DTs coming out.
Flexibility - the reason they brought Eiben in.
The 1st pre-season game was pitiful for fan noise, [b]I could pretty well hear every conversation going on all around me[/b].I really hope that was just because it was pre-season, our boys wont have a home field advantage if we aren't loud.Spread the word, GO CATS GO!!! :rockin: :rockin:Wow, 15C... what section? We couldn't hear ANYTHING other than recorded music/announcer due to the speaker volume near section 30. :D
According to Drew, Knowlton plays better as a free-lancer. Give Knowlton a shot at playing safety. I wouldn't want to go over the middle with him lurking in there. Just a thought. It would be a shame to sit him or let him go.
I think he might be to slow for that and also playing Safety in the CFL is not an easy job just to plug and play a natural linebacker at. But I like the thought process, I wouldn't want to go across the deep middle with a 6', 205lbs safety (who not to mention is a natural linebacker) lurking around, he has also proven he can ball hawk, I feel like he has the most interceptions for us since he has joined the team (12 in the last 5 years). The longer I have been typing this out and thinking about it, this probably isn't as drastic as it first seems...
EDIT: Just went on a little research hunt on Knowlton and he was a Cornerback at North Texas.
Almost assuredly, they will dress five import defensive linemen with Steele being the sixth D-lineman dressed.
I remember seeing him going step-for-step with a couple of pretty fast receivers a couple of years ago. So maybe it's not that wild an idea. I think your original point, that safety isn't a position that just anyone can jump into, is probably true. But Knowlton might just be able to.
I doubt Knowlton still has the wheels to go step for step with top receivers on a regular basis, but the beauty of him playing safety is that he doesn't have to. All he needs to do is use his natural football ability, read the QB's eyes, flow to the football, and come up with knockdowns, ball-separating hits, and/or picks.
Also, in run-support scenarios he would feel right at home.
Yes, good point.
Depending on the outcome and how efficient our defence is against Sask. we should either try Knowlton at Safety or make a trade to BC for a guy like LJ Shell who looks to be a backup nickel linebacker....
Why would you trade your best player on defense ? Smart move by the Tiger-Cats to dress him. Keep the locker room happy…
The 2 best true safeties we ever had were Paul Bennett and Rob Hitchcock, and I don't believe either was faster in his prime than Knowlton is now.
Safety fits Knowlton's free-lance style, although that may not be true in Creehan's defensive schemes, we'll see tomorrow night.
I would like to see Knowlton or JJ at safety, just for a few plays. Would make a BIG difference to receivers thinking about coming across the deep middle.