Objectively and Peacefully: Hamilton and Toronto's Offseason

To hopefully generate some conversation about one of the league's biggest rivalries, I was wondering what people thought of the offseasons of both Hamilton and Toronto. I think both clubs have improved and should have better years. I'm not sure if either of them is Grey Cup worthy (not with Winnipeg and Montreal in our division also), but they should both field more competitive teams.

Your thoughts?

Toronto favored to win 96th Grey Cup


I really don’t see Toronto as having improved to the point where they could be Grey Cup favourites.

Their big acquisition is Kerry Joseph, and while he was last year’s MVP, I have never really been sold on him as a starting QB. Let’s face it, he was pretty dreadful in the Grey Cup game, the Riders’ victory is only because Winnipeg had to use a backup with minimal playing time.

Add to that the problems they will have in the dressing room with a Bishop~Joseph controversy, and I foresee trouble ahead. Mind you I’ve never thought too much of Bishop as a starting QB either.

Coaching might be a problem too. The last time the Argos promoted a great defensive coordinator to the head coaching position it was Gary Etcheverry, and he fell flat on his face and had to be canned midway through his first season.

Their defence has been solid for several years, but they are starting to get a bit long in the tooth.

So, rather than being Grey Cup contenders, I think the Argos are going to have a difficult time of it this year.

Now, if Boston can perform up to his abilities, they have added a significant game breaker, but I doubt both Joseph and Bishop being able to accurately get him the ball enough.

As for the Cats, I need to see what the receiving corps and defensive lines are going to look like before I make any predictions.

I am not sure about the specifics of each teams off-season, as I tend to make my assessments based on my impression of each team.

I think our beloved Tiger-Cats have improved in the recruitment of import talent, and the coaching staff which was an area of weakness last year seems to be much more of a strength. The one thing that I am most excited about is the fact that the young Canadian talent the Tiger-Cats have acquired over the past couple seasons has another season and off-season under their belts. Most people recognize that Canadian talent takes time to develop, and I think this season you will see that begin to show.

On the negative side, I still think the team lacks either a proven #1 receiver that can be counted on to make big plays, and overall the import talent still could use some improvement. But you never know what will be unearthed during training camp with the amount of players Obie and Dan Rambo have signed.

All in all, I would be happy with an 8 - 10 record, contention for the post-season, and a step in the right direction which will make Hamilton a desirable place for potential players to play. We have the fan support, now we just need the team to match!

As for that blue team up the QEW, I don't follow them too much, so I would be interested to hear an ____'s fan give me a relatively unbiased opinion of their 2008 edition.

The only thing I am going to say about them is that I think the loss of Pinball Clemons to the front office will be felt a lot more with the players than most people recognize.


  • paul


I've heard some serious arm wrestling goin on between Stubbler and Football Operations guys...

Will the defense continue to be dominant? Can O'Shea continue to play 18 games ?

Will Younger's replacement fill his shoes?

Kerry Joseph and Ebell give the Argos a running game but the Oline is nothing special.

Interesting year for Toronto but still at worst a .500 ball team and might be better.

Hamilton: Huge disapointment for me so far.

Yes young NI talent will be a little more seasoned. The games that Lumsden will be healthy the Ticats will have a nice running game.

Will Printers Lead???

Secondary still has the least talent in the CFL and Barker will need time. I am not even certain he will be at camp. I would not be surprised to see him traded. You can't expect him to start at Safety this year, especially in that secondary.

Still short a go to receiver and no team in the league will give them one.

I am not a Bellefeuille fan but he has never had personel to fit his system as well as he has with the Ticats. If he can't make it there (providing they give him a receiver) he can't coach in this league. I wish him the best but he's never mounted a dominant offense in the PRO's.

Obilovich better hope some squads dump some talent during camp season due to SMS.

At this point Hamilton looks to me like a 5 and 13 team. If everyone stays healthy and holes can be filled could win 7 or 8 games.

Unfortunately still the weakest team in the East by a fair margin but could be better then Edmonton.

Good insight in all of the previous posts..and the jury is still out on Rich Stubler as Head Coach.
However we have the same problem too. How will Charlie do this year with what appears to be better talent? To me this will be a make or break year for Charlie. I want to see him get Coach of the Year this season but I am concerned about the lack of discipline last year..and the moments during those dark hours in mid-season where he looked lost.
Obie says he has confidence in him so I have my fingers crossed for you Charlie!

"never really been sold on him as a starting QB"

The guy has thrown at least 25 TDs in the past 4 seasons. Passed for close to 5,000 yards every season.
A 1,000 yard scrambling QB that can make things happen. Also tied the record for TDs in a single season by a QB. This guy should've been a Ticat 3 years ago.

And you say "I'm not really sold on this guy as a QB"!!! What does he have to do to convince you that he is a QB?? Oh yes he had an average Grey Cup game playing against one of the top defensive teams, he only threw one great TD pass and rushed for another but thats just average I guess.
I would say the guy is the best QB in the league and now has made the Argos the definate contender for the top in the East this year.

I think you will find a lot of people that aren't as high on Kerry Joseph as some. But with that said, he is still one of the best in the league.

What makes him dangerous is his running ability. In today's CFL where defenses have improved greatly in their ability to stop the pass by blitzing and clogging the lanes for running backs, Kerry Joseph dominates due to his ability to run.

Is he a traditional pocket passer who will win games with his arm? Not really. Is he suited for today's CFL? For sure.

The ____'s have got themselves a good quarterback. I would be more concerned with his age and injuries more than anything. But I guess that is why they will keep Michael Bishop around.

  • paul

I think the blue team was extremely foolish to release Anthony Davis. They trade a starting SB (Frank Murphy) for him and then let him go. Fools..

That's part of the arm wrestling going on, there is more :slight_smile:

Oh, I knew I'd get jumped on for that one. I can't argue the statistics, and I can't really put my finger on it, but there's just something about KJ that makes me uneasy with him as a starter. Gut feeling, nothing more nothing less.

Couldn't agree more. This IS a make it or break year for Charlie; with the nonsense surrounding his flirtation with a US college position, I expect him to be on a bit of a short leash this season; produce or be gone. And mr62cats you hit the nail on the head about the lack of team discipline last year (i.e. too many men penalties in games late in the season); that speaks to a coach who had lost control of his bench, and that is a dangerous sign. Major improvement needed there, hope we see it this year.

I've got nothing in particular against Kerry Joseph, but I do enjoy a good argument. And now that he's an Argo it's fun to take him down a notch.

"Close to 5,000 yeards every season"

  • Reality (last 5 years): 4002, 3489, 4466, 2762, 3694. In fact, nowhere close to 5,000 - not even once.

"At least 25 TDs in the past 4 seasons"

  • Reality: 24, 22, 25, 13

"1,000 yard scrambling QB"

  • Reality: 737, 592, 1,006, 418. If anyone recalls, in 2005 when he ran for 1,000 it was because his coach (who was dressed in a Hawaiian shirt as some form of protest) called nothing but QB draws in the last game, even though Joseph was actually hurt at the time, for the sole reason that Joseph was entitled to a bonus if he reached 1,000 yards. In my mind that is a tainted record.

It's all here: http://www.cfl.ca/index.php?module=rost ... &ros_id=50

As for the MVP: I challenge anyone to show me an MVP-winning QB from the past 30 years with less impressive stats than Joseph had last year. I'm not saying last year was a fluke year for Joseph - I'm saying it was a decent season that would not get you the MVP award except in a year where there were very few standouts.

I think as with any QB the system suited him well and he is the kind of QB that can make a play till he's tackled and on the ground.

Stubbler's no Austin but there isn't a better way to get more "insight" in to that playbook then bringing in the starting QB who knows it :wink:

I think Kerry Joseph's stat line may be more of reflection of a new (maybe not as desirable) era of defensive CFL football. Scoring is down in the league overall as defenses have begun to outpace their offensive counterparts. With that said, Kerry Joseph and Henry Burris were the most valuable players to their respective teams because without them, both teams stink!

But I am with you to a certain degree, he just doesn't inspire confidence like quarterbacks of yesteryear, but he does have a Grey Cup ring. We can't take that away from him.

If he makes more than 14 starts this upcoming season, I will be shocked.

  • paul

KJ and CP are very much alike, big, strong athletic guys who can create alot on their own, however other than the addition of KJ, the Argos really arent any better only older.

The Cats have added a couple of reasonable receivers, have a much better running game.

The Argos however had the best D in the league last year, and there are no indications that this will change dramatically. The cats have problems at most of the Key defensive spots (replacing Armour and Cody) and in general are weak on both O and D lines.

This being said, here are my predictions for 2008 in the east. These are based on a reasonably healthy year, as we know injuries can destroy even the best team.

  1. Winnipeg...with Glenn, they are pretty tough, 14-4

  2. Montreal....13-6.... Off season additions will make the Als better. Brady will develop into a capable backup and gradually take over from AC.

  3. Toronto......10-8. Team chemistry is the question here. If KJ lights it up, with their D, they could be as good as 14-

  4. Hamilton...sorry guys...too many question marks on D. A few players short on O.....6-12 at best.

Wow, you think Winnipeg is that good? And Montreal? I see you are an Al's fan but remember the title of this thread contains the word "objectively."

I am thinking more like:

Winnipeg 11-7
Toronto 10-8
Montreal 8-10
Hamilton 7-11

Every team in the division has a weakness. I would say Winnipeg's is it's lack of depth on offense at key positions. Montreal's is A.C.'s age, as well as, a coaching staff with little to no CFL experience, Toronto's I think would be the fact that an again defense carried them for most of the year and they can't expect that every year, and Hamilton's is that they are a young team lacking import talent.

With that all said, injuries are the great unknown.

  • paul

I agree fully with paullywood, for the reasons he stated.

Hamilton is improved, talent-wise, but our undoing (unless things change with more signings) is lack of a deep threat, #1 receiver speedster (Miles and Armstead are #2 receivers at best) and lack of a D-Line that can pressure the QB.

I see it this way:

Winnipeg 13-5
Toronto 10 -8
Edmonton 8-10<Cross over.
Hamilton 6-12
Montreal 4-14

Bombers are Still Same team last year little Change
Toronto add KJ and That gets them to 10 wins
Edmonton Crossover cause Hamilton and Montreal are Rebuilding

The Ti cats Will be Better
They Have Too Many new Faces with Very Little CFL Experience It will Take them to Labour day to jell.

Montreal Will be mess a Head Coach no CFL Experience
A Huge Roster Turnover This will year Pop is Fired..