Strengths and Weaknesses VS Rodblacks (he.. he..) and beyond

After an incredibly tumultuous bye week there are many new faces on the team, yet even more going to the injured list and outright release of non-performers (and surprisingly some that have hung on...). This is how I see things in the big picture...

Strengths:

  1. Keon Raymond will make an immediate impact on a TiCats D that has been ravaged by injuries and outright terrible play. Our starting linebacking corps has to be the best in the league if all three guys play to their potential.

  2. Andy Fantuz has played like a beast the last couple of games and is just 74 yards away from his second 1000 yard season. Barring injury, he'll get that Friday night.

  3. Justin Cappiciotti brings a big pass rush to the defensive end position and is willing to do anything coach-O asks of him. Rush, drop back, cover. A big bonus is that he is a ratio buster. The D-Line hasn't looked better.

  4. QB protection will be improved with Xavier Fulton on the line and C.J. beside our QB to pick up the blitzes and odd man rushes. Campbell moves to his familiar right side.

Weaknesses:

  1. I am floored that Cassius Vaughn has not been released. His play is nothing short of unacceptable. Way too far off of the receivers, beat on deep balls, terrible tackling and taking stupid penalties. I am very concerned that with Ellis along side that their side of the field will get lit up all night long.

  2. Toliver has been playing quite well with what are apparent nagging injuries but with both Tasker and Owens out of the lineup we have a very limited long ball arsenal of receivers. The Rodblacks will key on short and intermediate pass routes.

  3. The running game has all but been abandoned so far. With C.J. back and a more mobile Q.B. will we see this important facet of the game return? If not, it will hurt us in our final regular season games and the playoffs as the oppositions D-line keys off on the passer.

  4. The number of key injured players continues to be a huge concern as we head into the final stretch of games. No Zack, Tasker, Owens, Murray, Shuerman, Sears, Stephen, Lewis and Washington just to name a small portion of the list.

Unknowns:

  1. Spencer Watt who has been out on an island most of the time has been solid when relied upon. Will he get enough balls thrown his way to make an impact?

  2. Which Masoli will show up. A decent record at 3 - 3. As we saw in Edmonton he has proven himself to be quite capable. How will he manage the game? How much will Kent ask of him? Is he feeling confident?

  3. Good Hank or bad Hank... The super whiner shows up in The Hammer after crying into every camera that is put up to his face. Will he blow it on a pressure play or will he be steady? Simoni could have a big influence on that.

  4. Special teams. Banks hasn't hit paydirt in a while and the team needs that and decent returns to flip the field. Ottawa will have a decent return game.

  5. Will Chiles become a weapon at some point? Not much from him so far.

I do expect this to be a very entertaining game with the Cats coming out on top in front of a very raucous crowd.

Your thoughts...

I can agree with most of the strengths - but we do have to remember that these new players have had to learn on the fly and as a result could miss a play or two. Hopefully nothing that hurts the team's chances too much.

Vaughn hasn't been great - I can definitely agree with that but you do have to consider what alternative does the team have? Chris Davis, Travis (I think) Lee?? Both had their chance and didn't prove to be effective.

As for the receivers - Fantuz has been great and VERY fortunately has NOT been injured so far this season so keeping my fingers crossed that he continues to be healthy with so many other weapons out of the lineup. Chiles has had more time to absorb the offense so can hopefully contribute more (note Elliott isn't ready to start). Watt has been effective when called upon so might get more looks.

As for old Hank - here's hoping that our DL can bring out "Bad Hank" but HB is going to be very motivated to keep his starting job which he just got back. If Simoni gets after him (or any of the other front 7) then he might be forced into making some mistakes. Looking for E Davis or Daly to have a pick or two.

Should be a good game and I doubt either team is going to blow out the other. Looking for a Ticats victory of course.

Shall we use this as the PBP Thread (since the game is on now)?

TD TOLLIVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!