The upcoming Ti-Cat season

Now that we have hit mid-March and have the upcoming 2015 CFL/Ti-Cat schedule in place, new players signed and many past players returning, I thought it would a good time to ask fellow fans what the Cats need to be successful this season?

When Kent Austin took over in 2013 we made it to the Grey Cup for the first time since 1999 with a high scoring offence led by Henry Burris but it was our Defence that was the problem. In 2014 we had a great defence and special teams and made it back to the Grey Cup but it was our lack of ability by our Offence to score in the Red Zone, (actually we were rated last in the CFL) in that category).

Obviously the Cats need to correct the scoring problem by the offence and score more TD's than field goals. I thought last year that we also needed to stretch the field of play with faster recievers and wide outs so guys like Fantuz and Tasker could get more passes in the mid area and give us a deep threat or two on the outside.

The running game: The fact that we really didn't have a running game with Gable out for the year and Madu on or off the injury list until later in the year when got Madu back and Grigsby signed. If we can get all backs starting off healthy this season we can make it really tough on other teams to stop and should certainly have one of the best backfields in the CFL.

At QB: This will be second season for Collaro's and I'm sure he's settling in and will have a better season out of the gate this year. The question will be if he can lead the offence to become a high scoring team or at least score when it counts?

The new additions at receiver will give Collaro's more options to work with and hopefully a better playbook. The addition of Mathews at QB will give us a good young back up. Masoli has some good strength in his scrambling ability but cannot hang on to the ball, too many fumbles last year. I would like to see McGee given a shot and I guess with LeFevour gone to Montreal, McGee would be sitting around number two with Masoli and Harris.

Our Defence looks good, only question would be key replacements at corner from Delvin Breaux and the secondary. The signings of free agents like Hickman, Norwood and most of the defence returning should give us one of the top defences in the CFL again.

The Special Teams have been solid over the past two seasons now and especially last year with the performance of Banks and the addition of Medlock at kicking/punting, I'm sure this will continue this year.

I'm sure now that Austin and the coaches are into their tryout camps for the team that we may find some new players on the horizon and will make for an interesting camp this year May/June.

Both Ottawa and Montreal have been very active this off-season in signing players as well and should make it very interesting in the East division this year and probably a big improvement over last year.

GO CATS GO!!!

What we need is a way of dealing with deep threat receivers. It's been our Achilles heel for some time. It wasn't so bad when we had Breaux who would lockdown whoever he was up against, but with Montreal running Green, Stamps and Lewis, Sask always dangerous with Getzlaf, Bagg & Dressler, Ottawa now having Ellingson and M.Henry and BC with Arceneaux and Jackson we need to find a way to plug the hole the Breaux left.

If that means more pressure on the QB on the Line, if it means going to zone to have our linebackers help out, if it means signing a DB, so be it. Our run defense has been lockdown, which is great but long passes and big plays remain our great weakness.

It looks like we have a much more settled roster than we have in Austins first two years - so even though we have a tough start to the schedule with lots of road games, I'm thinking that we should have a winning record or at least 500 record by Labour Day - which would be a nice change. And I'm hopeful that with 8 of 10 games at home from the August long weekend to Thanksgiving weekend we should actually be in first place and well above 500 as we head into the stretch.

Anything less - and I think I'd be disappointed.

Thanks BIGCAT!
Finally.....a post that reflects where we are at, now that we are coming out of the winter football doldrums. :thup:

Good Analysis overall except for this......McGee at the moment isn't sitting anywhere as he still remains an unsigned FA and I really don't think that Austin is to concerned about re-signing him. In his two years in Hamilton, McGee never saw the field or a lick of game action.It scares me to think of having Masoli as our 2nd stringer and if Collaros goes down this year with another injury this team will be in a world of hurt if we have to rely on Masoli to take over the starters reins. IMO the biggest loss this team has had in FA is losing LeFevour to the Al's. Austin and Condell seem high on this Matthews kid and Harris was kept around all year on the IL. Let's hope that one of them pans out because I have zero confidence in what I've seen of Masoli when given the opportunity that he can get the job done for this team as a legitimate 2nd stringer,let alone a 1rst stringer replacement in case of injury to Zach.

Who are the "new additions, BIGCAT?"
The only changes among our receivers, this off-season, at least so far that I'm aware of, are Grant, Ellingson and Giguere all gone and only Watt added.

Spencer Watt is one and of course Woodson, we often forget how many times the RB's also catch the ball out of the backfield. I am surprised somewhat that Bakari Grant was not re-signed, I think he adds both good size and hands but apparently he was made an offer but wanted more, who knows, only the player and coach?

With the recent changes of both Ellingson, Giguere gone maybe we will see more of Speedy B, Sinkfeild or McDuffie at WR
along with Spencer Watt and Koch. Hopefully Condell will incorporate a new style to the offence this season and use more speed on the outsides at WR. The long ball was just not there last season, too many two and outs in three down football.

I'm sure with the current and upcoming tryout camps scheduled throughout the US over the next few months that we'll find some good potential players for positions needing to fill.