What's Wrong in Hamilton ?

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By Stories by John Kernaghan
The Hamilton Spectator
(Jul 4, 2007)
You could call yesterday Turnaround Day for the Tiger-Cats.

That's the shift when Saturday's woes were given a final airing in the morning and prepping for the Argos visit this weekend began in the afternoon.

So there was an optimistic air in Ticatland born of knowing what they had done wrong and the prospect of redemption.

But there was one more session with the media to cover the many missteps in the season-opening 37-9 loss in Calgary.

On defence, said veteran back Wayne Shaw, "guys were nervous, were trying to do too much, covering for another guy and not taking care of their own area. We've got to learn from that and be calmer."

Head coach Charlie Taaffe termed the coverage errors differently, as in "discipline with gap responsibility. You can't be running around carelessly with a quarterback like that (Calgary's Henry Burris)."

He noted it made for embarrassing viewing as players got to live their mistakes a second and third time in video sessions.

They were equal opportunity sessions, though, as breakdowns occurred right through the roster.

And as if it was not already abundantly clear, Taaffe reiterated that Jason Maas was his No.1 quarterback.

When a TV reporter explained that editors want the quarterback question asked, the new Ticat coach said those editors should see the video he does, the clips showing a 17-of-23 passer Saturday.

Maas made some mistakes, he allowed, but others' mistakes hurt him, too.

Jesse Lumsden, arguably Hamilton's best player along with kicker Nick Setta, provided a strong endorsement for the quarterback.

"Jason is an outstanding quarterback. There is no doubt in my mind that he can lead us to victory after victory after victory."

Three Ws in a row would certainly silence the doubters.

Maas picked up Taaffe's theme that if critics looked close at the video evidence, they'd see how close the team was to creating a tighter game.

"When you look at the film and you see we were a play away here and there from making it a much different game, those are the things you have to stay positive about."

But Maas said it doesn't get any easier in facing a stingy Argo defence Saturday.

"They're just good at what they do. And I know everybody wants me to throw downfield this week, but if you try to make your living against Toronto that way, it's a long game."

jkernaghan@thespec.com

905-526-3422

IMO, Maas does not have what it takes to get it done in this league anymore and the sooner the coaching staff admits it the better off the TiCats will be.

I dont think its entirely Maas' fault. If you are in your own end zone, why would the OC call a play where you have to throw a ball ACROSS the field? The receiver fumbled and the Stamps got the easiest TD Ive seen a team score. I would have run the ball on that series of downs-- even if you do a two-and-out, giving up a safety would have been preferrable to giving up 7.

They are not far off but yes Sambo I have stated that as well in the Hamilton forum. What coach in his right mind would do this play? But I think the whole problem stems from continual coaching changes. No consistancey in the coaching cuasing their offense to never be able to put it together.

Was that Maas's first read ? If so he should have seen the double coverage and looked him off or tossed into the stands. The coaches only call a play, it's the qb's job to read the situation and make the best choice, clearly Maas maybe lacking in that department as well has having a sore arm.

I would bet that it was called by the OC.

Just a poor choice by the OC. If you give up a safety, then kick off, you gain field position. The game was not out of reach for the Cats when that play happened.

Becareful Cahrlie might hire you. Yes that would have been the right thing to do. I heard from a TC fan that the coaches are new to the CFL other then Charlie is that true? And if it is then it is going to be a quick learning curve.

It's not such a bad play, if the receiver has only one man to beat and some space to juke, he might get away and go, but Ralph had two guys on him like schat to a blanket, the ball should never have been thrown to him, period.

You could see that was going to fail as soon as it was thrown. Very bad play and killed any chance of coming back IMO. But like they say you learn from mistakes and Hamilton made lots of them. But this is what happens when you have no consistancey in your offensive game plan. Thats hope they do not do any more coach changes for the next 5 years. They are a young team and will slowly put it together. I am glad to get this game over with. They beat us last year late in the season. and yes we have to play them again.

is dennis mcphee still d-line coach with the ti-cats?

No.. Mike Nelson is

Since we are talking about that throw in the endzone that was fumbled. . .
Did anybody see how inaccurate the throw was?
The receiver had to jump a foot off the ground to get the ball! By the time he had it secured, he was group tackled and fumbled.
A short throw, in the endzone, with two guys covering should be accurately placed to help the receiver juke or do what he does afterwards.
But the receiver had no chance, other than not catching the ball.

(No, I could not do any better than Jason Maas.)

haha aight, i didnt think so, but i was curious where he is now. i used to live down the street from him when he was coaching at StFX back when they went all the way to the vanier cup and blew the game in the 2nd half.

The whole problem to begin with the play selection. Maas had to throw the ball to the wide side of the field, it may have been wiser to try that to the short side. I would have stuck to the ground, maybe Lumsden gets you 5 yds. Hamilton had a lot of penalties on that offensive series and that killed them just as much as that one play did. I would much rather give up 2pts, than have a receiver fumble and give the other side an easy 7pts, and deflating your team.

perhaps the oc calls such short plays because he knows jason’s arm is weak.

why else would a new OC call the same short plays as last years OC?

cuz both OC’s have the same lousy QB!!!

Well, IMO, Chang looked good. . . . until the pick.

His arm, on some short passes, were thrown as fast as Zeus throwing bolts of lightning to a team that needed a jolt of something.

Plus , IMO, his name is great for expanding the CFL market.

There are a lot of family's with the last name Chang, in Canada. (I think)

It's good to see players from all over North America coming to play CFL.

Go Hawaii !!!!

Anyone wanna bet Machocia would welcome Maas back in Edmonton with open arms.

I think there has been lots of coach and personnel change. I wouldn't write them off yet.

why would the esks want to waste valuable cap space on a has-been like maas?

chang looks confident and very capable of leading the ticats from game 3 onward…he can only get better with more playing time, while maas is just getting worse.

Or because both Offensive Co-ordinator's favour Offensive Systems
which stress short pass plays to maintain possession of the ball.

umm...no.

why then, would they attack downfield the moment chang came in?...did they get a new OC?