"When you're hot, you're hot"

when you're not, you're not. "Catchy" phrase from a hit tune from the '70s and it seems, the theme song of the 2011 TiCats.

Personally, they drive me crazy this year with their totally opposite performances. Potential Grey Cup winners one week, would-be cellar dwellers the next.

Even though the Argos (next opponent) and other teams will have game film to view and plan against the newest TiCat wrinkles, let's hope the new personnel changes and offensive mindset are enough to keep the team in the "hot" category for the remainder of the year.

Though the spotty defence is still a major concern.

The strange this about this 2011 CFL season, is that you can say exactly the same for every team in the league (with the exception of the blew team).

I agree with this 100%. Every team has shown brilliance and also dreadful performances!

There's been a few games where we should of won, except for 2nd half meltdowns (Winnipeg x2, and Calgary). And then look at how Winnipeg can beat Montreal 2 weeks ago, and then lose a game against the Argo's.

That is why I love this league, this year. Although I have been disappointed with a few performances by our team, the parity makes it fun to watch the league as a whole!

The hottest team in the league is the Lions, and not looking forward to playing them (especially with Bruce now) but next week we should go in to TO and make noise and walk out with the win.

Hope K.Jones and the offence can put together a couple different plays in their book that the Argos or fans won't expect!


And, you're most likely to be hot when the coaches realize who their offensive play-makers are, dress them, and employ plays that get the ball into the hands of those play-makers in a way that is most likely to give them a chance to use their individual skills to make little plays into big plays. IMHO, the Cats' play-makers in order, with the best on top, are:

  1. Chris Williams
  2. Thigpen
  3. Cobourne
  4. Terry Grant (I think we should have seen him prior to this, based on his performance in training camp, and, had we, I'm guessing I'd be listing him higher)

I would have included Bruce as #3 if he were still here. However, I do not disagree with the decision to let him go.

I'm thrilled with what the coaches' and play-makers did in Moncton. But, I do question why it has taken so long to see this theory put into action, when the top play-makers have been around so long. I can only assume that the coaches do not believe in this approach to offence or they have believed, all season, that the two tall rookie receivers where their #2 and #3 best play-makers.

From what I can gather, the coaches were thinking that the best strategy was to have players on the field with the best chance of catching the ball deep downfield. And it sounds logical that a tall player with good hands would be that player. So they brought a couple in. The problem with this strategy is that the longer the pass, the less likely it'll be caught when contested, even with tall players who can catch. Especially if you don't have a quarterback who can through a good deep ball.

Fortunately, they also hedged their bets by bringing in / keeping some very fast elusive players in case their first strategy failed (which it did). And the new strategy, getting the ball into the hands of those fast elusive players with room to run, either short or deep, looks to be working a lot better.

I just wonder how long it would have taken the coaches to come around to this way of thinking had Kelly not been injured early on, forcing them to add Williams to the active roster.

More on this from Steve Milton's Spec article:

[url=http://www.thespec.com/sports/ticats/article/600492--speed-kills-at-least-it-did-in-moncton]http://www.thespec.com/sports/ticats/ar ... in-moncton[/url]

Some of the article's KEY POINTS COPIED HERE:

"Engaged in the long ordeal of trying becoming a model franchise, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have usually strived to maintain a certain type of balance on the field.

They’ve always kept one eye on the standings and another on a planned talent development process, conceding they’ve sometimes taken one step backward hoping to result in two or three forward.

The endgame is to improve so much at every position that eventually you become Upper Canada’s Montreal Alouettes: challenging in every game and every season, and winning most of them; changing a few players each year to keep the motor finely tuned but never having to break down the entire engine.

But the Cats put part of that balance on hold last week, faced with a sub.-500 record and finally admitting to themselves that which is so hard to admit: They cannot go toe-to-toe with the rest of the league and be much better than sea level. In other words, they don’t, and won’t, have enough talent this year to be an elite team.

So Marcel Bellefeuille and his coaches looked within for answers to their season-long conundrum: With the team likely to continue to surrender some big plays, how could they reduce a few of them against and create many more of them for? And do the only thing that matters in the final third of a season, which is win.

Their conclusion was simple. Look at the resources on hand and ramp up the speed. If you aren’t outmanning them, try to outrun them.

Elements of this were already in place on defence with Markeith Knowlton, Jamall Johnson, the off-season addition of Rey Williams and last fall’s acquisition of Stevie Baggs.

It escalated on offence a few weeks ago when undersized sprinter/high jumper Chris Williams ran his way into the receiving spot held down by the proven, but slower, Arland Bruce.

But it really skipped into high gear over the weekend when fairly fleet and very slippery Marcus Thigpen got his first start of the year erasing the “tall? receiver spot formerly co-occupied by Aaron Kelly and Bakari Grant, with another couple of giants looming in the wings. Size scares, but speed kills.

And, with Thigpen a regular part of the offence, the hybrid role that he sometimes played — kind of a semi-tailback, semi-slot receiver — opened up for Terry Grant, whose wheels rotate like he’s starring in a Roadrunner cartoon.

Williams was starting to draw the quick, veteran defensive backs, which affected how often he was open, but which team has three of those types? Not the Calgary Stampeders, it turns out. They were faced with Williams and Thigpen, and often Grant coming at them in a weaving blur. Grant also was a speedy counterpart to Avon Cobourne on certain series.

In the passing game, Williams had the extra attention and Kevin Glenn found the other two for critical receptions, including several big plays: a 21-yarder from Grant and a complete, brilliant menagerie from Thigpen"

So, the "COLES NOTES VERSION" would be:

The Ti-Cats coaches' main plan is/has been to "develop talent," but while also "keeping an eye on the standings." They admit to having sometimes "taken one step backwards, while HOPING to take two or three steps forward." Recently, that "one eye on the standings" caused them to realize "they don't, and won't this season, have the talent to go toe-to-toe with the rest of league." And, I expect they also realized that their chance of making the playoffs might be close to slipping away. So, "they took a look within" for answers to "their season-long conundrum" and "the conclusion was simple."

Hopefully, on offence at least, they see today that there is, and has been, plenty of talent right there in the dressing room that, for some reason, wasn't being used, I guess, because it wasn't on their development list.

I don’t get the “Every team has shown brilliance and also dreadful performances” theory.

Either a team won because it played brilliantly, -or- a team lost because it played dreadfully. It is not usually both. A team that won when the other team played dreadfully did not play brilliantly. And a team that lost to a team that was playing brilliantly did not necessarily play that dreadfully.

As fans we are way too quick to give our team all the credit or all the blame for the outcome of any given game.

And for the record: Calgary did not play badly on Sunday. The Ticats played very well.

Just one example was Kevin Glenn who completed several big passes in the face of very scary pass rushes. Just check out the TSN highlight videos, to see Kevin’s willingness to take a hit for the team in both of Thigpen’s TD receptions. Had the Calgary defenders been just a half a step faster Kevin would have been crushed and Marcus would never have seen the ball.

I think we all agree with your second statement, but Coach Huf begs to differ go with your first.

[url=http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/Calgary/2011/09/28/18749501.html]http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Football/CFL/ ... 49501.html[/url]

Looking at QBs in the league I would say that pound for pound Kevin Glenn is the best QB in the league right now.
All the others are pretty inconsistent.