Where do we go from here?
It was a horrible season, easily the worst of the Kent Austin era.
Does Kent continue his mission to bring this team a grey cup or does he hop on over to MTL to assume the Hc/Gm duties?
Do we keep Brandon Banks?
Do we try to aquire Franklin or perhaps an experienced backup?
(Ricky Ray at a discount if hes cut)
Will Dyakowski be back?
Lots of question marks this offseason. IMO blowing up the team would be completely counter productive. We have some good pieces and some not so good pieces.
Chick deserves to be here, id love to see Chad Owens back. I would be open to trading Tracy and starting Capiciotti. Fulton and Campbell could be solid bookends but imo we NEED a new OL coach and we need a new secondary coach. Id actually be in favour of a defensive coach/ assistant that could emphasize tackling. I remember last years D alot of the emphasis was on getting to the ball as soon as the catch was made or the ball handed off and it was great. Screen passes went for little or nothing, a 10 yard catch didnt become a 35 yard catch...
Where do we go from here?
Don't panic you've got two very horrible teams in Montreal and Toronto in your division. TO has Willy, we're F ed.
Only one place to go.
That fact is not in dispute, but you have to agree that he was coaching with two hands tied behind his back with a_ the defection by Tommy Condell; and b) the enormous number of injuries to our starters (and their backups).
He’s still under contract, I doubt that the team will fire him.
I don’t put the blame on Banks, he has had virtually NO blocking (unless it was an Illegal Block) all season. Should they bring in competition for K/P returner/WR? Of course, but I wouldn’t simply cut him out-of-hand…
Nope, IMHO we are fine with Masoli, especially since he signed an extension this year. Franklin may get a LOT of looks from Montreal. I won’t comment on your RR suggestion…
He certainly didn’t have a good year, did he? I think that the injuries have piled up on him all at once, and he is simply not a good starting Guard anymore. As a veteran backup, I think having him on the team is a huge upside. We seem to have a few good young O-Linemen, so I see Pete’s role diminishing next year.
Next year's team will be better than the one that finished this year, with a lot of players coming back from injuries. The question now is which replacement players do we keep around. I'm thinking Tyms won a spot for himself. Perhaps Page as well, as I don't think he go burned at all today. (And if can return punts....) Revenberg for sure, probably pushing Dyakowski out unfortunately.
I was hoping to be and was surprised by the receivers in today's line up especially Tyms - he's our big play threat that we were missing all year since Sinkfield left. He suddenly makes us better there.
I loved our Front 4 Today with the addition of Nevins. Chick had a phenominal last few games. Solid with today's 4.
The challenge is will Collaros get back to his old self as he was prior to the concussions and knee injuries...you don't have do much to get me started on what I think Masoli could have done. He stood up big time when we needed him and bailed Austin out last year and this year. Austin has a lot invested in Zach. We'll see.
Kicker has a strong leg, but we may need an updgrade in consistency there.
I think Collaros is still not back to his normal self, even 1150tsn agrees. But I would stick with Collaros unless you can
make a trade for Reilly (who is up for free agency). Bring in competition with Banks. And pick up some help on run
defence. Also keep all the injured DB’s we have. We need some depth there. :thup:
Dyakowski as OLine Coach? :rockin:
More so than most years, I'd say this year-end review of each player's season, needs to simultaneously look at how many dollars, paid to the player, counted against $5.5M SMS limit and how much "bang for those bucks" the team got.
Some of the big dollars spent, for which the return was not as expected, need to be moved over to areas of weakness when putting together next year's team.
Of course they aren't going to blow up the team! There were many great Ticats players standing on the sidelines - in CIVVIES. This team had the highest number of player games lost to injury last season and I believe it has been even worse this season.
Yes there are some holes to fill as there always will be on any team. I hope that they can find some healthy bodies for the secondary as it seemed everyone that they planned to start this year got injured either in training camp or early in the season. There are players on the roster who didn't see the field for many games this year - if at all (Butler, Washington e.g.).
Austin isn't going anywhere - nor is Zach as they both signed big extensions. I don't think that there are as many potential FAs this off season either so many of the players are going to be back to form a solid core for the team. I'd like to see them keep Andy although he'll miss most of the season, and Owens who should be back and can provide that much needed veteran presence for the receivers.
We can only hope and pray that the injury bug moves on - preferably west! - and the Ticats can have a healthier season which, IMO, would probably be a much more productive season in 2017.
I can't even remember why Medlock wasn't resigned...pity to see him breaking records on the Bombers. As far as Masoli, he should have played a much bigger role in this do or die game. One yard rushing in the 1st half vs over 100 for the opponent says it all. Zach is simply not getting it done with the schemes presented and when drives usually stall, the kicking is lacking the consistency needed to be a Grey Cup contender.
I think he might move into more of a "Tim O'Neill" type of role - a rotational player rather than an every down player. The only thing is O'Neill could fill in at centre - a role that Dyakowski has never done.
I don't think you can read too much into this season, or the end of last season. No team can win with the depth of injuries we have had.
Even today, we lost our starting safety on the first defensive series, lost the back-up safety for a few plays in the second half.
With the players who will be returning from injury next year, we should have a very good team.
On my wish list for next year:
Better blocking on kick returns - Banks is fine, but he needs some help
A solid middle line-backer who stops up any holes in the middle of the line. We have given up too many running yards this year. I don't think Dean is our guy.
A more consistent kicker
The return of Stephen, Sears and Butler in the backfield - and a chance to find out what Washington can do.
The return of our top receivers, Tasker, Fantuz and Owens
I don't see any other glaring weakness.
You know, it wouldn't surprise me if the team had to pay over $1M in salaries due to injuries over and above the cap. Certainly those who were on the 6-game list don't count against the cap, but those on the 1-game DO. It makes me wonder if a player like Tasker actually WAS available to come off the 6-game early, but was kept on it in order to not exceed the cap...
As to signing Medlock - where would you find the extra $175,000 to pay him, especially if he didn't want to be here? He seemed to be pretty sure he wanted to leave after last year's EDF. Collaros probably has been playing hurt (or injured) pretty much every game he's been in, but he would never admit it, officially, nor would he use it as an excuse. Was Collaros to blame for the dropped passes in the first half? Was Collaros responsible for the inability of the Defence to tackle? Was Collaros to blame for the horrible blocking on Special Teams?
Look, I like Masoli too, but Collaros is the team's starting QB. If you cannot understand why, then you are letting your emotions of this loss blind you...
First priority is to upgrade the O line, possibly a positional coaching change there too.
Banks has had a horrible year, missing Training Camp, was ineffective on punt and kick returns, getting suspended for drug violations and being a no show in this playoff game, He is overpaid for his lack of commitment and his contribution.
I'm still not over the drug charge. :thdn:
Kendial Lawrence, Rainey, Logan etc. could do better for half the$$$.
Butler will be back at Safety, which will help our defence
Tyms looks like a keeper and look at the marketing opportunities, Tyms likes Tims coffee and donuts!!!
Maybe we can still get Sinkfield back!
There will be tons of FA's out there if money is spent wisely
Look on the bright side we get the #4 pick in the draft and pick before TOR and MTL because they gifted their Picks to WPG and BC! :thup:
Last I looked at the draft rankings REC Danny Vandervoort out of McMaster was ranked 4th.
I'm quite sure that Kent Austin, the best and longest-serving coach we've had since Lancaster, is not going anywhere. I believe he still is under contract with the team. And while a 7-11 season in which the team could not make it to the final four does not look good on a resume, it could be said that this was simply a bad year. And who would take Austin's place if he got fired? And wouldn't Montreal be happy to have him right now? Let's not do the Als any favours.
I don't think Banks will be on the way out either. After everything he has done for this team, I doubt he'll be going anywhere. It's another player who made contributions on special teams who could be going. Not long ago, Maher's job appeared to be safe. But after missed FGs and even missed converts and illegal kicks out of bounds, bringing in a K/P to (possibly) replace him could be done. I have been hearing Swayze Waters' name getting mentioned.
Since I expect that Fantuz will unfortunately miss several games in the 2017 season, the team might want the ability to have four NAT starters on the O line. That's a reason I don't think Dyakowski will go, although I can see him retiring soon. As I'm quite sure he's the only player left over from those "Dark Ages" and he helped make this team competitive again, I want to see him get a Grey Cup ring with a Ticat logo on it.
Well, it'll be good to have Butler back in the lineup next year. And it was too bad the team's season ended before players like Tasker and Murray (to name a couple) could return.
But work on making 2017 a successful year begins now.
Love this idea.
I finally (after all this time) had to look up who our O-Line Coach actually was as I knew our previous one had left.
I was quite surprised seeing that it was former Ti-Cat player Corey Grant.
Sure former players can coach but seeing Grant listed there was kind of a "hmmmm" moment for me.
To have Canada's smartest man coaching the hogs would feel right fit to me should he retire/take a diminished role.
Corey Grant is running backs coach. O-line coach is Mike Markuson.
(You made me look. http://ticats.ca/coaches/)
For myself ... It starts with and often ends with your Canadian Content.
TiCats have a very impressive core in the offensive line with Filer, Bomben & Revenberg. I do believe Mike & Brian are already inked to longer-term deals. Get Brandon's name on a longer term contract. Girard is the perfect sixth man being able to backup at centre & guard. IMHO ... need one more top notch NI Olineman. Draft best available this year, even move up like they did with Revenberg & hopefully get similar results with an athletic/flexible Canadian.
Craig Butler should be back next season. Courtney Stephen undoubtedly needs to get healthy during offseason. Add in Mike Daly and you have 3 solid Canadians to deploy in the secondary. To be honest, I am intrigued to see if they look at moving Butler to SAM LB. Mike Daly could also fill that roll in years to come. Whether at safety or SAM or perhaps even one of the DB spots, TiCats have 3 solid Canadians.
Teddy is a lock naturally. I was very impressed with Mike Atkinson. Came into camp and won the job over Gaydosh & Gill. He's a solid backup/rotational guy. I am not sure the contract status of Justin Capicciotti but it would definitely be worthwhile to retain his services as a rotational DE. Very little drop off in any when he's in the game especially considering the value as a result of his passport.
Canadian/Non-Import/National Receivers is a much more difficult question. Do you resign Andy Fantuz knowing you will most likely be without his services for the first 6 to 9 games? IMHO I say yes. He'll be invaluable as a veteran in Training Camp as a "quasi" receivers coach helping the newcomers etc. You can make him one of your vet exemptions for training camp which has participation advantages. Then you can put Andy on the 6 GM IR to start the season thus excluding his salary from the cap. Bring him back when ready for the 2nd half of the season. Matt Coates was having a good season until he got hurt and Spencer Watt looked capable in situations. Another year of professional development for Mike Jones will also be good. I think they have a good group here. Perhaps drafting another 1 or 2 to continue developing the depth and hoping to find a future starter would be a good idea.
That's the Canadian content as far as I'm concerned. Don't think there's a pressing need to go out and land a big name non-import in Free Agency. Guys getting healthy and younger guys continuing to develop is the way to go in my opinion and I think they're on the right track. Draft some Oline, Receiver & Dline depth and stay the course.
I'll comment on the import/international positions later.