Where is our D-Rush this year?

We are last in QB Sacks again this year so far, I thought this was supposed to be priority in the offseason to be able to get players who can rush the QB and get more sacks, we are last once again in this category. What about that Rush End we were going to get or train from one of the Linebackers, I guess the front line is not that important? So much for Hamilton’s Glory Days of having a Tough Defence and Defensive Line, this is what the Cats were known for in the CFL a tough defence I guess not any more?

CFL Team Leader boards

Rank Team Sacks
1 Saskatchewan Roughriders 21
2 Winnipeg Blue Bombers 20
3 Edmonton Eskimos 19
4 Montreal Alouettes 15
5 Toronto Argonauts 15
6 Calgary Stampeders 14
7 Ottawa REDBLACKS 13
8 BC Lions 12
9 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 7

Great question. Perhaps Kent Austin can answer this query considering he is the GM and Coach. Second year in a row at last place for sacks. If you can't rush the QB this creates too much time to throw the pass just like last Friday night. Every other team has one or even two proven rushers and we has squat!

Sack totals are an interesting statistic. Personally, I believe them to be more important in fan perception than actual team performance & result. Fans love a sack. And no doubt it's not only an exciting play but also one that has an impact upon the game's outcome.

But if we look at the list provided, by sack totals only, it would say to us that Saskatchewan is the best team in the league and I'm pretty sure that we all know that is not the case. Same with Montreal being at #4. Quite obviously Montreal is not the 4th best team in the league despite having the 4th highest sack totals.

Lots of other contradictions in correlating sacks totals & wins/success. Ie; Calgary is better than 6th. BC is better than 8th.

All that being said, I understand why fans want to see a dominant DE in The Hammer. Even if I don't agree with it, this town's identity is built upon defense & fans won't be satisfied until it's fulfilled.

Not comes the "Chicken or Egg" discussion.

In the current TiCats defensive scheme & game plan, you often see the DE's peel back into coverage. Being a DE in Coach Steinhauer's D means being able to really be an OLB. Especially on the boundary side, where Eric Norwood plays, he often drops into coverage to cover the rb coming out of the backfield into the flat. It appears that under the current system, they're looking for in the face pressure from the strong/field side of the formation.

Coach Steinhauer brings pressure from multiple spots & positions. Blitzing LBs, Safeties. Bringing more that they have to block. When you do that you gotta "get home" as the young kids and analysts like to say!

And that's where the "Chicken or Egg" discussion comes up.

If Hamilton, or Coach Steinhauer more specifically, had a real true Rush DE, would he employ pressure packages like LB blitzes & safety blitzes etc?

No doubt having a real true pass rushing DE would greatly improve Hamilton's sack totals and most likely their success in the W & L columns. But I also think that "getting home" when they do blitz would have an equal impact.

When you blitz or bring pressure using guys outside the front 4, you gotta get there.

My conclusion is that for the amount of times that the TiCats blitz, yet still rank at the bottom of the sack total list ... That's my concern!

Players gotta get home & close & make the tackle!

I agree that the defence is not getting to the QB enough. I think the sack statistic is somewhat misleading .
Right now I think Laurent is doing a good job and Bulke has been adequate. Norwood and Boudreaux are not getting the job done . Pure and simple. I also think Steinaur is rushing 3 men and having one of the ends fall back into pass coverage too often. I don't like this for two reasons. It prevents you from getting pressure on Qb and defensive linemen are horrible in coverage. The only time this works is when you are sending backs and LB in a blitz. We are failing to get to the QB when we blitz too often. If we can't rush 4 and get to the quarterback then we need players who can .

Yep! 100% Agree!

System dictates that they need to close & get home. For instance, they blitzed KIng a fair bit Thursday night & he never "got home". And he was a disaster in coverage.

I think something was up with Bulcke. He didn't see as many snaps as usual. Don't know if he was hurt or what but something took him out of his usual rotation & snaps.

Agree when It comes to blitzing/dropping. The key is "getting home"! If you blitz LB's &/or DB's, and dropping DLine Men, you gotta get home!

We need a D end with height, speed, and a nasty streak. Currently, we don’t get to the quarterback and we don’t knock passes down at the line. Little fast guys don’t seem to be doing it and their pass coverage skills were on display in the last play of the Peg game. :roll:

Pat Lynch(the old guy)

I wonder if the Cats have reached out to Justin Hickman about maybe continuing his career where it started out back here in Hamilton ? I'm not too sure about the extent of his injury,but as of this post I'm pretty sure that he still hasn't been signed by another NFL club. Hickman is only 29 yrs old and in his 3 yrs in Hamilton had 27 QB sacks and his last yr here in 2011 he tied for the league lead with 13 sacks and was named a league All-Star. If he is available and willing to come back to the CFL and the Cats to continue his career,then I say let's get him signed on the dotted line and inserted into the lineup ASAP.


Don't forget that Justin had a pretty serious foot fracture last year in TC. He may not be medically cleared to play.

yah the sacks aren't there yet but i cant complain about this years defence at all. they dont seem to give up the big plays as often as last year (minus last game but that was on coaches grrr)

For some reason on this team the two Defensive Stats that seem to go hand and hand are QB Sacks and Interceptions yet another stat we don't have many of so far what maybe one so far this year to add to 7 QB sacks so far? When this team is playing good on Defence we should be more like 15 QB Sacks plus so far and about 7 Interceptions in five games played!

If you do not disrupt the quarterback timing with pressure from the ends or from the tackles the dbs and hbs are in serious trouble. This is a basic defensive strategy. No pressure then there are huge throwing yards against.

Indeed,the big question here is just how healthy is Hickman ? and is he 100% good to go after this foot fracture that kept him out for the entire 2013 season ? A lot of times in these scenarios they're is more to it then meets the eye then simply signing up a player to a contract. I would think that if Austin was interested and Hickman healthy and willing we would have heard something about it by now,my guess is that Austin isn't interested about resigning Hickman and that the best bet would be because of the fact that perhaps Hickman is deemed damaged goods at this moment and not fully healed from his injury. I still maintain though that I would love to see Hickman back in Black "n" Gold.....but only if he is 100% healthy and game ready.

Hickman would be great but agree he has to be 100% healthy the foot could be an issue keeping other NFL teams not interested at present.

I really miss the days of Joe Montford, what a great player, the best at the rush end with that swim move on the lineman and great speed to rush the QB. I agree the defensive lineman don't always need to sack the QB as much as get that rush and force the play or make tackle in the backfield.

The Cats once had those great players like Montford, Covington, Mike Walker and so on all had the ability to get to the QB!!