COMMENTARY: How will Ticats respond after tumultuous week?
The latest chance for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to get off the schneid and shed their 0-for-2017 label will come Saturday night at Tim Hortons Field when they host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
The Ticats have stumbled through the first third of their schedule and enter Game 7 of the season after a tumultuous, albeit self-inflicted, week.
On Thursday, 0-6 Hamilton surprised many when they released linebacker Will Hill, who was suspended for one game earlier this year for grabbing an official. Despite making headlines for the one-game ban, Hill had faired well in his first foray into Canadian football.
Recently hired assistant coach June Jones attended his first practices this week, adding another voice to the already crowded offensive hierarchy in the Hammer, which includes head coach Kent Austin and offensive co-ordinator Stefan Ptaszek.
And for the Ticats defensive unit, it’s life after J.F., as in Jeff Reinebold, who was relieved of his duties as defensive co-ordinator earlier this week and replaced by Phillip Lolley. It will be very interesting to see who this turnover affects a seemingly fragile 0-6 squad.
Four of Winnipeg’s six games this season have been decided by three points or less, which should make the Ticats a little more confident that win #1 could be at hand. But if the Ticats come out Saturday night and lose to the 4-2 Bombers, then what? Will someone else be dismissed? Are the other coaches going to start looking over their shoulder?
It will depend on how they play, I think. If Hamilton loses by a large margin to Winnipeg, there could very well be more changes. If the Cats come out on the short end of a hard-fought, tight game, then maybe only minor lineup changes will help turn the tide in the second half of the year.
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