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Hamilton Tiger-Cats busy this holiday season

Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach Orlondo Steinauer is doused with Gatorade following their teams' win against the Edmonton Eskimos in the CFL East Final in Hamilton, Ont., on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

It may be the holidays, and the next Canadian Football League season is still months away, but the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are not letting that get in the way of bolstering their team.

On Christmas Eve, the Ticats announced they had signed head coach Orlondo Steinauer to a contract extension.

Steinauer guided Hamilton to its best ever record, 15-3, in 2019 and led the Cats to a berth in the Grey Cup final that year before losing to Winnipeg in the CFL final.

The 47-year-old was named the CFL’s coach of the year for his efforts.

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“I am grateful for the strong support and commitment Bob Young, Scott Mitchell and Matt Afinec have shown in me to lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats,” said Steinauer.

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“The vision remains to reward the hard working people in our buildings, the City of Hamilton and its fans with their commitment. We look forward to continue building a championship-caliber organization in 2021, which will be an exciting year for everyone.”

Two days later, on Boxing Day, Hamilton announced it had given contract extensions to Drew Allemang and Shawn Burke, the team’s Senior Directors of Personnel and Co-Managers of Football Operations.

“Drew and Shawn are two very bright and diligent football executives who both have a superb work ethic,” said Chief Executive Officer of the Tiger-Cats, Scott Mitchell. “They are also just great people who have spent their entire careers in the Tiger-Cat organization and have excelled in every role they have been in.

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“They have done an excellent job managing the scouting and football operations departments, work extremely well with Coach Steinauer, and we are very happy to have reached an agreement with them to extend their contracts.”

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Hamilton has also resigned a trio of offensive players: receiver Bralon Addison and running backs Sean Thomas Erlington and Don Jackson.

The two-year contract for Addison, 27, was announced on Christmas day and comes a couple of months after he was cut from the Minnesota Vikings’ training camp.

He was a CFL and East Division All-Star in 2019 when he recorded 95 receptions for 1,236 yards and seven touchdowns.

On Sunday, the Cats announced they had re-signed Thomas Erlington and Jackson.

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Thomas Erlington, 28, from Montreal, rushed 33 times for 224 yards and had 11 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown in his first four games in 2019 before he suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Jackson signed a one-year deal with Hamilton on Feb. 11, 2020, but did not appear in any games because the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the entire 2020 CFL season.

The 2021 season is scheduled to kick off June 10 when the Ticats visit Winnipeg.

Hamilton is set to host the Grey Cup championship game on Nov. 21.

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