Spied-on 'Cats finally packing a bit of clout

PAUL FRIESEN

, Last Updated: 6:05 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- So in the aftermath of that Inspector Clouseau episode in Hamilton this week, I can't help but wonder: Are the Tiger-Cats even worth spying on?

Because let's face it, there are no secrets worth knowing about the Ticats squads that went 3-15, 3-15 and 4-14 the last three years.

Unless you pull a Jerry Seinfeld: Make notes about what Hamilton does, and do the opposite.

There are signs, though, this season's Tabbies might actually have some claws, that had scout Ron Trentini (aka Clouseau) not been outed, he may have provided some useful tidbits from his not-so-undercover operation in Steeltown.

After all, this is a team that won in Vancouver last weekend, something no Eastern time zone team had done in 14 games, covering five years.

"They look pretty good," Bombers linebacker Ike Charlton said.

"I've been watching them on film. They've got better personnel, and they've got guys that are flying around."

They've also got some serious Blue Bombers connections, most notably Greg Marshall at defensive co-ordinator, Mike Gibson as the boss on offence, Kevin Glenn as the backup quarterback and Khari Jones as quarterbacks coach, not to mention starting O-linemen Alex Gauthier and Dan Goodspeed.

But they're still the Ticats, which means, even at 1-1, they're still vulnerable to self-doubt if a team jumps on them early.

Which brings us to the Bombers, also 1-1.

If this team can come off the Derick Armstrong affair and throttle the defending champion Calgary Stampeders last weekend, what should we expect on the heels of Spygate?

Apparently, this group isn't easily distracted. Give the coaching staff credit for that.

"I see people more upbeat," quarterback Stefan LeFors said.

LeFors, more than anyone, is the man on the hot seat this week. His performance in the first two games has been average, at best, and he'll be the first to admit it -- which is one of the things to like about the guy.

"It's not that guys aren't getting open," he said when asked about his throwing.

"It's just a little bit off -- a little bit too high, a little bit out in front, a little bit behind. I'm not making it easier for those guys."

Not sure I heard Glenn take that much responsibility in five seasons as a starter.

LeFors, by comparison, is green. But it's not like he's a 23-year-old fresh out of college.

At 28, he's been around the Canadian game for three years now, which is one more than Quinton Porter, who'll start for Hamilton tomorrow.

Yet, it's Porter who's completing 70% of his passes, LeFors, less than half.

As good a leader as LeFors has been, he'll soon have to start making some plays.

Unless the Bombers plan on being a CFL anomaly, taking on the persona of a grind-it-out, defence-first outfit that favours the running game.

"It could be," LeFors said. "I haven't had a receiver come to me and say, 'I need more balls, I need more catches, I gotta reach my 100 yards.' That's good. They all realize their roles on this team."

PAUL.FRIESEN@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos