Ticats fans have play call options

Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back Terry Grant takes the hand-off from quarterback Kevin Glenn (R)...

Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back Terry Grant takes the hand-off from quarterback Kevin Glenn (R) during the first half of their CFL football game against the Toronto Argonauts in Toronto October 1, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:34 AM ET

HAMILTON - Arm chair quarterbacks of the offensively explosive Ticats should be salivating at the opportunity to draw up a play the unit will run against the visiting Blue Bombers Friday night.

With guys such as Chris Williams capable of attacking a defence down field, the possibility exists of a deep ball that helps spread the field, much like the Ticats attempted last week in Toronto on the first play from scrimmage. Hopefully this time it doesn’t end up in an interception.

If the Ticats are able to gain possession in football’s score zone, a play could be designed to feature Dave Stala or Maurice Mann on some underneath route.

The way Terry Grant has made such an impression, there’s the option of getting Grant matched up on a linebacker in single coverage as Grant makes his long-awaited debut in front of Hamilton’s rabid supporters.

Whatever gets conceived, it’ll be up to the fans in an initiative that got hatched in the off-season designed to make a game-day experience so fan friendly that the paying customer gets to decide virtually every aspect surrounding Friday night.

In terms of on-field input, Hamilton’s first run play and its first pass play will be left up to the team’s fan base, which has until Thursday at 5 p.m., to vote by logging on to the team’s website or by visiting the team’s facebook page.

The options appear limitless given all the playmakers Hamilton has suddenly surrounded quarterback Kevin Glenn with.

In a nutshell, formations will be available for fans to select, leaving it in the hands of Glenn to make sure the right call gets made that ensures the ball ends up in the right hands.

In other words, there’s no point in clamouring for some double reverse that features a throw back to Glenn running down the boundary.

“We talked about this in the off-season and it was agreed to,’’ head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said. “It’s part of the deal.”

If an audible is required, Glenn will call it just like he’d make an audible on any play called in by offensive co-ordinator Khari Jones from the sidelines.

In theory, getting the fans involved should connect them better with their home team.

But with anything new, no one knows how it’s going to play itself out.

The timing is about as perfect as anything when one looks at an offence that has turned a corner.

The key was the team’s decision to insert speed following two lopsided losses to Montreal and Edmonton.

When Marcus Thigpen lined up as a starting slotback and Grant made his debut, more creativity, balance and explosiveness would unfold.

While Glenn did throw for three interceptions against the Argos last week, you won’t find a better balanced attack in the way the Ticats approached their visit to Toronto.

Deep, underneath screens, the passing game was impressive, but all the while the Ticats did not abandon the run, producing 190 yards along the ground that featured Grant’s 89-yard major when Hamilton caught the Argos in a blitz package.

For Grant, it was his third touchdown in two games.

His run up the middle now stands as the longest run in the CFL this season.

All told, the Ticats would accumulate 514 yards against the Argos and keep possession for 36:09.

Jones, who led the Bombers to a berth in the Grey Cup, is a first-year offensive co-ordinator whose first game experience came against Winnipeg in Hamilton’s season opener back on Canada Day.

Given his background as a quarterback, Jones has called plays, but he’s never called plays for someone else, an experience he describes as different.

The more games he’s called, the more Jones has grown comfortable in his role.

Whether it’s managing different personnel packages or setting defences up during the course of the game, it’s become obvious Jones has evolved nicely.

Against the Bombers, he’ll get some assistance from Hamilton’s fans.

frank.zicarelli@sunmedia.ca


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