With Ticats, you never know
By Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency
|Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille talks with Dave Stala during the first half of a CFL game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this season. (REUTERS/Fred Greenslade)
With so much on his plate that requires attention, the last thing Marcel Bellefeuille needs is to waste his time engaging in innuendo and speculation.
But such is football life in Tiger Town, where no quarterback has risen to the occasion when given an opportunity. There's another chance Thursday night when the Ticats complete the regular season against the Toronto Argonauts, 7:30 p.m., at the Rogers Centre.
For those searching for reasons to explain what could yet again amount to another 9-9 season, look no further than the all-important signal caller.
Despite coming off a season that warranted most outstanding player consideration, the painful fact is that Kevin Glenn could not deliver in the most meaningful game of 2010 as Hamilton, collectively that is, fell to the Argos in the Eastern semifinal.
The loss was so devastating that new co-ordinators on both sides of the ball were hired.
The story that continues to unfold in the Hammer has the same plot lines and a likely similar ending with the expected consequences if another one-and-done playoff fate is repeated.
But if anything is to be gleaned from the inconsistency of this season it’s that anything is possible when a team such as Hamilton is capable of beating any opponent on any given week, just as the Ticats are likely to lose to any foe.
And it all starts at quarterback, a position that’s been as fluid as any in this wacky CFL season where five teams enter the final week with a chance to finish first.
Given all that has unfolded and all that awaits, it’s little wonder Bellefeuille has no time to delve into any lingering concerns that may have filtered into the locker room.
“No. And why would they?’’ Bellefeuille said when queried whether any of his players have aired their beef with the head coach vis a vis the quarterback position.
When it comes to the Ticats, everyone, regardless of title or tenure, says all the right things, at least for public consumption.
In the bottom line business of pro football, decisions don’t have to be justified and it’s of little concern who starts and who finishes the game.
The bottom line is the bottom line, meaning any player has to produce when he’s asked to play, whether it’s Kevin Glenn or Quinton Porter.
Naturally, the situation in Steeltown hasn’t been ideal, in part because neither Glenn nor Porter has taken his game to a higher level.
There are reasons to explain it, but most can be reduced to excuses.
Any player, especially a quarterback, would prefer to play through mistakes, not be looking over his shoulder or feel pressure to do too much when thrown in a game with his team trailing.
“Ultimately,’’ Glenn conceded, “it’s the player’s responsibility to get it done when he’s out there on the field.”
In a season when many words have been used to describe the Ticats, spoken and unspoken, no truer words have been spoken.