Ticats' offence failed to show up

Tiger-Cats quarterback Kevin Glenn runs the ball against the Argonauts defence at the Rogers Centre...

Tiger-Cats quarterback Kevin Glenn runs the ball against the Argonauts defence at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., Nov. 3, 2011. (MARK BLINCH/Reuters)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:30 AM ET

TORONTO - Sometime before next weekend’s Eastern semifinal, the Ticats have to somehow summon any kind of an offence.

At this stage, it’s virtually impossible to undergo a complete overhaul when time is of the essence and resorting to trick plays or gimmicks doesn’t serve any purpose.

For the Ticats, it’s time to get back to the basics.

In Thursday night’s season finale against the host Argos, there weren’t many signs of progress when so much inefficiency was being displayed.

It certainly does not bode well, whether Hamilton is forced to venture into Mo-ntreal and the closed confines of a domed stadium, or be forced to fend off the wind and Winnipeg.

As bad as the Ticats attack has looked in the season’s final two games, it must be pointed out that these are the same Ticats who took the B.C. Lions to the woodshed in a 42-10 pasting that resonated throughout the CFL.

But when a team ends a season as it prepares for the post-season it becomes incumbent to establish an identity and the Ticats, at least on the surface, have none.

Offensively, Hamilton is neither a running team nor a passing team, a team that does not have a clear-cut incumbent at quarterback and a team that is clearly lacking confidence.

When there’s nothing to play for and players who normally don’t line up as starters are suddenly asked to start, glitches become expected as they are unavoidable.

Whether it was manifested in time counts, being forced to call a timeout when the wrong personnel package was sent in, or failing to convert a third-and-short, there were too many times when regression became the norm against the Argos.

In a perfect scenario, the Ticats would have gone on the road and taken care of business in Regina.

Instead, too many turn-overs and too few points would lead to a 19-3 setback.

In a perfect scenario, the Ticats would have responded to last week’s performance by jumping out on the Argos early.

Instead, there was nothing except concern and confusion.

Kevin Glenn would start, but dropped passes, including one to Chris Williams that would have netted some 30 yards, and two sacks would produce six first-half points.

There was nothing Glenn could have done better unless he somehow was able to provide better protection for himself in the pocket or somehow find himself on the receiving end of his own pass attempt.

“The second game in five nights, both on the road, it’s tough to execute in that situation,’’ head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said.

“We kept a lot vanilla by design.”

Williams left so light-headed that he would vomit.

When Dave Stala felt some discomfort, fullback Darcy Brown lined up as a receiver.

Peter Dyakowski, the team’s top offensive lineman, sat out.

Effort-wise, Bellefeuille was pleased.

Execution-wise, there was no sense of panic or concern knowing the evening’s intent was to escape injury-free.

At least on that front the Ticats succeeded.

There really is no point in dissecting Hamilton’s play on the other side of the ball when so many new faces in unfamiliar roles were being asked to audition for next season.

When stalwarts such as Jamall Johnson and Rey Williams aren’t lining up at linebacker, the evening’s approach is pretty much determined.

In football’s parlance, it’s known as a vanilla defence, but yielding big plays through the air, some courtesy of bad officiating, and long gains along the ground should be worrisome.

According to Bellefeuille, it was a conscious decision to approach Thursday night more as a pre-season kickoff than an end-of-season statement.

Whether it is the Als or the Blue Bombers, Hamilton’s defence is good enough to go up against either offence, Thursday’s performance against the Argos notwithstanding.

The dilemma with these Ticats is on offence.

What isn’t obvious is the remedy, which must be discovered in the days leading up to next weekend.

Finishing a season at 8-10 with a 33-16 loss to the Argos doesn’t inspire anyone. Sometime before next weekend’s Eastern semifinal, the Ticats have to somehow summon any kind of an offence.

At this stage, it’s virtually impossible to undergo a complete overhaul when time is of the essence and resorting to trick plays or gimmicks doesn’t serve any purpose.

For the Ticats, it’s time to get back to the basics.

In Thursday night’s season finale against the host Argos, there weren’t many signs of progress when so much inefficiency was being displayed.

It certainly does not bode well, whether Hamilton is forced to venture into Mo-ntreal and the closed confines of a domed stadium, or be forced to fend off the wind and Winnipeg.

As bad as the Ticats attack has looked in the season’s final two games, it must be pointed out that these are the same Ticats who took the B.C. Lions to the woodshed in a 42-10 pasting that resonated throughout the CFL.

But when a team ends a season as it prepares for the post-season it becomes incumbent to establish an identity and the Ticats, at least on the surface, have none.

Offensively, Hamilton is neither a running team nor a passing team, a team that does not have a clear-cut incumbent at quarterback and a team that is clearly lacking confidence.

When there’s nothing to play for and players who normally don’t line up as starters are suddenly asked to start, glitches become expected as they are unavoidable.

Whether it was manifested in time counts, being forced to call a timeout when the wrong personnel package was sent in, or failing to convert a third-and-short, there were too many times when regression became the norm against the Argos.

In a perfect scenario, the Ticats would have gone on the road and taken care of business in Regina.

Instead, too many turn-overs and too few points would lead to a 19-3 setback.

In a perfect scenario, the Ticats would have responded to last week’s performance by jumping out on the Argos early.

Instead, there was nothing except concern and confusion.

Kevin Glenn would start, but dropped passes, including one to Chris Williams that would have netted some 30 yards, and two sacks would produce six first-half points.

There was nothing Glenn could have done better unless he somehow was able to provide better protection for himself in the pocket or somehow find himself on the receiving end of his own pass attempt.

“The second game in five nights, both on the road, it’s tough to execute in that situation,’’ head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said.

“We kept a lot vanilla by design.”

Williams left so light-headed that he would vomit.

When Dave Stala felt some discomfort, fullback Darcy Brown lined up as a receiver.

Peter Dyakowski, the team’s top offensive lineman, sat out.

Effort-wise, Bellefeuille was pleased.

Execution-wise, there was no sense of panic or concern knowing the evening’s intent was to escape injury-free.

At least on that front the Ticats succeeded.

There really is no point in dissecting Hamilton’s play on the other side of the ball when so many new faces in unfamiliar roles were being asked to audition for next season.

When stalwarts such as Jamall Johnson and Rey Williams aren’t lining up at linebacker, the evening’s approach is pretty much determined.

In football’s parlance, it’s known as a vanilla defence, but yielding big plays through the air, some courtesy of bad officiating, and long gains along the ground should be worrisome.

According to Bellefeuille, it was a conscious decision to approach Thursday night more as a pre-season kickoff than an end-of-season statement.

Whether it is the Als or the Blue Bombers, Hamilton’s defence is good enough to go up against either offence, Thursday’s performance against the Argos notwithstanding.

The dilemma with these Ticats is on offence.

What isn’t obvious is the remedy, which must be discovered in the days leading up to next weekend.

Finishing a season at 8-10 with a 33-16 loss to the Argos doesn’t inspire anyone. Sometime before next weekend’s Eastern semifinal, the Ticats have to somehow summon any kind of an offence.

At this stage, it’s virtually impossible to undergo a complete overhaul when time is of the essence and resorting to trick plays or gimmicks doesn’t serve any purpose.

For the Ticats, it’s time to get back to the basics.

In Thursday night’s season finale against the host Argos, there weren’t many signs of progress when so much inefficiency was being displayed.

It certainly does not bode well, whether Hamilton is forced to venture into Montreal and the closed confines of a domed stadium, or be forced to fend off the wind and Winnipeg.

As bad as the Ticats attack has looked in the season’s final two games, it must be pointed out and reinforced that these are the same Ticats that took the B.C. Lions to the woodshed in a 42-10 pasting that resonated throughout the CFL.

But when a team ends a season as it prepares for the post-season, it becomes incumbent to establish an identity and the Ticats, at least on the surface, have none.

Offensively, Hamilton is neither a running team nor a passing team, a team that does not have a clear-cut incumbent at quarterback and a team that is clearly lacking confidence.

When there’s nothing to play for and players who normally don’t line up as starters are suddenly asked to start, glitches become expected as they are unavoidable.

Whether it was manifested in time counts, being forced to call a timeout when the wrong personnel package was sent in, failing to convert a third-and-short, there were too many times when regression became the norm.

In a perfect scenario, the Ticats would have gone on the road and taken care of business in Regina.

Instead, too many turnovers and too few points would lead to a 19-3 setback.

In a perfect scenario, the Ticats would respond to last week’s performance by jumping out on the Argos early.

Instead, there was nothing but concern and confusion.

Kevin Glenn would start, but dropped passes, including one to Chris Williams that would have netted some 30 yards, and two sacks would produce six first-half points.

There was nothing Glenn could have done better unless he somehow was able to provide better protection for himself in the pocket or somehow find himself on the receiving end of his own pass attempts.

Glenn would not emerge as the problem, but he’ll no doubt be singled out for failing to get the offence into the end zone.

Ultimately, being able to finish is what will define these Ticats when the post-season begins.

There really is no point in dissecting Hamilton’s play on the other side of the ball when so many new faces in an unfamiliar roles were being asked to audition for next season.

When stalwarts such as Jamall Johnson and Rey Williams aren’t lining up at linebacker, the evening’s approach is pretty much determined.

When return ace Marcus Thigpen takes the night off to rest an ailing body, it’s doubtful any play of consequence will be produced.

Whether it is the Als or the Blue Bombers, Hamilton’s defence is good enough to go up against either offence.

The dilemma with these Ticats is on offence.

What isn’t obvious is the remedy, which must be discovered in the days leading up to next weekend.

When they went small and fast in the week leading up to their trip to Moncton to face the Calgary Stampeders in late September, the Ticats found a formula that was explosive and entertaining.

They would follow up a 55-point game by scoring 27 against the Argos in posting back-to-back wins.

It was downhill, a role reversal that featured a season-ending injury to Terry Grant, until B.C.’s visit to the Hammer two weeks ago.

It’s now worrisome.

Hamilton may not know until Sunday its opponent for next weekend. What is known is that its offence needs an injection.

What that is, how it gets ignited, it’s difficult to get a handle on at a time when no consistency exists.

Avon Cobourne was brought to Hamilton for this particular moment.

He sat out Thursday night’s offensive horror show as Hamilton auditioned one-time running back Daniel Porter in the backfield.

Getting Cobourne involved as a receiver will help, especially if Cobourne goes up against his former team in Montreal.

Getting Williams downfield, assuming he catches the football, can only help.

And getting Thigpen involved can’t hurt.

There are pieces, but they have to somehow mesh and execution must be completed.

Finishing a season at 8-10 with a 33-16 loss to the Argos doesn’t inspire anyone.

It’s time for the Ticats offence to show up.


Photos