Bombers, Ticats riding on a carousel
By Jim Bender, QMI Agency
|Former Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Khari Jones (right) is now the offensive co-ordinator for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Jones and the Ticats will be in Winnipeg Sunday for the East Final. (ALEX UROSEVIC/QMI Agency)
The last time the Hamilton Tiger-Cats played in the East Final in Winnipeg, quarterback Khari Jones led the Blue Bombers to victory and an appearance in the 2001 Grey Cup.
Jones is now Hamilton’s offensive co-ordinator overseeing former Bomber quarterback Kevin Glenn and coaching against Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice, who was the offensive co-ordinator for Jones at one time.
“There are so many storylines this week that they could write themselves,” Jones said from Hamilton where the ‘Cats were still basking in the glow of upsetting the defending Grey Cup champion Alouettes in Montreal in overtime in the East semifinal on Sunday. “Don’t forget, we’ve got Rick Worman here now, too.”
Worman, who is Hamilton’s running backs coach, was Winnipeg’s offensive co-ordinator in 2001.
“It’s going to be great,” Jones said. “I love going back to Winnipeg, especially with that atmosphere and I think our team will be ready. We had our troubles against them this year (0-3) and they deserved to finish first in the East.”
Jones is also well aware that it will be the last football game to ever be played in the crumbling facility.
“I feel it’s not a bad thing that I get to be a part of that game, as well as Kevin,” Jones said. “There are a lot of memories there. There are too many to mention but that’s where my career basically was.”
Then, Jones recalled a few.
“The same game (East Final) 10 years ago when we played Hamilton, won that one and going to play against Calgary in the 2001 Grey Cup, and all the fans getting so excited,” he said. “Then there was a game against Calgary where we were 14 down and came back to win it in overtime. There were so many. Milt (Stegall) running around catching passes and Milt and the receivers doing their (touchdown) dances in the endzone. It was a fun stadium to play in.”
Glenn, who had been forced at times to split duties with Quinton Porter, has handled this year’s quarterback controversy with aplomb.
“He’s been fine here,” Jones said. “He’s kept it all in perspective and he knows what he means to the team.”
And it was Glenn who led the squad to victory over Montreal.
“Beating Montreal was a big goal for us, but we’re not done yet,” Jones said. “Now, we’ve got to go in there and beat a very good Winnipeg team.”