Results will dictate how Ticat changes are ultimately perceived

“Football is a results-based business,” is something Jeff Reinebold, the for-now-departed former defensive coordinator of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, would often say. And while it may have been standings and the stat sheet that led to his demise – giving up 39 points a game, an 0-6 record – what happens next will go a long way into how the recent rash of changes in Hamilton is ultimately judged.

Should new assistant head coach June Jones get the offence going and new defensive coordinator Phillip Lolley stem the opposition touchdown parade while powering the Ticats to some, you know, actual wins, then their hiring will be seen as a stroke of genius – especially if this winless club somehow manages to make the playoffs.

If not, the Ticats just shuffled the deck chairs on the Titanic and none of it matters, anyway: the season is already lost.

Vice-president of football operations and head coach Kent Austin made Reinebold’s demotion official on Tuesday, announcing the promotion of Lolley from linebackers’ coach. Reinebold has been offered another position within the organization – though it’s unclear as to what, exactly, that would be – and is taking some time to think things over.

“Obviously we want to get better defensively. I have a great deal of respect for Jeff, I have a very strong personal relationship with him, I think he’s an outstanding coach but we needed to get better and make some changes,” Austin said. “It wasn’t easy. Jeff’s a very close friend and colleague. He knows I love him and I hope this didn’t affect our personal relationship. I want Jeff here and he’s been told that. He’s certainly welcome back with open arms.”

One of the criticisms that had been levelled at Reinebold, albeit quietly, was that his preferred defensive system was overly complex for the experience level of the current crew of Ticats, particularly in the secondary. Multiple personnel packages often led to last-minute substitutions and moments of confusion.

That’s unlikely to be an issue with Lolley, a football-lifer from Alabama who sees oversimplification as an art form.

“I’m a very fundamental guy… be aggressive, get lined up, run to the football, hit, tackle. You can draw up all the plays in the world but if you don’t execute them, what good are they?” Lolley asked, rhetorically. “It’s better to run one or two things right than ten or 12 things wrong. That’s my philosophy.”

Meanwhile, over on offence, things were getting more complicated. The addition of Jones means the Ticats now have Austin, the mastermind of the current offensive system, offensive coordinator Stefan Ptaszek (who has called plays at times this season) and Jones, who’s run-and-shoot concepts are being expanded within the current framework.

“It is part of every offence now. I think this is going to end up being a positive situation for everybody. [Kent] asked me to look at what they’re doing and then sit down and see what we can do without making it brand new stuff,” Jones said. “I would anticipate that Kent will continue to call the plays but I’ll certainly have input with him on that.”

Jones was certainly behaving like an offensive coordinator for much of Tuesday’s practice, the first as the Ticats prepare for Saturday’s home game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The 64-year-old directing players during the walk through and working with the quarterbacks during the individual sessions – things that used to be the purview of Ptaszek and Austin.

Jones – whose contract runs through next season – says he likes what he sees in quarterback Zach Collaros, who is now trying to learn the run-and-shoot for the first time.

“He’s very confident guy, it’s his system and he can teach it like the back of his hand. There are a lot of things that guys have seen but maybe haven’t done for a long time,” Collaros said. “I think for the receivers being on the field as long as we were, just walking through, it was like a training camp day.”

One thing that Collaros said might help in his transition, ironically enough? Jeff Reinebold.

“I think he could play a role and be very valuable. There’s just something about Reinebold, guys want to play for him, guys want to be around him,” Collaros said. “Meeting him four years ago, I didn’t know who he was but thought he was cool looking with the tattoos and the blonde hair. I sent him a text last night. I hope he stays around, I love Jeff Reinebold.”

Notes: the Ticats made a series of roster moves on Monday. They confirmed the signing of former Eskimos offensive lineman Tony Washington, while also adding defensive back Cariel Brooks, defensive end Mike McAdoo and wide receiver Gerell Robinson. The team also released defensive back Ethan Davis, offensive lineman Quinterrius Eatmon, receiver Kevin Elliott and quarterback Logan Kilgore… on the injury front, defensive back Emanuel Davis was practicing with the first team and could potentially make his return to the line up this week. Quarterback Everett Golson is set to come off the six-game injured list.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1193 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

26 Comments on Results will dictate how Ticat changes are ultimately perceived

  1. Collaros said it .It’s like training camp. If they can get it and get it fast, they can save the season. Still lands on Austin that they are in this mess to start with. He can’t fire himself.

  2. Angelo Bruno // August 9, 2017 at 10:16 am //

    Hopefully there will be more clarity on the Manziel situation soon. It would be ideal if he was running this offence by Labour Day.

    • Let me know how he will learn the entire offense and get used to the Canadian game within a month?

    • CanuckDomer // August 9, 2017 at 10:27 am //

      You rooting for a winless season? ‘Cause Johnny Vodka will get us there

    • Angelo. Sure. Give him a call. He probably really really wants to come to Hamilton but can’t find their number.

    • What is with this love affair you seem to have with Manziel?? Why don’t we concentrate on making this team better with people who actually want to be here and stop obsessing on some rainbow-farting unicorn who’s only observable talent is to drive Hiram Walker’s stock higher every time he leaves the house. Enough about second chances! He’s had second, third and fourth chances and still couldn’t hit the open man on a simple fly pattern. Let it go, man.

  3. Angelo Bruno // August 9, 2017 at 11:18 am //

    Trade Collaros to either the BlueBombers or RoughRiders, maybe even send him back to the Argos. Ask for a king’s ransom, then allow Johnny Football to do his magic in the Hammer !!!

    • Angelo : how can you be so obsessed with Manziel when every NFL team and also his former team-mates, give him the thumbs down?
      Collaros is a team player. I’ll take him any day with the run and shoot as long as he has an effective O-line in front of him.

    • The Iceman // August 9, 2017 at 3:59 pm //

      better idea for you…trade the rights to Johnny fat guy

  4. You guys are nuts. Stick with the plan. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic did not help as history proves

  5. Angelo is crazy lol

    • Yep

    • Glad someone said it. Zach is the guy even if Manziel was brought on board like someone else said it would take him until next season to learn the plays and prove he wanted to be here. The only way I’d bring him in was at a cut rate and a 2 or 3 year deal to prove he wanted to be in the Hammer and we all know that ain’t gonna happen. Zach is a pro and a competitive guy he will right the ship.

    • I think he is in love with JM

  6. Solara2000 // August 9, 2017 at 12:24 pm //

    Best part of story is Collaros’ comments about JR. Cool guy that players ‘get’ and a sound coach – wrong place at wrong time.
    Good organizations are built not from square bricks but by being able to fit all the different shaped and sized stones together.

  7. Why stop the circus by only signing Manziel? Bring Michael Sam in as well.

    • That may have helped the attendance at the Argos’s home opener against the Ticats which was supposedly hurt by a scheduling conflict with the Gay Pride Parade.

  8. “Just Win Baby” (Al Davis)

  9. 12 games left the run and shoot will really open up the run game keep pressure off collaros win 8 games make playoffs

    • The “run and shoot” offence was actually the precursor to today’s pass oriented offensive schemes first employed by Mouse Davis with the 1982 Toronto Argonauts.

  10. I have to say – even if this works out, “stroke of genius” is incredibly generous. When you’re 0-6 and a game removed from a 60 to 1 obliteration, the bar is set incredibly low. Like, Mariana trench low.

  11. Disband the team, been nothing but a let down the last 20 years

    • Nice to see a true Hamilton football fan

    • As long as fans are showing up at the stadium you don’t disband them.
      If I was the Argo owner I would disband them because of the lack of interest in the CFL in Toronto.

  12. Lindsay Wilcox // August 9, 2017 at 6:05 pm //

    “Run and Shoot” more run please. If not going to use RB or FB other than as blockers or rarely as outlet pass-receivers, no screens or draws, might as well bring in Jim Brown. He’s only early ’80s years old, he could run probably 5 times a game.

  13. Drew what does your headline actually mean:

    “Results will dictate how Ticat changes are ultimately perceived” ?????????????????

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