June Jones: No number one QB for Ticats

As of today, there is no number one quarterback of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

New coach June Jones said Friday morning that he had not decided yet between Zach Collaros, the anointed starter for four seasons, and Jeremiah Masoli, who’s filled in during Collaros’ injury absences, and replaced him for the final quarter of the Ticats’ recent  37-18 loss to Ottawa, their eighth defeat of the season to date without a win.

In fact, once he referred to the pair as “the two starters”.

“I haven’t spoken with the quarterbacks,” Jones said. “We’ll probably make that decision the first of the week. I really like all three kids (Everett Golson is No. 3). The two starters, for sure, are true pros and know how the game is played. They’re bright and competitive kids.

“I see positives with both players. I looked at a film last year where Jeremiah completed 24 passes in a row. I hadn’t really seen him take a rep in practice with our stuff, he’s always throwing scout team stuff.

“Zach, obviously, two and a half years ago was potentially the most valuable player in the league. I see enough good things with him: he’s very smart, very competitive.

“We’ll talk about it and see how it shakes out in the middle of the week.”

Jones says that his first job will be to address the psyche of the team which, he says, is the first building block of a return to winning. Eight losses tend to weigh heavily on the collective spirit.

“I’m going to try to do some things internally to create a positive atmosphere,” he said. “I think just the energy of the change will be a positive thing for the players.”

Jones takes over from Kent Austin who stepped down from the head coaching job he’d held for four-and-a-half seasons, but as vice-president of football operations remains Jones’ boss.

The Ticats brought the 64-year-old—who has worked with such quarterbacks as  Brett Favre, Jim Kelly, Warren Moon and Bo Levi Mitchell—into the fold as assistant head coach early in the month but Jones says that he had no idea he’d quickly end up running the team on the field.

The new head coach will have a heavy influence on the offence and will call the offensive plays. But he says he will rely heavily upon Austin and Stef Ptaszek, who retains his position as offensive coordinator.

And Jones says he’ll simplify things on offence, just as the team did on defence when Phillip Lolley was promoted from linebackers coach to replace Jeff Reinebold earlier this month.

“Do less things better,” he explained. “Get the kids to hang their hats on something; that this is what we’re going to do, we don’t care what they do. And you can only manage that with repetitive action.

“I think we’ve already taken that step on defence and I see results the last two games in that: simplifying.”

He says that while he’s always embraced the run-and-shoot of its guru Mouse Davis, he’ll be tweaking the offensive systems more than changing them. He may add some extra quarterback reads from run-and-shoot but pointed out that the elements of that genre—“which 40 years ago was considered totally a drastic, communist, way to play the game”–are part of offensive play at every level of football.

He considers himself an interim coach but already wants to return for 2018.

“I’ve got 10 games for them to evaluate me for next season,” he says. “I’m kind of intrigued by some of the things that are potentially coming down the tube here. I’m going to make it fun for last 10 games and get some wins.”

Steve Milton

Steve Milton

Steve Milton is a long-time columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2012.
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Steve Milton
About Steve Milton (92 Articles)
Steve Milton is a long-time columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2012.

74 Comments on June Jones: No number one QB for Ticats

  1. Peter Griffin // August 25, 2017 at 1:43 pm //

    Looking forward to the Labour Day game against TO. This team hopefully is going to get its intensity back as things continue to change (hopefully for the better). As a team they need that first elusive win. I like the idea of no anointed starter, but rather two, both of whom can do some good things as we’ve seen in the past. Would like to see what Golson is all about as well. Would be interesting to hear what the players make of the changes so far.

  2. No mention of the ‘M’ word yet…which is definately a good sign.

    • Agree. That is completely pushing the “red” panic button. Would love to see them make a play for Franklin who’s a FA after this season but not holding my hopes up.

      • Ticats fans chill // August 26, 2017 at 4:19 am //

        Get rid of collaros, also they dropped the hammer on me… But again I’m back. Just bought me a house in Lake Erie, so that my tears of watching the ticats lose will serve serve a purpose by adding more water to the water.

        • Cfl know it all , take 2 // August 26, 2017 at 4:24 am //

          Wow we are all un moderated, yay. Why do I feel like nothing has changed, oh wait, they still suck…

        • You in Dover? Was there looking for beach property last month…can’t beat the perch at Erie Beach Hotel…been going there for years when back in the Hammer on my yearly sabbatacal.

          • Ticats fans chill // August 26, 2017 at 4:46 am //

            Oh u bet ,Dover, I got a good deal on a house right next to the beach. I quit my job at the bank and taking a long break till hockey season, in Barrie. But if a drive, but at least I won’t have any more puddles of tears on the floor anymore, they’ll be shed out back in the water hooray!! Yah that hotel and the main area is about a 5 minute walk from the house. And yes they do serve a damn fine fish. Hey what do u do for a living my man? How goes your battle? You like cars, cause I got some neat ones. Porche 911 carrera, 60 gto, And got that Dodge Charger, with that beauty of a hood. Ok enough about me, what about u?

          • Ticats fans chill // August 26, 2017 at 5:16 am //

            You don’t have to answer what U do for work, it’s okay if u would rather keep it private like a cop or something

          • sorry friend…I was moderated…reply to follow.

  3. Chris Robertson // August 25, 2017 at 2:05 pm //

    If the Offence finds the fast lane, but defence is still surrendering touchdowns I wonder if June will bring Jeff back as DC…

  4. My guess is that Austin will leave after this season.

    • Butch: I have been wondering about that too. Austin doesn’t sound like he is all in on the VP’s job. Maybe he wants to find an opportunity down south after this season….but it sounds like he has lost interest in coaching too. Maybe Scott Mitchell and the Caretaker want to clean the slate after this season and look for a new VP Football Operations/GM and HC..in that order. Heck even June Jones doesn’t know where he stands for next season. Perhaps the calls are going out now. If so, I wonder if one of thsm will be to Tommy Condell if Austin leaves. Lots of “ifs” but I think this mid-season shakeup is just the first of many changes that will be made before next season. All speculation on my part though. For now though, I would like to see a few wins even if they don’t get us into the playoffs.

    • Agree. KA sounds…and I hate to say it…looks, like he’s had enough.

  5. Tillman will be next to go and Austin takes his position as well

    • Catmando – I can agree with you on that.
      Butch and 62cats – Austin is under contract for the next couple of seasons and I sure didn’t get the impression that he no longer wants to be here. Rather I got the distinct impression that he really wants to focus on making the team better as the one in charge of football ops – i.e. more involved in scouting, recruiting etc. If you haven’t listened to his presser already, then I recommend it.

  6. Mr62 Cats agree with you that there was no mention but there was mention of bringing in players as competition brings out the best in players. This was a subtle hint. Wonder who the offensive coach is that he is mind. I wonder if it Jeff Reinebold.

    • Ari: I would think Tommy Condell would be the first choice for OC..if Austin doesn’t stick around after this season. But so many things seem to be up in the air right now. It’s tough get a reading on how everything will look for 2018. The 3 Down Nation comment sections should be fun until then!

      • Tiger man // August 28, 2017 at 11:41 am //

        You want to bring back someone who walked out on this team and ownership…good to know how low your standards are…

  7. Mantis Toboggan // August 25, 2017 at 3:02 pm //

    All about the qbs they are gonna simplify things and do less things better.Can you do less than zero. These are cfl vets who have been in the offence for 5 years and he makes it sound like it’s the first week of camp.Until they fix the O line doesn’t matter which “kid” is qb.

    • The OL does not control the eyes of the QB…the easiest thing you can do is blame them and forget the QB standing there holding onto the ball for 4 seconds in the pocket expecting to find someone open.

      the good QBs get rid of the ball in a timely fashion and know where there is pressure but Collaros stands in the pocket and is either sacked or stripped way to often.

      point is a good QB is just as beneficial to his OL as they are for him

      • … and an OC who designs / calls plays to deal with predictable pass rushing from the opposing defense helps too.

        I am hoping that the new regime (Jones/Ptaszek) adds some bread and butter plays to help out.

        • I agree with the play calling however its still up to the QB to spot it and I dont see any improvement in this area

      • Tiger man // August 28, 2017 at 11:26 am //

        Really??

        I can’t remember anytime in the recent past when Collaros had more than 2 seconds to throw the ball.

        The ONLY occasions he has the luxury of 4 seconds is when he escapes the pocket…

  8. Interesting that Masoli only ran the scout team in practice under Austin.

    • Just what would you expect the back ups to be doing in practice? There is a limited amount of time in practice and limited reps for the QB. The starter is going to be taking all of those reps unless there’s a reason for the back up to be involved.

      • I seem to have read that Calgary gives first team reps to multiple QBs … which is probably why when the backup is forced to play, there is not as much of a drop off in the play by the offense.

      • QB #1 & QB #2 should take reps with the first team offence.

        I now understand why Hamilton has not groomed their own QB since Mike Kerrigan.

        • Absolutely. I have no problem with Jones not naming his starting QB either. I prefer Zach when he is confident but Jones is doing the right thing at this time. Whatever it takes to get a win.

  9. been saying this since after week 1….you just cant give the support to a QB who has lost his confidence and his ability to feel and react to pressure and coverage.

    this statement should have been made by Austin a lot earlier in the year and then maybe we might be playing for something.

    it all starts with the QB and we have been going in reverse for so long

  10. Bart Oates // August 25, 2017 at 3:29 pm //

    When you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have a starting QB.

    Zack has completely lost his accuracy and Masoli is still the thug who was arrested for burglary before being kicked off the Oregon Ducks.

    • And your point is……..?

    • Yes because someone’s mistake that they have already paid their dues for tottttallllly has relevance to their football ability…right?

    • @Bart… totally uncalled for. How is Masoli still a thug? What evidence do you have to insult him? I guess, unlike every single person I know, you have never made any mistakes. I know people who have been incarcerated for bigger things than burglary and have since found their way and are contributors to society (Spider Jones, Actor Danny Trejo,..)
      I’m not a bleeding heart liberal here to defend ex-criminals, but if he served his time, then according to OUR Canadian law, he is no different than you or me.

  11. What is your point Bart? Don’t bring peoples shortcomings into the conversation everyone does things they regret then some grow up Masoli seems to have grown up . Look forward to the changes ahead . Let’s go Jones get these boys winning again

  12. Hamilton will have three advantages over Toronto going into Labour day.
    1. Hamilton has a bye week plus a few days extra.
    2. Toronto has a western trip to play a tough football team this week.
    3. Hamilton is playing at home.

  13. solara2000 // August 25, 2017 at 4:32 pm //

    Maybe the conversation should be”What if they can’t win? What if they don’t have the talent to win? How long does that take to rebuild if you have to start with the QB where QBs who can play are few and far between – no please don’t even whisper the M word?

    • Collaros is finished here. No way he is going to recoup that brief blimp in 2015. But no worries someone new will come along…no not JM…and Collaros will just become another trivia answer on the TC board game.

  14. People, this is a good move. Austin made this move himself and put someone in charge that has a proven record. Kent has a brilliant football mind and connections everywhere which makes him a perfect fit where he is. June Jones being here, if you know football should get you excited as a fan, I know I am. Cant wait to see that shoot and run put into effect here in Hamilton.

    • richinbanff (Rich Wilson) // August 25, 2017 at 7:03 pm //

      The “run and shoot” is pretty outdated now, which is why Mr. Jones stated he would “Tweak rather than change”. If you wish to dig up old offences, why not the single wing? There is no chance this change was voluntary. Coaching as a profession requires a high degree of self-belief. If Austin voluntarily did this than he might as well retire, for it demonstrated he has lost that.

      • Rich: I think you are going over the line here with Austin. I wanted him out because of 0-8 and I thought he has also lost the team. OK…..he is no longer the HC. Time to move on. Trashing him like you have done has no place on this comment section. Who are you to judge Austin’s coaching abilities? The world of football is stacked high with Head Coaches who have failed with one team and had success with another. Marc Trestman and June Jones are examples. Austin has NOT demonstrated it is time for him to retire. The only thing that “demonstrates” anything is the ugliness and inappropriateness of your comment.

        • Tiger man // August 28, 2017 at 11:46 am //

          You want to get rid of a coach…but you have no idea of the cause of the problems…or can even suggest ANY answers…

          And who are you to suggest that Austin should be replaced..you are obviously judging his abilities…

          You have no place to point fingers at others…hypocrite.

      • Tiger man // August 28, 2017 at 11:31 am //

        If coaches like Belichick are still using various of this offense…then they don’t seem to think it’s outdated…but do continue with your prejudices…

  15. I had never heard the run and shoot offence referred to as a communist offence before.

  16. A few thoughts…

    For all the Austin haters… you got what you (we) wanted… now one of two things happens…
    1.) Ticats begin to win under Jones and therefore Austin’s coaching takes the blame…
    2.) Ticats continue to lose because they lack sufficient talent and Austin’s recruiting takes the blame…
    Either way Austin looks bad so I see this as a lose/lose for him…

    Sometimes a team is close but missing chemistry… so a coaching change mid season might be a good thing and spark that chemistry to combust… but too often it doesn’t provide the desired results… it might be that this team is just a bad team lacking skill, talent, leadership, clear and executable playbook and detailed game planning… too many things for Jones to address in just a few weeks of practice…

    • Snake: You have a very pessimistic view of the Tiger-Cats players and their abilities. So if Jones does not change things….do you want Austin back?
      Right now we have no idea of how they will respond to June Jones. I am rooting for him because I want some wins this season.

      • Tiger man // August 28, 2017 at 11:35 am //

        That’s just it…you HAVE NO IDEA…

        Not a clue what the causes of the problems really are…let alone how to resolve them…

        Kent Austin is in a no win situation…you guys can simply go back to throwing your guesses to a dart board…

    • You are bang on with #2 Mr. Snake. The talent is just not there. Unlike teams like the RB’s and Lions who are a tweak away. Miss the days of Mike McCarthy.

  17. No number one…good. 🙂 8

    • TC QB situation is more like #2 right now my friend.

      • Ticats fans chill // August 26, 2017 at 5:45 am //

        Yah

        • Hey, I think I am not getting moderated anymore…having said that, isn’t that what the Russians used to do decades ago…suppress you? LOL!

        • I am still waiting for Collaros to do something except whine at the O-line, RB’s, OC, HC, water boy…make yourself worthy of the 1.5…still waiting…oh, I’ve given up on that last minute “game winning” drive already.

          • He has regressed in every major part of his game and losing will do that..im not putting the total blame on him however he has to be better in a pure leadership way. I think JJ knows after a short time he has to start with square 1 with him.

  18. Ticats, plz fix your stuff please!

  19. @mr62cats… you might call it pessimism but I prefer pragmatism… a healthy dose of realism is called for here… Austin and his staff had the entire off season plus a full training camp and 8 games to get things working better… 0-8 is the result… now Jones has 2 weeks to turn this team around in time for the Labour Day Classic… using the same players and same playbook (albeit simplified)…

    As much as I want and hope Jones is successful I just don’t see it happening… so I am tempering my enthusiasm with a large dose of reality…

    BTW… not sure if the 62 means you’ve been a fan since ’62… but I’ve been a fan since ’67… and miss the old days of Ticat’s defensive dominance… especially in the trenches… our defence could use a few of Covington, Montford, Mosca, Barrow, Samples, Zambiasi…

    Just saying…

    • I agree with you Snake but we need a GM and associated scouts to go and find then deliver them. I miss that Hammerin’ defence as well. Who knows perhaps if KA focuses on the admin side he can help turn this team around. It will be very strange to see him fade into the background but kudos to him for accepting the fact that he can’t do it all himself, he has to trust his staff to do their jobs while he focuses on his jobs.
      We are still not dead, just need to catch the 2nd place team and with all the head-to-head games, it is not out of the realm of possibilities…

    • Or a Bennett or Hitchcock at Safety…someone back there in the secondary who can actually hit hard enough to break a dozen eggs. Indeed realism as you say is required here. I’m watching the RB’s hammering a pretty good Lions team right now. No way Ottawa is going to miss the PO’s. Neither will the hated Argos. Third spot in the East won’t matter because one of the Western teams will cross over. This TC season is over – stick a fork in it.

    • Ticat Mike // August 27, 2017 at 7:53 pm //

      Agree completely: where is the Joe Montford? Covington, Walker types on the O line? where is the Tiggle, Zambiasi in the LB corps? Porter and Shaw on the corners were unbeatable one on one. Remember Mike Wilson, Larry Butler anchoring the O line – we used to 1000 yd plus rushing backs. YOu can go up and down this line up and not see the impactful players of yesteryear.
      Collaros or any QB needs protection, a run game, good receivers who can get open, and a playbook that has him releasing the ball via the run or an open receiver in 2 to 3 seconds tops with outlet options. A lot of critics were hard on Calvillo and Damen Allen who went on to do great things on other teams. Man, even Matt Dunigan – who was an allstar QB ruined his career here with the ridiculous offense that was characterized by what we’ve seen for a lot of the past 3 decades: poor protection, no run game, and being under constant pressure . Give any QB the tools to work with before judging. Faloney was not a great athlete but he was a great competitor with great warriors on both side of the line. Zuger — same.

      • Ticat Mike: This website won’t let me reply to snake…so maybe I can reply to you.
        The turnover of players under Austin’s time in Hamilton has been high.IMHOP he should never have let some of them go. Ellingson is the obvious example. Mossis Madu is another.I know he was injured but both are going gangbusters in Ottawa. Maher too but it was pure luck that we ended up with Sergio at the last minute. The only thing I can see is that either Austin was told to save money….or he looks for players to fit his “system” rather than work with the talent. That attitude showed itself many times especially in the game planning which never seemed to change no matter how far behind we were at half time. The system works “if only the players can execute my plan”. Unfortunately it was the wrong system because the other teams always had us figured out about 10 mins into the first quarter. Then there was the game where Tasker only got the ball maybe twice. Where has Aultman been in the last couple of games? He is one tough runner when he gets the ball but he rarely got the ball.And it wasn’t just because Zach was running for his life so much. Aultman has the ability to get short yardage. We always seem to have a strong core of good players but they never last. That is wrongheaded.
        And snake…..re the mr “62” cats question: I started being a fan in high school in Hamilton in 1961. Bob Krause who played for the Tiger-Cats for 14 seasons, was in my Grade 12 class at Central.So was Paul Henderson who played for the Hamilton Red Wings…and Buddy Blom. Not a bad class to be in!
        I left Hamilton at the end of 1961 and never moved back. I debated whether or not to use “63” because of the Grey Cup win but the 62 team had many of the same players I cheered for in my final year of high school.Chalk it up to nostalgia.

  20. RalphInTheCreek // August 26, 2017 at 9:34 am //

    Stay positive my friends.

  21. The owner of this team should study a successful franchise like Calgary who very rarely lose more than 2 or 3 games a season and try to emulate the workings of a successful team eh?

  22. I said this on another article on 3downnation….the cats should give Danny Maciocia a call!!

  23. snake…I have been trying to reply to your post from earlier today. Each time I try it tells me my message is waiting for moderation. Nothing in my post to remotely breaks any rules. I am using this message to see if I can post without hitting reply.

  24. Lennywasout // August 26, 2017 at 5:09 pm //

    What does Jones keep referring to the players as “kids”…these are grown men. This isn’t the NCAA or high school.
    I’ll give the guy a chance but I don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling about him.

  25. frank emil sabados // August 26, 2017 at 9:39 pm //

    June Jones don t there s no chance in Hell Cats want you after the season , after the season is over , Tiger Cats will hire a new Coach in the 2018 season , Jone s is a fill in for the last 12 games and make no mistake about it Jones know s the situation

  26. June Jones. Never heard of him but his resume is impressive. Austin made a good move. What 2018 will bring, who knows, but injecting new blood is never a bad idea.

    BTW, as for Bob Young, he is a “caretaker” as he calls himself. I doubt he is calling Austin at half-time. That man spends a lot of his own money to carry the Ti-Cats and lets the football people run the football. He should be thanked for his efforts. As a CFL fan, Bob, if you’re reading this, thanks.

  27. 5 wins For the TiCats and Jones would be a moral victory for them with 10 games left. Anything better than that would be fantastic at the point. Time will tell. If the run and shoot offense works anywhere it will be in the CFL.

  28. Jim: We already have the run and shoot. It has evolved since the 1980’s and most teams still use a variation of it. Which version are you referring to? Defences have changed a lot so no single system, like the wishbone, last for very long in it’s original form.

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