June Jones wants to settle Ticats QB situation

John Chidley-Hill

June Jones values consistency, and wants to demonstrate faith in his players. That’s why one of his first tasks as Hamilton’s full-time head coach will be to settle the Tiger-Cats’ quarterbacking situation as quickly as possible.

The Tiger-Cats dropped the interim tag on Jones’s title on Monday as the two sides agreed to a three-year deal. Jones came on as a replacement head coach mid-season in 2017 and helped Hamilton go 6-4 after an 0-8 start.

One of the keys to Jones’s success after stepping in as head coach on Aug. 24 was installing Jeremiah Masoli as starting QB ahead of Zach Collaros, who had been under centre for Hamilton for most of its past four seasons.

Masoli is a free agent but has said he would return to the Ticats if Jones was the head coach, while Collaros has one year remaining on his deal, reportedly one of the most lucrative in the CFL.

“Obviously, we can’t keep both of them,” said Jones, who complimented the professionalism and playing ability of both quarterbacks. “We’ll make that decision in the next few weeks and we’re going to do what’s best for everybody involved. That’s a good problem to have.”

Complicating matters for the Tiger-Cats is that they have been in ongoing negotiations with Johnny Manziel, a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who played for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns in 2014 and 2015 before being cut from the team for ongoing discipline and substance abuse issues. In January 2016, Manziel was charged after being accused of hitting and threatening a former girlfriend before reaching an agreement with prosecutors to dismiss the case.

Because of those allegations, the CFL announced on Sept. 27 that it wouldn’t approve a contract for Manziel until next season, and only if the 24-year-old quarterback met certain conditions stipulated by commissioner Randy Ambrosie.


Jones made a quick climb up the coaching ladder of the Tiger-Cats this summer. He joined the team as an assistant head coach on Aug. 2 before replacing Austin as head coach three weeks later.

Under Jones, Hamilton’s offence posted the CFL’s most points for (295), net offence (4,071 yards), passing yards (3,081), rushing yards (1,149), offensive touchdowns (28), rushing touchdowns (13), first downs (226) and were second in points for per game (29.5), all while turning the ball over just a league-low 13 times.

Defensively, Hamilton ranked first in rushing yards allowed per game (73.4), quarterback sacks (33), forced fumbles (13) and pass knock downs (38), and were second in interceptions (12) and net offence allowed per game (335.5 yards) over its last 10 games.

“What June accomplished here as a head coach in the last half of the 2017 season was nothing short of remarkable,” said Austin. “He is a strong leader with high character and extensive football knowledge, and we know he will be relentless in his efforts to put a winning product on the field in pursuit of a Grey Cup.”

Jones gave all the credit to Austin and the rest of the Ticats’ front office for putting the pieces in place. In his view, he just got the team going in the right direction and not thinks Hamilton could be a Grey Cup contender as soon as 2018.

“That’s the No. 1 thing, I think we have the players in place, I think we have great kids,” said Jones. “Kent has done a great job of accumulating character kids. There’s no way you can win six games after going 0-8 if you don’t have the right kind of kids in the organization.”

– CP


43 Comments on June Jones wants to settle Ticats QB situation

  1. June Jones does not mess around. He wants certainty and clarity. If the Cats play their cards right they should end up with one heck of a QB and some new additions to the roaster if they a trade or 2 involving 2 other QBs.

  2. Eddiefelson // December 4, 2017 at 6:55 pm //

    Zach or trade zach for bridge.

    Masoli played above his head and his receivers bailed him out a hundred times.

    It wont take defenses long to figure him out-he only played bad teams (except winnipeg) and only beating montreal twice kept him from being below 500

    • Zach for Bridge and a draft pick is god but don’t continue to underestimate Masoli who will continue to improve with playing time. Who says he cold not have won against Montreal if it was on good shape. he did beat Winnipeg, Toronto and almost Calgary

    • TigersCoach // December 4, 2017 at 7:42 pm //

      He only played bad teams? Look at the schedule and rethink that response. He played 10 games. In those 10 he played every team in the league except Edmonton. Only bad teams? Don’t let the facts get in the way of your opinion.

      • eddiefelson // December 4, 2017 at 8:25 pm //

        sorry=he only BEAT bad teams-except winnipeg as already mentioned…My bad for not holding your hand through the read

    • You are saying CFL defenses don’t use film to prepare?
      Or that they are slow learners?

      Masoli has started nineteen games so if the CFL defenses haven’t figured him out … they likely won’t.

    • Why in Gawd’s name would we want Colaros , or more appropriately named Albetros!!!!!! The only thing Colaros would be doing in Regina is washing out water bottles , the guy is GARBAGE !!!!!!!! Jones will not make a foolish trade like that , maybe pick Colaros up as TC fodder when he gets cut and is washing dishes next year !!!!

      • greenenvy? // December 5, 2017 at 8:32 am //

        Collaros is unlikely to go to Sask as he wants to stay East. Nobody is going to take Collaros at his current contract & he has a bonus sometime in January which I doubt Hamilton will pick up so, if not traded by then, they may have to cut him. In that case he can go where he wants & the contract will be a non-issue. If you think Jones hasn’t any interest in Collaros, think again. He likes reclamation projects – you should know this by now with Vince Young being exhibit A. You got one guy near the end now on the roster & 3 guys with “potential”, which may or may not mean anything. Lots of questions with Bridge, especially his inaccurate arm, which was that way in college & is that way today in the CFL.

    • Why trade for Bridge?
      At least Zach has shown in the past that he is a great QB. I have seen much from Bridge at all.
      Unless you want him because he’s Canadian? that doesn’t make sense.

    • So Calgary was a bad team? Who, by the way, we were beating until a last play hail Mary/pass interference call helped them win. Then there was Sask, who we would have tied if Gable had not got injured. We beat Toronto, except for the cfl comedy centres unbelievable sequence of bad calls, and they won it all, so, yes, if the GC winner and looser are both bad teams then we only played two, or one by your count!

      • Actually … when the interference call was made, Calgary and Hamilton were tied.

        I do agree that focusing on Montreal as a bad team is ignoring the bigger picture.

  3. Tommy Jenkins // December 4, 2017 at 7:04 pm //

    Since being hired, Jones has been very complimentary of Manziel & has compared him to Warren Moon with regards to the type of QB he can be in the CFL. It is clear to anyone that has half a brain that Jones wants Manziel in the fold. I guess all the naysayers out there can disagree with Jones now too as of course they know better.

    • Good point,Jones will read the TEA leaves in the Hamilton QB situation and possibly bite if Manzel becomes available, other then that , his focus will be on Bridge or Franklin ( favored ). No ALBETROS for Jones, Colaros is cancer , as in being washed UP!!!!! no up side at all over the young guns available. At best a very very very maybe slight upgrade on Glen but very doubtful, if Winnipeg does not go the possible DD route as back up Colaros may wind up there if they are UBER desperate, and cant grab some. one else off the many available FA qb’s.

    • Manziel seem to be a good fit for the CFL, we will see how he does in the spring at the training camp.
      There are no guarantees to be a starter, they have to earn the position in training camp.
      Wouldn’t surprise me if it’s Mazoli and Manziel as number 1 and 2

  4. Collaros will be traded to another team (probably Toronto) and jj I think will retain jm as the starting qb . Even if Manziel comes to Hamilton he will not be starting material. He would have to learn the cfl game and be on the sidines for a period of time and jj even said if Manziel is committed to 2 or 3 years down here he could do well . Jj likes jm and his style of play. Under jj with a full camp I think jm can be a legitimate starter . I have always had faith in jm the more he plays the better he gets

    • Tommy Jenkins // December 4, 2017 at 8:15 pm //

      What’s the deal with all the initials … dude learn how to compose an intelligent post or go get hooked on phonics !!!

    • Learn the Canadian game? looking at the amount of US players we have in the league and most of them are pretty good players, you don’t have to “learn the game”, it’s the same game but one less down and slightly different rules.
      ALL of our QBs in this league have come from the NCAA or ex-NFL and most take it in stride.

      • Joe – And how many QBs including Heisman winners have also crashed and burned in the CFL because they couldn’t adapt to the larger field, extra defender and other nuances of the Canadian game? Troy Smith ring a bell? Some excellent NCAA QBs just can’t adapt and there’s no guarantee that Johnny can or will be willing to put in the work to be successful here or want to hang around for the 3-4 years that Jones thinks he would need to build a sufficient resume before making his way back to the NFL.

  5. Lancaster/Reed // December 4, 2017 at 8:06 pm //

    The only way collaros will be traded is if he is willing to renegotiate his salary before the trade actually takes effect. Everybody knows that if they cant trade him they will cut him. I wouldnt expect hamilton to get much out of a trade.

    • BigRedMachine // December 5, 2017 at 11:00 am //

      I suppose if they waited until Feb 1 and paid Collaros his $200K bonus, teams might be more willing to trade for him. But throwing away that kind of cap money in the hope it gets you a better return of an asset seems risky and bad business.

  6. TO and Sask wanted him when he was losing. Cats can something decent in a trade if he re-negotiates. I’m sure some teams want him and will offer something decent

    • NOT the Colaros thing was WAY WAY WAY back at seasons start as our QB situation was more up in the air and Colaros had not TOTALLY SHIT THE bed. After mid season , I believe Jones knew – based on play of Bridge -that Colaros was not even a after thought (SEE TRADE OF 4TH ROUND PICK FOR Adams !!!— ergo NO ACTION when Hamilton was shopping him 3/4 season.

    • greenenvy? // December 5, 2017 at 8:40 am //

      You’re absolutely right. It was well reported that TO offered a lucrative package of National/draft combo LAST YEAR. What’s changed? His value is based upon being fairly young & having some very good & at least one MOP worthy season before injuries. Jones will still be interested. He’s had, what, at least 16 QB’s go through Regina the past 2 years & hasn’t found “the guy” yet.

  7. Can’t imagine Collaros has any trade value. Most probable outcome is he will be released and eventually signs somewhere at a borderline starter’s contract with bonuses based on how much he plays. Based on June Jones’ comments, Zach could be released before the end of 2017.

    • Sea of Dead // December 4, 2017 at 9:26 pm //

      There are at least 3 teams desperate for a starting QB, assuming Ray retires. So I doubt that Collaros will sign for peanuts. There may be some doubts about his health but mgmt types will remember his 2015 season so his pay package will be decent and include incentives. The question is whether one of those three teams will trade with the Cats out of desperation or simply wait until Collaros is released and try to out bid the other two.

  8. The Ticats could also eat some of Collaros’s contract. He’s due a bonus early next year, not sure how much but paying that before a trade is one option. Or if the CBA allows it they could make a trade sooner with a suitcase of cash accompanying ZC.

    Masoli has shown growth in every single season with the Ticats. While I’m still a Zach fan and think the team should have given him more playing time late in the year, if they go all-in with Jeremiah I think he’s still got more upside and with the tutelage of Jones and Morrison (should he return too) the mistakes can be reduced and decision-making improved.

  9. Colour me green // December 4, 2017 at 10:25 pm //

    Zach is an injury liability. Not worth the price. Masoli I’m not a fan of his. Defences will figure him out pretty easiest. So Bridges can stay in Saskie hopefully. Our eyes are pointed another way than Hamilton and it should is EE.

    • If Masoli is that easy to figure out … why do the defenses need more than the nineteen starts he has made?

      Or is it that figuring out Masoli is not the same thing as stopping.

      The “figure him out” bit seems to assume defenses have not played against him.

  10. Wish people would actually analyze what Jones accomplished. He took over a 0-8 team so there was no pressure. He made loads of bad decisions and lost winnable games. He finished 6-4 but 2 ios the wins were against a hapless Montreal team and one against a poor BC team. I would have preferred a complete house cleaning.

  11. No pressure ? Really ? Like it wouldn’t have mattered if they lost 10 games !
    The Cats were competitive in every single game. They played well and some players showed a lot of potential thanks to June Jones. And you don’t think that he should be given a chance to coach for a full year ?

    • Hmmmm, I would caution Hamilton fans that Jones WAS a replacement coach , mid season on a team with no where to go but up and would of played their hearts out for anything not Kent!!!!! It will be interesting to see how Jones fairs from the start of the season and with other teams having had also a 8 gameish preview of Jones coaching tendancies!!! Not saying Jones is a bad coach , he porbably will do well, but don’t think he will lead the Cats to a 14-4 season. I think somewhere in the 8-10 win range — battling with Ottawa for 2nd , and trying to avoid missing the playoffs again by having a better record then the 4th place western team. They again need 10 wins to not have a cross over team

      • Possible … but then again, Jones has been out of the CFL for thirty years, could only use a limited playbook, had less than a month to get to know the personnel before being named HC then ended up being competitive in every game.

        Lots of other interim HCs have done far less.

        With a full off season and training camp to put his stamp on the coaching staff as well as the players and a full playbook, above 0.500 seems likely.

        The good news is that instead of wondering about it, next season will tell the tale.

  12. That’s your input Tommy Jenkins ? Your concerned with my use of initials ! Input some feedback about the topic at hand my friend

  13. Montreal needs to step up and make the trade for Zach. Maybe give up Terrel Sutton and 1st round round pick

  14. so conspiracy theory 1001.. #junejonessaid on radio.. ball is in @JManziel2 court. As consideration for meddling @RandyAmbrosie delayed process till January because.. @kevinsummlin called JF said will try for @nfl HC job and if hired your coming with.. try draft #bakermayfield

  15. Probable scenario: Ticats keep Mazzoli and Collaros. Collaros takes a cut and works his way back into the starting position. Ticats swing a trade with BC for two starting receivers plus draft picks… Lions take Manziel and release Jennings. U read it here.

    • Truth is stranger than fiction –but your scenario is not one to bet on .

    • Not enough info to evaluate the scenario.

      If it was me, I’d be sticking to full salary to stay in the Hammer as there has been no indication that anything other than an injury would give a chance of starting.

      Collaros is dealing directly with Jones and the coaches so he may have a different POV.

  16. Jones keeps Mazoli and they dump Collaros’s massive contract. Maybe trade for a good QB prospect already in the league.

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