Scouting report: Ticats-Als about more than just Johnny

Yeah, yeah, yeah Johnny Manziel but this is also a big game for the Ticats given that they are just one game ahead of the Alouettes in the East Division standings and have lost their last three games. The decision to promote Manziel to the No. 1 job despite just five practices with the club – a move his agent called “insane” – speaks to the desperation in Montreal as they try and salvage what’s rapidly becoming another lost season.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-4) at Montreal Alouettes (1-5)
Percival Molson Stadium
Fri., Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m.
TV: TSN Radio: TSN 1150 U.S.: ESPN2

Key roster notes for Hamilton: receivers Luke Tasker and Terrence Toliver return to the line up while Brandon Banks, who missed much of practice this week with a knee injury, remains on the roster. That means the Ticats could, theoretically, field a line up with five former 1,000-yard receivers (Chris Williams and Jalen Saunders have also done it) by using Canadian Mercer Timmis at running back. American Alex Green is listed as the starter, however, as he returns from a broken hand (John White moves to the practice roster.)

Key roster notes for Montreal: While Manziel has been the focus this week, the Alouettes have also made a number of other roster changes against Hamilton. Former Ticat Landon Rice gets the start at guard after Ryan Bomben (another ex-Tabbie) was dealt to Toronto for T.J. Heath who will line up at boundary corner. Starting field corner Mitch White is out due to injury, replaced by rookie Greg Ducre. Former Ticat Tony Washington, another piece in the Manziel deal, starts at left tackle. Canadian Bo Banner, a 2018 draft pick, makes his first career start at defensive end.

Nifty numbers worth knowing
3-0: Jeremiah Masoli’s career record as a starter against the Montreal Alouettes. He’s 9-5 on the road and 12-13 overall.
951: days since Johnny Manziel last threw a pass in a professional football game.
14: starting quarterbacks for the Alouettes since Anthony Calvillo’s last game in August 2013. That’s the most in the CFL over that span (the Ticats are tied for fifth with six.)
4: starting quarterbacks for the Alouettes in the last four weeks, something that’s happened just six times, league-wide, in the last 60 years.
0: wins at home in the last eight games for Montreal.
-33: point differential for the Ticats in the second half of games this season (they are +28 in the first half.) Hamilton has been outscored in five of six fourth quarters this season.
6: interceptions by Masoli this season, tops in the CFL. Opponents have scored 21 points off those picks.

Referee: Tim Kroeker

TSN crew: Rod Black and Glen Suitor

Weather: Partly cloudy, 26 degrees, wind from the south at 20 km/h

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
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1568 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.

17 Comments on Scouting report: Ticats-Als about more than just Johnny

  1. Should be an interesting game…except for Rod & Glen…..

    • Ticats63 // August 2, 2018 at 4:47 pm //

      Its a real shame this game – possibly most watched so far this season – will be called by the incompetent duo of Black and Forde.

      Actually, its down right embarrassing listening to those two, and tonight will be non-stop Black telling all of us dummies the Johnny Manziel background story ad nauseum.

      Rod Smith and Matt Dunigan should be in the booth.

  2. Marc Antony // August 2, 2018 at 4:09 pm //

    If Masoli can somehow manage to throw a TD pass in this game, it would be great. If Masoli can somehow manage to NOT throw an interception in this game, that would be great too. If June “where am I” Jones can somehow manage to stay conscious of the fact that he’s in the midst of coaching a professional football game for an entire 60 minutes, that would be really great too. Go Cats!

    • Garney26 // August 2, 2018 at 4:43 pm //

      Lol Marc good read. I agree with the Jones comment. I like the man but I admit I have screamed at my tv shaking my head at some of the decisions he has made. I think he needs to hire Fantuz to whisper the CFL in his ear like he did last year.

  3. A very minor injury to Masoli in, the first quarter, where he has to be replaced would heighten the football drama to unbearable, and wildly sensational for all sport’s newscasters.Murphy’s Law.Hope the Cats are prepared for Johnny as well as Murphy.

  4. I expect the Hamilton defense to be very aggressive. They also know JM and his tendencies, and the plays he prefers. There may be a few interceptions.

  5. Oh boy, Rod Black is gonna have Johnny Manziel turrets in this one. Hope he doesn’t stroke out.

  6. gocatsgo // August 2, 2018 at 8:01 pm //

    Desperation mode now in Montreal, if Hamilton doesn’t win they will have no chance at overtaking Ottawa , …yeah somebody give June Jones a 5 Hour Energy before the game …

  7. Lets turn it over to Orlondo Steinauer! see what he can do with this team.
    Hope the ticats offence gets out of sputter mode or it could be a long but historical night!

  8. Glad to see both Dean and Daly back from IR…after all that middle has been a complete sieve since they’ve been gone…oh, wait a minute…

  9. The stills // August 3, 2018 at 7:45 am //

    Mcleod BT is another example of an NFL-NCAA guy having quick success like Steveler. In fact his path is similar to Manziel’s. From Wikipedia.. Ucla red shirt. Appeared in 5 games for Bruins. Transfer Sacramento State (Ricky Ray Alma). Kicked around NFL. Like John played in Spring league but 2017. Signed with Argos may 2017. Two pre-seasOn games 2017. he has sat for a year and a half but still in initial contract. Lets see if Manziel can follow him from Spring league, two pre-season and watching a veteran on the bench to success. I hear John cherry picked through Als playbook to find stuff he ran at [email protected] and Browns. Hard to say who has the edge on scouting but I am sure Manziel put in plays that take advantage of Weaknesses of the defense he saw in practice and games. On the other side John probably never showed the Cats everything he can do and he makes up stuff on the fly that is not film. Plus if he is running Browns and [email protected] plays that are also in the Als playbook the Cats probably have never seen those plays.

  10. ARcade Fire // August 3, 2018 at 7:49 am //

    Rod Black may gush about Manziel but Dunnigan won’t. You can tell Matt is not real high on John.

  11. Celine Dion // August 3, 2018 at 10:43 am //

    Just watching all the clips and listening to podcasts there is a big difference in demeanor between Manziel and Masoli. John is all fire and brimstone but Masoli seems timid and frightened. Sherman says great players elevate those around him. And Sherman coached Favre and Reggie White. But I think the opposite is true also. Masoli is dragging down a good team. He is making everyone around him worse. Facts are his CFL record is now less than 500. I think Masoli is flawed and TIcats traded the wrong guy.

  12. gocatsgo // August 3, 2018 at 5:34 pm //

    Celine you might be confusing a player’s personality as it comes across to you, I would characterize Manziel as outgoing and boisterous while Masoli as laid back and thoughtful , however both play a very tough , physical game and both have had a degree success at the most difficult position in football so calling Masoli timid and frightened is inaccurate and just stupid. Sorry, give your head a shake buddy.

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