Ticats add kicker Hugh O’Neill (and his magnificent beard)

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Day two of practice in Calgary and the most notable piece of news is that the Ticats have signed Canadian kicker Hugh O’Neill to the practice roster and he’s here at Shouldice Field with the team today.

O’Neill was drafted 11th overall by the B.C. Lions in 2011 and played 10 games for the Edmonton Eskimos last season, connecting on 20 of 26 field goal attempts and averaging 44.4 yards-per-punt. The Esks released O’Neill in January and he signed with Saskatchewan before being let go at the end of training camp.

Current Ticat kicker Justin Medlock is 100 per cent healthy and handling the kicking duties at practice today, indicating that O’Neill is likely an insurance policy in case Medlock gets hurt. O’Neill is from Edmonton so bringing him in to have a look-see in Calgary was likely a low-cost, low-risk proposition.

They could also be considering splitting up the place kicking and punting duties. O’Neill’s 43.4 yard career punting average is slightly better than Medlock’s 41.9.

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