Jeremiah Masoli: ‘I don’t know why I wouldn’t be’ Ticats starting QB following bye week

Photo courtesy: Hamilton Tiger-Cats/Arthur Ward

Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli wants to remain the starter at the most important position for his team.

Masoli has started at QB in both games as the Ticats have begun a season 0-2 for the first time since they went 0-8 in 2017. Hamilton suffered losses against Winnipeg and Saskatchewan prior to a Week 3 bye.

“I don’t know why I wouldn’t be [the starter] but at the same time, that’s above my head and I just want to get back to the drawing board,” Masoli said.

“Let’s get back to this film, have a little second to catch our breath, and see what’s going on.”

During nearly seven quarters of football in 2021, Masoli has completed 62 percent of his passes for 377 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. The soon-to-be 33-year-old (birthday: August 24) has been forced to deal with constant pressure in his face due to a new-look offensive line.

“We gotta play better football, that’s not Ticat football out there. Just watch the film, we gotta get better — all around and I’m not excluding myself at all,” Masoli said.

“I feel fine out there. I feel fine personally, but our offence, obviously we’re not operating on all cylinders like we’re used to doing. It’s more that frustration, I feel fine.”

Overall, penalties have been a major issue for the Tabbies. In Week 1 against the Blue Bombers they were flagged six times for 70 yards and versus the Roughriders they had eight more infractions for 103 yards.

“We gotta have discipline, man — play smart football,” Masoli said.

“It doesn’t matter if guys are chirping, it doesn’t matter if they got the first shove and you’re just shoving back, we all just gotta play smart, complimentary football. We preach that every day, we as players gotta figure it out, we gotta hold each other accountable.”

For two weeks Masoli was admittedly part of a Ticats team that made countless mental errors and turned the football over at an alarming rate. Through eight quarters of play, Hamilton’s given the ball away nine times: four interceptions, three lost fumbles and two turnovers on downs.

“We faced a couple really good defensive coordinators, honestly. It’s not like we’re losing to nobodies or getting blown out, we’re playing some good teams,” Masoli said.

“We still gotta figure out our identity, we gotta get our rhythm going, this year has nothing to do with 2019 — it’s new faces. We gotta find some rhythm and get it going.”

Masoli wants a chance to show he can fix the issues on offence and be QB1 for the Ticats coming out of the off week against the Alouettes in Montreal on Friday, August 27. Dane Evans entered the loss to the Riders and finished the game, which has created uncertainty as to who will start the next time Hamilton takes the field.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen at a lot of positions heading into the bye week and heading out of it,” head coach Orondo Steinauer responded when asked who his starter at quarterback would be in Week 4.

“We’re in an information-gathering stage.”

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.