Beleaguered quarterback Dane Evans claims responsibility for Ticats’ loss: ‘I keep screwing us’

Photo: Bob Butrym/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ quarterback Dane Evans is falling on his sword for the team’s dismal record in 2022.

The embattled starter was initially not made available to media following the Ticats’ 37-20 loss to the Toronto Argonauts on Friday but reportedly exited the locker room of his own volition to take responsibility for the defeat. In an exchange captured by Steve Milton of the Hamilton Spectator, Evans was frank about his performance in his first season as the unquestioned starter.

“We’re such a good team and I keep screwing us, I totally know that, and I’m going to figure out a way to not do that,” Evans told the small group of reporters.

In his first game back after missing two contests with a shoulder injury, Evans regressed to his turnover-happy play style from early in the season. He was ultimately pulled in favour of backup Matthew Shiltz but was forced back into the game due to an injury to his replacement, finishing 19-of-30 passing for 244 yards and three interceptions, while also losing a fumble.

The Argos would score 17 points off of those turnovers, which proved to be the margin of victory in the game.

“That [loss] was 100 percent on myself,” Evans said. “I talked to all of [the players] in the room and I talked to all the coaches. It’s not a lack of preparation … I can’t pinpoint a thing, if I could it wouldn’t be happening. It’s never happened to me before at any level of football.”

In nine starts since taking over as the face of the franchise, Evans has gone 207-of-309 for 2,473 yards passing, ten touchdowns and 13 interceptions — already equalling his previous career-high for picks set in 2019. Add in a slew of fumbles lost and the reason behind Hamilton’s 3-8 season comes into focus.

The pressure is mounting for the Ticats to give his job away to Shiltz full-time after the free agent acquisition outplayed him again on Friday. However, an apparent wrist injury to the backup could see Evans employed for a while longer.

With playoff hopes slipping away, the beleaguered quarterback hopes that bearing the brunt of his poor play in the media will spark a turnaround for the team.

“I want to face it, because I think if I face it [in public], I think I can get over it,” Evans stressed. “I don’t know what it is. I have no clue, but I promise no one is going to work harder than me to get over it.”