Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ head coach Orlondo Steinauer gave an honest review of rookie quarterback Jamie Newman following his first career CFL start in a 28-8 loss to the Toronto Argonauts.
“Obviously not good enough, he’d be the first one to tell you that. We’re not going to beat that into the ground,” Steinauer told the media. “Jamie showed signs, he’s shown flashes of doing things. I thought he saw the pressures real well.”
Newman completed 14-of-25 pass attempts (56 percent) for 171 yards with one interception in Monday’s Labour Day Classic and ran the ball six times for 24 yards. He completed one pass over 20 yards in length, it was a 36-yard completion to Papi White, though 27 of those yards came after the catch.
The Ticats pulled Newman late in the third quarter in favour of second-year quarterback Jalen Morton, who completed two-of-six passes for 13 yards and carried the ball twice for three yards. He entered the game when the score was 11-8 and played four series prior to Newman retaking the field to finish the game.
“We talked about Jalen possibly coming in the game if things were going awry. There was a few things that Jamie was missing out there that we had practiced, to be honest with you,” Steinauer said.
“It wasn’t a benching, it was something that we had talked about and we went with that decision to give Jamie a break — stand on the sideline for a minute and it didn’t turn out the way that we envisioned it but you don’t know until you try. In that type of game, you’re trying to get something going and we didn’t get anything going.”
Dane Evans dressed as the third-string quarterback after being a full participant in practice Thursday through Saturday last week. It remains unclear if and when he will be ready to start again this season as he deals with a lingering shoulder injury.
“On injuries like that, some you’re able to speed up and some take their time. I know he’ll do everything he can to be back but I don’t have a crystal ball right now,” Steinauer said.
The 3-9 Ticats sit alone at the bottom of the East Division entering their second bye week of the season. Steinauer is looking forward to his team getting the opportunity to rest prior to making a final push for the playoffs over the final third of the season.
“We’re not good enough right now. Period. We’re good enough at times, we’re good enough just not in enough facets. We’ve gotta be able to at least win two-thirds of the game, be it special teams, defence, offence, special teams, something. For some reason we’re not able to do that collectively, so everything will be looked at,” the 49-year-old said.
“Losing’s tough. We’ve had some bumps since I’ve been here in 2013 and along the way it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Losing is definitely not fun, it’s tough. If you stay in this business long enough, you’re going to hit these types of patches and so if you can enjoy all the wins and 15-3 [seasons], sometimes you’ve gotta stand up and go through it with the organization when it’s not going your way.”
“The bottom line is you have to win, you’ve gotta win to get to the postseason. We’ve got the last six games to go, you’ve gotta take the first one first. You can’t worry about what they mean, you have to worry about that game and how you’re going to figure out a way to win. The opponents are who they are, they’ve been there all year.”