In preparation for the 2022 CFL regular season opener at the Saskatchewan Roughriders at 7 pm this Saturday night, June 11th, we will be taking a deep dive into the most critical parts of the 2022 Tiger-Cats team. We are starting this 4-part series examining the strengths and weaknesses of head coach Orlondo Steinauer and his coordinators. Over the next few days we will also be taking a deep dive into the Tiger-Cats offence, defence, and specialists. We will start this journey with the head coach Orlondo Steinauer.
Coach Steinauer brings a wealth of experience to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats including a long, successful career as a CFL player, assistant coach, and head coach of the Tiger-Cats. 2022 marks the 3rd season in Coach Steinauer’s regime as the leader of the Tiger-Cats.
In his first 2 seasons, Coach Steinauer has lead the team to a winning record of 23 wins and 9 losses. He has also lead Hamilton to 2 straight Grey Cup championship appearances in 2019 and 2021 (the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19). In 2022 there will be yet another opportunity to chase the Grey Cup, but there are some challenges that Coach Steinauer will need to find solutions throughout the regular season.
The most significant challenge will be helping re-build an offence that has lost a majority of the offensive starters from the 2021 season. While helping the new additions of the offence work to come together and gel he will also need to maintain a high level of play on defence, and shore up the special teams units.
The offensive coordinator for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is Tommy Condell. Coach Condell has had 2 stints with the Tiger-Cats. His first stint as the offensive coordinator was in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. In both of those seasons, Coach Condell was able to successfully lead the Tiger-Cats offence to 2 consecutive Grey Cup championship appearances.
In his second stint as the Tiger-Cats offensive coordinator, he has once again lead the Tiger-Cats offence to back to back Grey Cup championship appearances in 2019 and 2021. The biggest challenge for Coach Condell and the Tiger-Cats offense is to integrate the new receivers and offensive line into the Tiger-Cats offense.
The defensive coordinator for the Tiger-Cats is Mark Washington. Coach Washington has been the defensive coordinator since the 2019 season. During that time he has helped the Tiger-Cats develop into one of the best defensive units in the CFL. In 2022, the Tiger-Cats defence is expected to be the foundation that the regular season will be built upon. The biggest challenge for Coach Washington is to keep the Tiger-Cats defence hungry, and to produce more turnovers and apply pressure on the opposing quarterbacks.
In professional football, the most overlooked unit for any team are their special teams units. Craig Butler has been put in charge of the Tiger-Cats special teams as the Special Teams coordinator. Coach Butler has been with the Tiger-Cats coaching staff since 2017, and 2022 will be his first season as the special teams coordinator. Generally, the specialists for the Tiger-Cats have been criticized lately. The biggest challenge for Coach Butler will be to keep expectations high for the Hamilton special teams, and also find ways to help the Tiger-Cats gain field position and score points as the offensive unit works to develop chemistry.
Overall, the on-field leadership for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have been very stable over the last 2 years. This is a testament to the environment that Coach Steinauer has developed since 2019. Recently he has touched on the strength of his current coaching staff, “Surrounding myself with great people is extremely important, and I believe this has been accomplished” (Hamilton press release). As the Tiger-Cats work to prepare for the CFL 2022 opener vs. Saskatchewan, we will also continue to prepare by taking a deep dive into the Tiger-Cats offensive personnel in part 2 of the 2022 Hamilton Tiger-Cats Deep Dive series.
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