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Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2023 Pre-Season Game #2: Game Preview and Depth Chart

Tiger-Cats Pre-Season Game #2

Visiting Team: Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Home Team: Montreal Alouettes

Game Location: Percival-Molson Memorial Stadium, Montreal, Quebec

Date and Time: Friday, June 2nd, 2023 at 7:30 pm EDT

Where To Watch: CFL+ Preseason Live on

Expected Weather: 50% Chance of Thunderstorms, NW Winds 15 to 20 km/h

As the 2023 Training Camp approaches, the Tiger-Cat’s second pre-season game at Montreal will represent a final opportunity for the Hamilton coaching staff to evaluate new and young players. After this game, the Tiger-Cats must make cuts from their roster and determine which players move to the practice squad. Therefore, this week of practice and this game will be the last opportunity for many players to earn their spot on the Tiger-Cats 2023 roster. Unfortunately, one player that will not play in this game is wide receiver Justin McGriff who suffered an injury this week, and head coach Orlondo Steinauer projects that McGriff will be for most, if not all, of the 2023 season.

The Tiger-Cats depth chart shows that the starters will not be playing in this game, and the young players will be the focus of the game plan. Steinauer talked about Hamilton’s goals this week “Evaluation is always important; we want to get out (of Montreal) as healthy as possible.” Along with evaluating the young players, Steinauer has mentioned that the Tiger-Cats need to show improvement and greater consistency from their performance last week against the Toronto Argonauts. Steinauer said in a post-practice interview, “We want to get better and not stay the same.”

This week Steinauer mentioned three areas that the Tiger-Cats need to grow most: attention to detail, less preventable penalties, and more consistency. Offensive coordinator Tommy Condell also talked about how Hamilton’s focus on fostering an environment that allows all players to grow based on the team’s experiences. Condell said, “The environment that we have to have is a growth environment, and everyone needs to learn from the success or failure of everyone else.” So with the starters not playing, Hamilton should have plenty of opportunities to learn and grow when playing against Montreal.

Let’s look closely at some of the storylines we will follow during this pre-season game.

Backup Quarterback Is A Critical Position

Starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell succeeded in the Tiger-Cat’s first pre-season game against Toronto. Mitchell will not play in this game against Montreal. That allows backup quarterbacks Matt Shiltz and Taylor Powell to showcase their ability to run the offense effectively. Shiltz did not play against Toronto, and Powell carried the weight of the Tiger-Cats offense. Powell did commit three turnovers, a fumble, and two interceptions against Toronto.

When asked about his plan for dividing playing time between the two quarterbacks, Steinauer indicated it would depend on the offence’s and game’s flow. Both quarterbacks will be playing behind backup offensive linemen and throwing to backup receivers. It will be interesting to see which quarterback can come out and lead the Tiger-Cats offence most efficiently.

Sustaining The Running Game

In the first pre-season game, running backs James Butler and Trey Ragas averaged over 6 yards per carry behind the Tiger-Cat’s rebuilt offensive line. Butler credited the offensive line for his success when he said, “They are so big, it is hard to see me behind them.” Butler is not on the depth chart this week, which indicates that the young running backs Ragas and Fleet-Davis will have a chance to prove themselves against Montreal’s defense.

Offensive Line Depth On Display

Offensive linemen in the CFL are a valuable commodity, and Hamilton is confident with their starting group. However, due to a long season in the CFL, having exceptional depth on the offensive line is critical. Injuries will inevitably occur, and for Hamilton to succeed, they need young linemen to step in and play at a high level. The offensive line is a position group that needs to excel against Montreal this week.

Stifling The Alouettes Run Game

During their first pre-season game against Ottawa, the Alouettes showed the ability to run the ball effectively with their running backs and quarterbacks. The Tiger-Cat’s defensive line and linebacking units will be full of young players; if Hamilton wants to control the Montreal offence, they need to be able to stop the run effectively. Later in the Ottawa game, Montreal started to pass the ball more effectively, but that success was also related to the running game’s success.

Produce More Turnovers

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats defence did an excellent job producing turnovers against the Toronto Argonauts offense last week. Defensive backs Lawrence Woods III and Stavros Katsantonis had interceptions against the Argonaut’s offence. Producing turnovers will be a critical skill for the Tiger-Cats if they want to have a chance to get wins against the top teams in the CFL. Turnovers tend to be contagious, so it will be necessary for Hamilton to continue to take the ball away from their opponent’s offense.

Will Special Teams Keep Being Special?

In the first pre-season game, the Tiger-Cats made a significant impact on the outcome of the game. Lio’undre Gallimore returned a punt for a touchdown, and Hamilton had two new kickers. Both kickers came into the game and successfully made converts and field goals. This week at Montreal, the Tiger-Cats special teams will have another chance to impact the game’s outcome.

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Aaron Sauter Reporter
Aaron Sauter is a 23-veteran high school football coach that is also an fan of all levels of football. He is especially interested in alternative football leagues like the CFL, UFL, and IFL. Aaron enjoys analyzing innovative schemes on offense and defense during his free time.
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