Scott Milanovich, the recently appointed head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, provided a non-committal perspective on the future involvement of the team’s well-compensated player, Bo Levi Mitchell, during a media interaction this Wednesday. Milanovich conveyed to reporters, “As we progress, decisions will be made. The appropriate course of action will be taken.”
Milanovich’s engagement with Mitchell coincided with his assumption of play-calling responsibilities after Tommy Condell’s departure in August. He acknowledged the challenges that arose due to Mitchell’s limited playtime, stating this made it challenging to implement his strategic vision fully. Despite this, Milanovich recognized Mitchell’s ongoing strengths, citing his “arm strength, precision, and his enduring passion and competitive spirit for the game.”
Throughout the 2023 season, Mitchell, age 33, navigated through an array of injuries, including an adductor strain leading to a four-week absence and a leg fracture that removed him from eight games. In the times where he was active, Mitchell completed 58.5 percent of his attempted passes, achieving 1,031 yards, throwing for six touchdowns, and conceding 10 interceptions.
Milanovich emphasized, “The critical factor lies in having a quarterback that is dependable when handling the ball. Frequent turnovers are something that cannot persist.” Within the Hamilton roster, the quarterbacks were responsible for 23 interceptions against 24 touchdowns. Mitchell recorded the highest discrepancy, while newcomers like Taylor Powell posted 10 touchdown passes to nine interceptions, and Matthew Shiltz listed seven touchdowns to five interceptions.
When Milanovich stepped up to direct the offense, the Tiger-Cats experienced a spike in points per game, and a more harmoniously balanced attack emerged. Contributions from Milanovich are credited with Tim White ascending to become the leading receiver in the league, and James Butler clinching the second slot in league rushing stats — marking the first time a Tiger-Cats player surpassed 1,000 rushing yards since DeAndra’ Cobb in 2010.
“The existing rapport with the offensive squad provides an invaluable advantage. In discussions about player personnel, my insights will be well-informed,” Milanovich stated. “Despite the progress we’ve made, there is a considerable amount of work ahead, although we are in a favorable position.”
Decisions are forthcoming on the retention of players, with over 30 Tiger-Cats members approaching free agency in February — this includes long-serving athletes such as Ted Laurent, Simoni Lawrence, and Dylan Wynn, along with prominent offensive figures like Tim White and Terry Godwin.
Milanovich kept his plans regarding play-calling duties as head coach under wraps, indicating that forming his coaching staff was the immediate priority. An announcement regarding his staff is expected to be issued in the subsequent weeks.
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