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Tiger-Cats Pre-Season Game #2: Tiger-Cats Players Look Shine Against Toronto

Tiger-Cats Pre-Season Game #2

Location: Alumni Stadium at the University of Guelph

Game Date: Friday, May 31st, 2024

Time: 7:00 PM EDT

Where to Watch: CFL+ on CFL.ca

The second and pre-season game of 2024 for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts features an early renewal of the Battle for the QEW rivalry. Despite the rivalry, the coaching staff and players will focus on improving from the first pre-season game to the second pre-season game. In addition, teams will make their final roster cuts after this week’s pre-season game, and many players on the Tiger-Cats and Argonauts roster will be working to earn their spot on the final roster heading into the 2024 season. CFL teams must cut their roster to 45 active players and ten practice squad players.

For Hamilton, the primary focus will be on better execution, avoiding unnecessary penalties, and, for several players, proving that they have what it takes to be a Hamilton Tiger-Cat. During the week, Tiger-Cats head coach Scott Milanovich stressed that he is looking for players who are capable of doing their jobs and can do those jobs without needless penalties. Hamilton will also examine which players provide quality depth at the wide receiver, defensive line, linebacker, and defensive back position groups.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Depth Chart

Toronto Argonauts Depth Chart

Tiger-Cats Look to Improve on Special Teams.

As the Tiger-Cats gear up for their final pre-season game, they’re laser-focused on addressing the special teams issues that plagued them in their first match against the Ottawa Redblacks. With three punters on the roster, including Baily Flint and the newly signed Nik Constantinou, the team is in a tight competition for the final spot. The Tiger-Cats are also determined to improve their special teams execution, aiming to avoid the penalties that cost them a victory in their previous pre-season game.

Opportunity for Young Quarterbacks to Step Up

In the Tiger-Cats’ initial pre-season game, Bo Levi Mitchell showcased his prowess, completing 10 out of 16 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Taylor Powell and the team’s third quarterback, Kevin Thomson, also had their moments. However, Mitchell will likely not play in this game, providing Powell, Thomson, and the fourth quarterback, Harrison Frost, a chance to prove their mettle. With the team likely to retain three of these four quarterbacks, Thomson and Frost are in direct competition for a spot on the Tiger-Cats roster.

The Search for Dependable Receivers

As the Tiger-Cats prepare for their second pre-season game, the team’s head coach, Milanovich, has made it clear that he’s on the lookout for reliable wide receivers. Despite the recent addition of 2022 CFL East All-Star Steven Dunbar Jr., who is not listed on the depth chart for the game against the Argonauts, the team is still in need of playmakers. This presents a golden opportunity for new Tiger-Cats receivers like TJ Vasher, Shemar Bridges, and Dev Holmes to step up and show their potential. The issue of dropped passes, a major concern in the game against the Redblacks, underscores the team’s need for receivers with steady hands.

Which Running Backs Will Make the Cut?

Another competitive position group is the running back position. James Butler should be the Tiger-Cats starting running back, but having quality depth at running back is crucial for the long CFL season. Calvin Tyler Jr. and Greg Bell had opportunities to demonstrate their skills against Ottawa. Still, several backs are looking for a chance to make the Tiger-Cats roster. The ability to contribute to special teams is the factor that determines how many of the Tiger-Cats running backs will cut the final roster.

Depth on the Defensive Side of the Ball

Coming into this pre-season game, the Tiger-Cats have a good idea of which players will be the starters on the defensive side of the ball, but having quality depth is vital for Hamilton. During the CFL season, the defensive units tend to take the brunt of the hit regarding player attrition. This week, the Tiger-Cats added CFL veteran defensive lineman David Menard. Milanovich has stated that the Hamilton coaching staff is looking at players that will give them the depth they need on the defensive line, in the linebacking unit, and with their defensive backfield to maintain the quality of their defence throughout 18 regular season games.

Follow me on X: @AaronSauter7

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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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