The Tiger-Cats have started the 2023 season 0-3, a continuation of a habit of slow starts to the season. For the last several seasons, Hamilton has had slow starts to the season with the hope that they will develop chemistry and improve each week to make a solid push to the end of the season heading into the playoffs. Head coach Orlondo Steinauer explained his point of view and philosophy on his weekly “Coach O Show with Luke Tasker” on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats channel on YouTube.
The main points made by Coach Steinauer relate to Hamilton’s commitment to staying the course and getting better throughout the season. He also mentioned that many of their players had yet to play a full 18-game, 23-week schedule, so it makes sense that the players prepare themselves to be available at the end of the season. Steinauer also mentioned that his goal is to “keep the main thing the main thing” and prepare his team to play better at the end of the season rather than at the beginning.
Summary Of The Acknowledgement Of Challenges
Steinauer did explain that their 0-3 record is a product of all three phases of the team not playing well enough to win. The lack of explosive plays on offence, giving up explosive plays to their opponents, and inconsistent special teams play have led to the poor start to the season. The Tiger-Cats have been a pass-first offensive football team since the 2013 season, and while this strategy can lead to success, it can also create challenges with consistency. While being a balanced team is the goal of the Tiger-Cats, that is only sometimes going to be possible, and their passing game tends to be streaky, with a series of bad games and then a series of good games.
While acknowledging the challenges makes sense from a football perspective, it does not make it easier for fans and those on the field for the Tiger-Cats when losing games. Patience is not a characteristic of most CFL fans, but the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are committed to continuing to follow their same path, hoping it will turn into on-field success. As the Tiger-Cats prepare to face Ottawa in Week 5, they need to demonstrate the improvements that they have made during the Week 4 bye week.
Changes To The Tiger-Cats Roster
During the bye week, the Tiger-Cats announced that they had released American defensive lineman McKinley Williams and National punter Blake Hayes. Hamilton had released American quarterback N’Kosi Perry who was picked up just before the Montreal game in Week 3 when the Tiger-Cats moved starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell to the Six-Game Injured List.
Hamilton did avoid losing strongside linebacker Chris Edwards due to suspension after he received an unsportsmanlike penalty at the end of the game against Montreal. The penalty occurred after Edwards hit Alouettes wide receiver Austin Mack and attempted to offer his hand to Edwards for a handshake. Many sources speculated that the CFL might suspend Edwards, but last week the CFL announced that Edwards would not be suspended but be issued the maximum fine, which is half of the player’s paycheck for the game.
The Tiger-Cats have announced that they have signed American wide receiver Jequez Ezzard. Ezzard is a 5’10”, 195-pound receiver from College Park, Georgia. He played 25 games at Howard University from 2016 until 2019, and during that time, he had 75 receptions for 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns. The receiver also played 20 games at Sam Houston State from 2020 until 2021, and he had 79 receptions for 1,470 yards and 15 touchdowns. Hamilton brought in Ezzard to create more competition within the Tiger-Cats receiving unit.
Looking Ahead To The Ottawa Redblacks
This week the Tiger-Cats are preparing to face the Ottawa Redblacks at home on Saturday, July 8th, at 7:00 pm EDT. In Week 4, the Redblacks won their first game in the 2023 season by defeating the Edmonton Elks 26-7. The Tiger-Cats expect to face a confident Redblacks team that plays hard and is fundamentally sound. Ottawa has announced that former Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli is taking practice reps and will start against Hamilton.
Hamilton looks to get into a rhythm on offence this week and build off of the success of wide receiver Tim White and Duke Williams. Both receivers were statistically the top two receivers in the CFL before Week 4. It will be necessary for the offence, defence, and special teams for Hamilton to play fundamentally sound football to have a chance to get their first win of the 2023 season.
Follow me on Twitter: @AaronSauter7
Big Announcement: CFL Unveils Free Live Streaming Platforms
Get Alerts & Stay ConnectedCFL iPhone App
CFL Android App