Offering some advice to the Tiger-Cats
Monday, July 9, 2007 | 02:59 PM ET
Piece of advice for Charlie Taaffe, Marcel Desjardins and Bob Young: Don't do it.
Do not make Timmy Chang your starter. Doing so right now would ruin a promising career, and for what? Maybe an extra win or two in what is going to be a 3-15 season? It's not worth it.
Chang, or any other quarterback the Hamilton Tiger-Cats throw in there, has no chance. There is not enough talent at receiver. The O-line was bullied by a Toronto defence last weekend that wasn't exactly bringing the house on passing downs. You don't go two games without a touchdown by accident.
This group is just not good enough to score.
So, why on Earth would you make this raw - but promising - rookie your starter? To sell tickets? Okay, maybe that works for a week or two, but what happens when he can't do anything with this impotent offence? What do you do then? Because people aren't going to buy tickets in a month if the Tiger-Cats still can't do anything.
And, barring a biblical-level miracle or an incredible injection of offensive talent, things aren't going to change in a month.
My (unsolicited) advice: Announce you will continue to start Jason Maas, while using both Chang and Richie Williams during games. Your fans now have no expectation that this will be anything but a brutal season, so say to them, "Look. We are going to develop our two young guys properly. But, if we let them play too much in this offence, we risk getting them injured and/or destroying their confidence."
People will understand that message.
Unfortunately, Maas becomes a human sacrifice in all of this. He deserves better, and if I was Edmonton or Winnipeg, I would consider getting him as a backup if Hamilton picks up half his salary. But while he's still in the Golden Horseshoe, the Tiger-Cats should use him. He's not the future, he's still getting paid very well, use him to your best advantage.
And right now, your best advantage is using him to protect the other guys.
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About the Author
Elliotte Friedman is the host of the CFL ON CBC. Prior to being named host in 2006, Friedman worked on the CFL on CBC broadcasts for the three seasons as a sideline reporter. A Toronto native, Friedman is well known for his additional work on Hockey Night in Canada, as well as his presence on the Torino 2006 Winter Games telecasts as a hockey reporter. Prior to joining the CBC, Friedman worked at The Score network and was widely regarded as one of the best reporters in the country. Friedman used his reporting skills to break stories and file feature reports for high profile events including six Stanley Cup Finals, four Grey Cup Championships, two World Series and one Olympic Games. He is also a regular on the nationally syndicated Prime Time Sports radio telecast, hosted by Bob McCown.
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