Ticats will have to keep an eye on veteran Glenn
Roughriders QB knows what to do with the football, which is get it out of his hands quickly
This was the readout from the pressure gauge of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats against the Toronto Argonauts: three sacks and eight other plays in which they officially pressured the quarterback.
And Ricky Ray, getting rid of the ball quickly, still completed 32 passes for 506 yards.
So next up is Kevin Glenn, who at 38, is eight months older than Ray but tends to get rid of the ball just as quickly, and usually more quickly.
The third-time Saskatchewan Roughrider and former Ticat — actually, former everything else except Lion and Eskimo — is coming off a 377-yard, four-touchdown game against Winnipeg, the other CFL city where he’s made more than one stop.
So what’s got to happen with the Front Four (and sometimes three or five, as we’ve seen so far) in Regina Saturday night?
For one, they have to ratchet up the number of times they come close to the quarterback and, for two, they have to turn more of those pressures into “gotchas.”
Additionally, when the linemen and sometimes linebackers, are chasing Glenn, the secondary has to cover Glenn’s targets closely be-
cause the ball is coming out sooner than they’ll usually see. A play or two around the ball would also be helpful this time out.
“Kevin Glenn knows what to do with the football,” says Ticats’ head coach Kent Austin. “He’s a veteran, there’s not much that you can do defensively that he hasn’t seen. He likes to get the ball out of his hands.
“And he’s pretty accurate. He can spot the football where he needs to spot it for completions. It’s a challenge in front of us, we understand that. We need to collapse the pocket on him, and not lot him get in a rhythm.”
Glenn in rhythm is a dangerous opponent and the Ticats can’t let him become that. The defensive line has to be more disruptive than it was in Toronto and the secondary has to get much closer to the thrown ball before, not after, the receivers have it.
Glenn knows he’s going to be playing against, yet-again, a revamped Hamilton defensive backfield. He’ll be wanting to exploit that immediately and given time, any time, he’ll find the holes which we all know will be there.
In two games, Glenn has been sacked four times and pressured only 13, leading to five touchdown passes, along with three interceptions. He’s put his team in position to win twice, and twice they have lost. Third time lucky, they say, so the Ticats had better not allow him to put his team in position to win.
“I can’t get into our game plan, but our plan from a ‘front’ perspective is always get to the quarterback,” says all-CFL defensive end John Chick, who had a sack against the Argos. “There’s lots of room for improvement across the board from last game. And that’s what we’re looking to do this week. I hope we’re exponentially better than we were the last game.
“It’s a long season and the most important thing is that you want to be your hottest going into the postseason. So part of me is glad that we’re not there yet but I’d also like to hurry up and get going in the direction we want to head.”
Chick says it wouldn’t matter to those who rush the quarterback whether or not the secondary has been patched together because of injury or is comprised of five allWorld players together for years. They’re always under pressure to create pressure.
“I know it’s on me, and all the guys up front feel that pressure,” he says. “That’s what we’re paid to do.”
The pressure may not be any greater in this game, but the necessity probably is, because the secondary is still sorting itself out (we’re being gentle here) with new players, and is vulnerable to a veteran pivot with a rapid delivery.