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

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - STEVE MIL­TON

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.

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