Who at the Ti­cats will call of­fen­sive plays?

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DREW ED­WARDS

Four days be­fore the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats home opener against the B.C. Lions and quar­ter­back Zach Col­laros isn’t ex­actly sure who’ll be call­ing the of­fen­sive plays.

Head coach Kent Austin was on the head­set dur­ing last Satur­day’s loss to the Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers but co-or­di­na­tor Ste­fan Ptaszek per­formed the du­ties week one against the Arg­onauts.

Austin wasn’t in the mood to clar­ify af­ter Tues­day’s prac­tice.

“It is a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort. I did call the plays, it doesn’t mean that I’ll do that go­ing for­ward,” Austin said. “There’s al­ways rea­sons for that, de­pend­ing on the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the other guys and that will con­tinue.”

That said, Austin said he and Ptaszek won’t share play-call­ing du­ties go­ing for­ward.

“I don’t think that will be the case. We want con­sis­tency with that. Some of that has to do with prepa­ra­tion and vi­a­bil­ity to pre­pare as well, in light of my other re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” Austin said. “It will be de­ter­mined based on all the other fac­tors that I’m not go­ing to get into right now, go­ing for­ward, based on a level of con­sis­tency in that re­gard, that gives us the best chance to win foot­ball games.”

Ptaszek, who spent ten years as the head coach of the McMaster Ma­raud­ers, was hired in May of 2016 af­ter the sud­den de­par­ture of Tommy Con­dell. But while he held the ti­tle, it would be a stretch to say that he ful­filled the du­ties of­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor in the tra­di­tional sense as Austin did the lion’s share of the game-plan­ning, ran the of­fence dur­ing prac­tice and called the plays dur­ing games.

That was sup­posed to change this sea­son with Ptaszek tak­ing a larger role in the of­fence, in­clud-

ing play call­ing, but it lasted just one game be­fore Austin took over against Rid­ers.

Re­gard­less of who’s been in charge, the Ti­cat of­fence has strug­gled this sea­son. They’ve scored just one of­fen­sive touch­down through two games and are av­er­ag­ing just 11.5 of­fen­sive points per con­test, by far the worst mark in the CFL. Of the 20 ma­jor of­fen­sive cat­e­gories tracked by the league, the Ti­cats are last in 14 of them.

Col­laros, who has been crit­i­cal of his own play so far this sea­son, says who calls the plays mat­ters lit­tle to him.

“I don’t think it af­fects me at all. I’m just do­ing what I’m coached to do and I think that’s re­ally all I can be asked to do,” Col­laros said.

“I would feel com­fort­able with coach Austin or coach Ptaszek. That’s not a de­ci­sion for me to make.”

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