Tiger-Cats de­fence tight­ens up un­der Glanville

Ex-NFL coach adapts to three-down game

Waterloo Region Record - - Sports - DAN RALPH

Jerry Glanville seems to be get­ting the hang of this Cana­dian football thing.

The long­time NFL head coach is in his first sea­son as the Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats de­fen­sive co-or­di­na­tor. And through 11 games Glanville has ad­justed nicely to the longer, wider field, ex­tra man and un­lim­ited mo­tion.

Hamil­ton (6-5) heads into its home game Satur­day af­ter­noon against the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers (9-2) with the CFL’s stingi­est pass de­fence and the league’s sec­on­dranked unit in fewest of­fen­sive points al­lowed (21.2 per game) and yards al­lowed (328 yards per game).

Vet­eran cor­ner­back Delvin Breaux, back in Hamil­ton after three sea­sons with the NFL’s New Or­leans Saints, said one key to Glanville’s suc­cess has been keep­ing things sim­ple.

“He’s just ba­sic, man,” Breaux told the Ticats’ web­site. “That’s what I love about him.

“He sticks to what he does and we just go out there and play fast. It’s sim­ple for him be­cause he knows what he wants to do ... He puts a cer­tain game-plan in for each week and each team and I think he’s han­dled it well.”

Satur­day’s game is an im­por­tant one for Hamil­ton, which has won three straight to grab a share of first in the East Divi­sion with the Ot­tawa Red­blacks. But the last two have come against the idle Toronto Arg­onauts (3-8) and the Ticats are 3-4 this sea­son ver­sus the West Divi­sion, one of those losses be­ing a 28-14 de­ci­sion in Cal­gary on June 16.

“This is a big test for us as an of­fence as well to keep rolling and keep putting up points,” vet­eran cen­tre Mike Filer said. “We’re not treat­ing it any dif­fer­ently.

“We’re treat­ing it as the next game and next op­por­tu­nity for us to cor­rect our mis­takes and get bet­ter as a team.”

Hamil­ton’s of­fence was rolling in the club’s Labour Day sweep of Toronto. The unit scored 78 points in the two games and quar­ter­back Jeremiah Ma­soli com­pleted 44 of 60 passes for 692 yards with seven TDs. He has thrown for 300 or more yards in a game a club record-ty­ing nine times this sea­son.

Slot­back Bran­don Banks was big for the Ticats, reg­is­ter­ing a com­bined 15 catches for 288 yards and four touch­downs. Banks has recorded eight 100-yard games this sea­son, four short of the league record.

Hamil­ton’s of­fence is first in the CFL in net yards (429.8 per game) and sec­ond over­all in pass­ing (329.8 yards per game).

Cal­gary’s of­fence rolled up 591 yards in a 48-42 loss to Ed­mon­ton last Satur­day. Quar­ter­back Bo Levi Mitchell com­pleted 25 of 46 passes for 491 yards and four TDs and nearly had a fifth as Juwan Brescacin had a late Hail Mary pass in his hands but couldn’t come down with the ball for the game-win­ning TD.

Cal­gary de­fen­sive back Em­manuel Davis, a for­mer Ti­cat, said the Stam­ped­ers are anx­ious to get back on the win­ning track.

“In my eyes, it was a tough loss for the team,” he said. “But we’ve got a lot of vet­eran guys in the locker-room who were ready for the next week, ready to play and ready to get that taste out of our mouth.

“Once we went to prac­tice we watched the film, cor­rected the mis­takes and got back to work. We look at Hamil­ton as an­other op­por­tu­nity to get bet­ter.”

Run­ning back Ro­man Mor­ris said Cal­gary must start fast against Hamil­ton. “That’s some­thing we haven’t done in the last two, three weeks,” he said. “We have to come out and hit them in the mouth be­fore they hit us in the mouth.”

At half­time, the Hall of Fame class of 2018 — Paul Brule, Frank Cosentino, Scott Flory, the late Tom Hugo, Hank Ilesic, Brent John­son and Bar­ron Miles — will be hon­oured.

PETER POWER THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats slot­back Bran­don Banks, left, leads the CFL with eight 100-yard re­ceiv­ing games this sea­son.

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