Hamilton Tiger-Cats Picked the Wrong QB
Updated: Jun 28, 2022
I was going to write this blog post before the 2022 CFL regular season even started. Seriously, I was but I got real busy with work and was tired and didn't feel like writing so I waited until now. On that first week, Hamilton was in Regina to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I had just seen Jeremiah Masoli have a really good game for the Ottawa RedBlacks against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The RedBlacks lost the game but Masoli instantly showed why they went out and signed him as a free agent, after it was clear that Hamilton was going with Dane Evans as their quarterback going forward. Masoli elevates the RedBlack offence. I was never a fan of Dane Evans and I'll outline the reasons why with my three points. I just knew he was going to tank in the first game against the Roughriders and he basically did with the Ti-Cats getting hammered 30-13. His only saving grace was a 75-yard TD pass to Steven Dunbar Jr. on busted coverage. Other than that, the Ti-Cat offence struggled mightily against a wicked Roughrider defence. Since then, the Ti-Cats have gone on to lose two more games - 33-30 to Calgary after going up 24-3 in the first half and blowing the lead to lose, with Evans getting picked off in OT to complete the collapse. Their most recent game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was no surprise either, with Evans again throwing interceptions as the Ti-Cats were trying to get back into the game.
Point 1 - Too confident in his arm.
OK, dude does have a strong arm. His college scouting reports all note that. They also note that he is very confident in his arm. You can see that is why the Ti-Cats fell in love with him and anointed him their starter over Masoli. However, it is that reliance on his arm that gets him in trouble - he throws picks whenever he is pressing and we've seen it from the first three games of the season, each game was wrapped up with a mistake from Evans:
Game 1 - Derrick Moncrief intercepts Evans in the 4th quarter to seal the win for Saskatchewan.
Game 2 - Evans is picked off by Jameer Thurman in OT, which gave Calgary the win.
Game 3 - Willie Jefferson has a pick-six off Evans in the 4th quarter to give Winnipeg the convincing win.
Point 2 - His positive self-talk never seems to work for him.
If you have ever seen him on TV, the guys is always on the sidelines trying to pump up his teammates and pump himself up - usually saying the next drive will be theirs and that they'll go down and score. When they do get on the field, they promptly get a two-and-out and he gets back on the sidelines and starts saying it all over again. I remember watching one game (I'm thinking it must have been in 2019) where he was mic'd up and they were losing and after every drive, he was on the sidelines, telling anyone who would listen, that things were going to turn around and they would score - they never did. After that game, I thought "what a loser, can't seem to back up his talk". I still think that. His teammates all love him though because he is always pumping their tires, but full tires does not always equate to winning.
Point 3 - Always looks good when he isn't "the" guy. The moment gets too big for him.
When there is no pressure, Evans always looks good and has a really impressive game with great stats. When there is something on the line (hello 2019 Grey Cup), that's his moment to choke. It always seems that he can't come through in the clutch and that is what is happening now as Masoli is no longer around to help bear the brunt of the responsibility. Evans is choking because he is now "the" guy.
Bonus Point - I hate his bandana/bald head look. Dude - either grow out your hair (you had hair just a few years ago and a lot of it) or lose the bandana. Bandana on bald head - not a good look.