Ticats coach Orlondo Steinauer not looking in rearview mirror
THE BLUE MOUNTAINS — The memory is less than two months old, a scoreboard that showed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had just administered a stinging 33-12 beatdown of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Grey Cup.
The conclusion to what had been a wonderful CFL season for the Ticats — a league-best 15-3 regular-season record, followed by a 36-16 thumping of the Edmonton Eskimos in the East Division final — was a punch to the gut.
During a coming together of coaches and GMs at the CFL winter meetings at this ski resort north of Toronto, Ticats coach Orlondo Steinauer said it’s now not about 2019, it’s about what ahead in 2020 — a new season filled with new hope.
“It’s always going to be a jagged pill to swallow, there’s going to be disappointment,” said Steinauer. “I’ll take with me the experience, but there won’t be a lot of what ifs. Does that mean we’re not going to have a deep dive and try and figure out what are the details we could have done better in that game? That’s what you do as coaches. It was just a day we hadn’t experienced in seven weeks. It’d been almost two months since we’d lost a football game.
“It’s disappointing, that’s what you work for. But it’s really in the rear-view mirror. You don’t know when you’re going to be back, that’s what sits with you. My experience has told me just because you make it, because people think you’re supposed to be good next year, that doesn’t mean anything. Three teams aren’t going to make the playoffs again, despite everybody making the right (off-season) moves.”
The Ticats recently got QB Jeremiah Masoli to agree to a one-year contract extension. Masoli suffered a torn ACL in late July and was gone for the season, effectively replaced by Dane Evans, who will also be back in 2020.
As for other potential free agents, Steinauer said: “You go to free agency, you think there are eight other teams that want you. It may not be a fit, it may not be a need. If you want to spend, you can retain three or four players, but you’re probably affecting the rest of your team. I’d like re-sign a majority of them. But some have already told us they’re going to go to free agency. It doesn’t mean we don’t have offers out. People ask, ‘Well, why aren’t you signing them?’ Well, we’re trying.”
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