The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will look largely the same on the field for the 2019 CFL season, but they are very different in the front office and with the coaching staff as the team attempts to reach the Grey Cup for the first time since 2014.
The Ticats finished second in the East Division last year at 8-10, three games behind Ottawa. It was still good enough for a post-season berth, though, and Hamilton shockingly crushed the BC Lions 48-8 in the Eastern Semi-Final at Tim Hortons Field. That game was over at the half with Hamilton up 28-0. Jeremiah Masoli passed for 259 yards and three touchdowns overall. Alas, the Ticats’ season came to an end in the East Final in a 46-27 loss to Ottawa.
Masoli had a fantastic regular season, leading the East Division in passing yards (5,209) and passing touchdowns (28). He was named the Ticats’ Most Outstanding Player and a CFL East All-Star.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Acquisitions and Moves
This season will be the first under co-general managers Drew Allemang and Shawn Burke. Former GM Eric Tillman decided not to re-sign with the franchise – he had been in the role since 2016 — so the team promoted Allemang and Burke to split the role in a bit of an unusual arrangement.
Head coach June Jones left the Ticats for a job in the XFL, which returns in the United States in 2020. Jones has been replaced by Orlondo Steinauer. He was the team’s assistant head coach in 2018 and the defensive coordinator from 2013-16 (left for one year). Jones was originally going to stay on as offensive coordinator but couldn’t pass up a top job in the XFL with the Houston franchise. The new offensive coordinator is Tommy Condell and the defensive coordinator is Mark Washington.
Masoli has his two top receiving targets in Brandon Banks and Luke Tasker returning for 2019. Banks was having a monster 2018 campaign before suffering a season-ending broken clavicle during a 35-31 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks on Oct. 19.
The Ticats rushed for 1,991 yards last year, most in the East Division, but the backfield will have a different look in 2019 as the club released Alex Green, signed free agent Cameron Marshall, drafted Maleek Irons and shifted Jackson Bennett from defensive back to running back.
2019 Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL Schedule
Hamilton opens the season Thursday against Saskatchewan and old friend Zach Collaros. The Ticats have a good chance of no worse than a 3-1 record when they host tormentor Calgary on July 13. Hamilton has lost 14 straight vs. the Stampeders, last beating them on Sept. 25, 2011. The Labour Day Classic against Toronto kicks off at 1 p.m. ET this year.
On Aug. 10, the Ticats play in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Game against visiting B.C. The toughest stretch appears to be three straight road games at Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg out of a Week 13 bye. Three of the final four are at home, closing against the Argos.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFL Prediction and Odds
The Ticats are +123 to favourites win the East Division and +562 fourth-favourites to win the franchise’s first Grey Cup since 1999. We project a 10-8 mark and East regular-season title but losing in the East Final again.