Graphic: Igor Lazarevic
TORONTO – One of the CFL's most starring rivals to the shores of Lake Ontario, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats pay the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field Saturday afternoon.
While the Ticats look to start their season 2-0, the Argos play their 2019 season opener, with plenty of intrigue on both sides of the ball.
Two new-minted head coaches are set to square off – Orlando Steinauer won his CFL head coaching debut in Week 1, while Corey Chamblin is at the helm of a CFL franchise for the first time since 2015.
There are no shortages of similarities between Steinauer and Chamblin – both head coaches and defensive gurus, both of whom have stinted the Argos defensive coordinator, and both helped Toronto to win the Gray Cup while the DC.
"We let the men know it's going to be a hostile environment," Steinauer told Ticats.ca. "I love the road trips, it's a chance to jump and overcome some adversity, be in an unfamiliar situation and territory."
Depth Charts: HAM | TOR
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has had success in the past against the Argos. Fresh Mastiff is nominated for Most Outstanding Player and Coaching, Masoli owns a 5-1 career record against Toronto.
Roughrider defence last week. Hamilton notched a mother 232 yards of total offense in Week 1, with Masoli passing for 169 of them. That was the first time in a single game since it became the Hamilton starter midway through 2017.
The Tiger-Cats were able to pull out the victory against the Riders by a 23-17 score. They were aided by Saskatchewan starter Zach Collaros being knocked out of the game after the first play from scrimmage.
The man who delivered the hit that ended Collaros' night, Simoni Lawrence linebacker, is in the lineup against Toronto. The eight-year veteran was awarded a two-game suspension for his hit on Collaros, but has appealed the suspension and will follow up for Week 2.
Saturday afternoon will be the first opportunity for Argos fans to get a look at off-season acquisition Derel Walker. The 27-year-old receiver arrives in Toronto after spending four years with the Edmonton Eskimos. Walker struggled with injuries last season, but the Argonauts are hoping to see him back to the back of the world. 1,000-yard seasons in 2015 and 2016.
"I'm ready to get it rolling," Walker told Argonauts.ca. "It's going to be an exciting year. We've been putting in a lot of preparation, so we get to go against another opponent. I'm looking forward to this year and playing with this new team – we've got a lot of great guys on the team. "
Walker's day will not be an easy one, as he is expected to be matched with Delvin Breaux, the CFL. The Argos has a number of weapons at wide-out, however, has already been included in this paper, which already includes S.J. Green and Armanti Edwards.
James Franklin, who is looking for a statement season in 2019. Franklin was named after Ricky Ray went down for the season 2 weeks ago, but failed to hang on McLeod Bethel-Thompson taking over.
While Franklin did regain the starting role in the back half of 2018, Bethel-Thompson is still lurking as QB2.
With both teams having well-established aerial attacks (on paper), the game may well be decided on the ground. James Wilder Jr. of Toronto will match up with Sean Thomas Erlington of the Tiger-Cats.
Thomas Erlington was limited to 68 yards rushing in Week 1, but the entire Ticats offense was quiet as well. This is the University of Montreal, and it's going to be one of the best rushers, while playing against one of the leagues' best rushers.
Wilder Jr. is coming off a disappointing 2018 by his lofty standards. The 27-year-old rushed for over 100 yards only once. That was in Week 4 against Edmonton, which was also the only game in the world. With Chamblin at the helm, Wilder Jr.'s workload could increase.
The Tabbies Offense will face the Argos on Saturday without releasing the receiver Luke Tasker, who is on the one-game injured list. Canadian lineman offensive Mike Filer will get the start at the center for Hamilton, after last week's starter Demetrius Rhaney missed a week of practice for personal business.
Saturday afternoon will be the CFL debut of Argos Lineman Shane Richards. The first-overall pick in the 2019 CFL Draft is slated to start at right guard for the Boatmen. He is one of two 2019 draft picks making their debut, the other being Hamilton full-back Nikola Kalinic.
BY THE NUMBERS
232 – Total yards for the Tabbies in their win over the Riders; the fewest of any CFL team in Week 1.
0 – Wins in three tries for the Argos against Hamilton last year, including two defeats at BMO Field.
13 – Games with over 300 passing yards for Jeremiah Masoli in 2018, three of which came against the Argos.
875 – Derel Walker's Receiving Yards at the time of his injury last season – third at the time in the CFL.
The Argos will honor CFL legend Ricky Ray a prior to kickoff. Ray announced his retirement this off-season and remains the CFL's fourth all-time leading passer.
AFI, Yare Media and the CFL
American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2019 CFL live games. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.
STREAM LIVE: CFL – Hamilton Tiger-Cats @Toronto Argonauts, Sat. June 22, 4p EDT (10p CEDT)