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17th of December 2018

International



Ticats’ promotion of Steinauer to head coach should pay off

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have positioned themselves for a run at the Grey Cup following Monday’s promotion of Orlondo Steinauer to head coach.

The man known as O is known for his D. A savvy player during his career who made a seamless move to the coaching ranks, Steinauer is the right man for the job at the right time in Hamilton.

Some have dubbed the coaching moves in the Hammer as unusual, but there was no way the Ticats were going to watch as Steinauer left and there’s no better offensive mind than June Jones, who steps down as head coach to serve as offensive co-ordinator, a no-brainer in many ways.

It was the Jones offence that vaulted Jeremiah Masoli into the MOP conversation, and the Jones offence that turned returner Brandon Banks into one of the most electrifying playmakers at the receiver slot.

Banks is eligible for free agency, but there’s no reason to look elsewhere unless he wants to cash in financially.

With Masoli under contract and Luke Tasker, the Ticats will once again run a potentially lethal offence.

Steinauer is ready for the job because he’s earned it.

Delvin Breaux Jr. is also eligible for free agency, but the elite cover corner eschewed the Argos for the Ticats because of his relationship with Steinauer.

This will be Steinauer’s first kick at the head coaching can and with it comes a learning curve.

After he returned to Hamilton following his one season at Fresno State, Steinauer was able to absorb everything from a different vantage point.

He’ll name his staff and it remains to be seen what role, if any, Jerry Glanville will have moving forward under this new coaching hierarchy.

Steinauer favours veterans and there are plenty of potential free agents in Hamilton who will welcome the news.

What the Ticats managed to accomplish was brilliant, in part because they were able to retain a brilliant defensive mind in Steinauer, who has the potential to be a staple in Hamilton for years to come.

June Jones. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

And they keep Jones in a role that best suits him — minus the macro side of overseeing an entire squad.

Jones guided the team to an 8-10 record in the regular season. The Tiger-Cats finished second in the East and reached the division final before falling to Ottawa.

Steinauer becomes the 26th head coach in franchise history. A source told The Canadian Press last week that the B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts asked the Ticats for permission to speak to Steinauer regarding their vacant head-coaching positions.

His return was confirmed by the Tiger-Cats on Friday and the specifics on the coaching changes were revealed Monday in a team news release.

“I want to thank June Jones and the entire Tiger-Cats organization for this opportunity, and believing in me as a man and a football coach,” said Steinauer. “I look forward to building a sustainable model of winning throughout the organization, while in pursuit of winning multiple Grey Cups.”

Steinauer, who spent one season as Fresno State’s defensive co-ordinator in 2017, previously spent four years on Hamilton’s staff under head coach Kent Austin.

Steinauer won two Grey Cups over his 13-year CFL playing career. He was named an all-star at three different positions (cornerback, halfback and safety) and his 1,178 interception return yards are the second-most in league history.

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