Ticats QB Dane Evans happy to learn footballs X’s and O’s


Published December 10, 2021 at 5:08 pm

The son of a football coach, Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Dane Evans got into the X’s and O’s himself last year — almost by accident.

When the CFL cancelled its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Evans and his wife Nikki were in Texas about to board a plane home after attending a friend’s wedding. But the return trip was put on hold when he got a call from Mike Bloesch, his former offensive line coach at the University of Tulsa who is now offensive coordinator at the University of North Texas.

“He called me and it was like ‘Hey I just saw the tweet that the CFL cancelled their season. I need some help with my quarterbacks. Do you want to come do it?’ ” Evans recalled. “And I literally turned around, didn’t get on the plane.

“Nikki flew back home. And I took the job. Coached there all season.”

Evans served as a graduate assistant coach.

“I got to keep my mind in the game and I got to see the game from a coach’s perspective in the box,” he said. “It was probably, other than playing, the best thing I could do to keep my mind fresh and on the game.”

Evans says he plans to coach when his playing career is over.

Coaching runs in the family. His father Damon is an assistant coach at Arlington Lamar High School in Texas and coached Dane in high school.

GREY CUP OFFICIALS: Veteran referee Andre Proulx will take charge of his ninth Grey Cup game Sunday.

The 11-man officiating crew, which includes four backup officials, have a combined 2,507 CFL games under their belt including 47 Grey Cups.

TUCKED IN: Bombers wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky has no problem being holed up in a hotel in enemy territory for Grey Cup week.

“When you’re on the road, you’re with your friends all day. You’re with your teammates watching film. I think it’s just great for focus,” he said. “We’re all in this one place. There’s no distractions.

“I love the feeling personally of just being around the team. I feel like we’re the Navy SEALS getting ready for a mission. We have one objective — and that’s all we’re thinking of right now. No distractions. None of my family’s even calling me. They know what’s up. It’s time to gear down and get ready.”

GERMAN THUNDER: Winnipeg defensive end Thiadric Hansen will once again carry Germany’s colours in Sunday’s Grey Cup.

The six-foot-two, 250-pound native of Flensburg, Germany, is best known for hitting like a hammer on special teams. He turned heads in the 2019 championship game when he sent a would-be Tiger-Cat blocker flying through the air and into the kick returner he was trying to protect with a hellacious hit.

Hansen says the image of the North American game is changing in Germany.

“When I started playing football it had that stigma of just like violent and stupid people,” he said with a laugh. “But over the years, when it got more and more popular, people know how tactical football it is and how much it actually takes to play football.”

The 28-year-old Hansen was the second overall pick in the CFL’s inaugural European draft and dressed for every game in the 2019 and 2021 seasons.

He previously played with the Potsdam Royals and the Baltic Hurricanes in Germany.

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