September 22, 2008

Tiger-Cats sign star RB Kenton Keith


HAMILTON – The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have added some star power to their lineup.

The CFL club has signed running back Kenton Keith through the 2010 season.

Keith, a former star in the CFL, was cut by the Indianapolis Colts at the end of August.

The 28-year-old ran for 533 yards and scored four touchdowns as Joseph Addai’s backup with the Colts last season. But he struggled in the pre-season this year, gaining 35 yards on 14 carries.

Keith played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders from 2002 to ’06, running for 3,811 yards in 43 games.

The Riders were among several CFL clubs said to be interested in acquiring Keith after he was cut by the Colts. Toronto, Edmonton and B.C., were also reportedly looking at signing the running back.

The Ticats’ 2-10 record is the worst in the CFL this season. Still, the acquisition of Keith is interesting because Hamilton’s problems this year haven’t been in its running game.

Hamilton leads the CFL in rushing, averaging 181.6 yards per game. The Ticats also are tops in the league in yards per carry (7.1) and overall attempts (283).

What’s more, Canadian Jesse Lumsden is fourth in CFL rushing with 586 yards on 84 carries (seven-yard average) despite missing time with injury. His backup, import Terry Caulley, has been more than solid, standing eighth overall (402 yards, 6.9-yard average). Both have run for five touchdowns.

Hamilton’s problems offensively are in the passing game as the Ticats’ aerial attack ranks last in the CFL (227 yards per game). The offence is also last in passes attempted (298, the only club to try less than 300 this season) and completions (175).

Also, the Ticats have surrendered a CFL-high 40 sacks, a whopping 16 more than their nearest rivals (Saskatchewan and Toronto are tied with 24 each).