Jennings admits he wasn’t 100 per cent healthy last year for Lions

Jason Keller, Canadian Press

The B.C. Lions are off to an auspicious start to their goal of the erasing any memory of last season’s dismal campaign.

Coming off a playoff-missing 7-11 record in 2017, the Lions wrapped their unbeaten pre-season with a 34-21 victory over the Blue Bombers on Friday night.

Jonathon Jennings threw for 182 yards and one touchdown as he looks to be more effective than last season when he finished with 16 touchdowns in 15 games.

“Obviously I wasn’t 100 per cent last year, but that’s no excuse,” said Jennings. “I’m excited to be 100 per cent this year and play well.

“I’m just going to continue to try and get better. Focus on the little things, like not taking silly sacks, don’t want to do that in the regular season. I put that on me. I’m going to clean that up.”

For Winnipeg there will be some important decisions to be made at the quarterback position. Starter Matt Nichols went down with a knee injury on Wednesday and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

On Friday, the Bombers fielded all three of their backup QBs, but head coach Mike O’Shea wasn’t about to choose a starter for their season opener at home Thursday against Edmonton.

“We’re going to look at everything,” said O’Shea. “You have to take everything into account. They’ve given us lots to think about. That’s a good thing. We don’t have to make a decision right now and it doesn’t have to be set in stone.

Backup QBs Bryan Bennett and Chris Streveler combined for 108 yards and two TDs for Winnipeg, which finished 1-1 in pre-season.

QB Alex Ross started for the Bombers, but fumbled on second down, allowing Odell Willis to scoop the ball and run it in 20 yards for a 6-0 B.C. lead just over a minute into the game.

“I wish I had protected the ball better in that situation,” said Ross. “We’ll see what the coaches decide. That’s the coach’s decision to make and whoever’s number they call is going to be ready.”

Ross bounced back, driving the Bombers to the 31-yard line where Felix Menard-Briere kicked an FG to cut the lead.

Jennings connected on passes to Shaq Johnson and Emmanuel Arceneaux to put Tyler Long in position to kick a 15-yard field goal to make it 9-3 at 8:51.

Bennett then came into the game and threw a 58-yard bomb to wide receiver Rueben Randle for a TD strike. A converted extra point made it 10-9.

Jennings answered back with a 34-yard heave to Arceneaux, bringing the Lions to Winnipeg’s 43. Long kicked a 46-yard field goal for a 12-10 Lions lead.

Menard-Briere made good on a 52-yard field with no time left to make it 13-12 at the half.

Jennings drove the Lions downfield early in the third, getting B.C. to the Winnipeg 22 before finding Bryan Burnham with a TD end zone pass. Minutes later it was 27-13 when defensive back Otha Foster ran back an interception for a touchdown off a throw by Streveler.

QB Ricky Lloyd came in for Jennings in the fourth and found Burnham, who ran to the Winnipeg 15 for a 38-yard gain. Lloyd dove across the goal-line for a comfortable 33-15 lead.

With under three minutes to play, Kenbrell Thompkins pulled down a 32-yard TD pass from Streveler.

B.C. plays next Saturday at home against Montreal.

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11 Comments on Jennings admits he wasn’t 100 per cent healthy last year for Lions

  1. BC Dave // June 9, 2018 at 3:39 pm //

    Was impressed with JJ last night. After his shoulder rendered him less than 100% last year, I thought he had a good game. It IS pre-season and a totally new Offence so yes, there will be hiccups. He was very accurate throwing the ball short, mid range and downfield. Only disappointment was the slow start of our #1 Offence vs Bomber #2 lineup but again, it is pre-season.

    Again impressed with Ricky Lloyd. Everyone (well everyone who knows football like Wally, Jarious Jackson and Ed Hervey) is most impressed by how he does not panic when the first read is not there. He is calm and goes through his progressions. If nothing there, he, so far, has not forced it and risked turnovers. I am very impressed by this young man. JJ and Trav (when he is ready) will be #1 and #2 but I can see Ricky Lloyd being the #3 guy ahead of Cody Fajardo.

    I m very impressed by the job Hervey has done over the off-season. He might not be done yet. I am not a huge Marcel Young fan and he did get beat for a long TD pass but that too could be small things, such as good communication back there, that can be worked on.

    Can’t wait til we start shooting real bullets next week.

  2. BC Dave when you say that you were “impressed with JJ last night” you must have watched the game through rose coloured glasses. What exactly did you see in the first half from Jennings that impressed you? I would argue that Jennings did not play that well in the first half. The Lions had NO offensive touchdowns in the first half, and the offense only scored two field goals in the first half. In fact I would argue that the poor play by Jennings and the Lions offence in the first half was masked by the excellent play of the defense and the touchdown scored by Odell Willis in the first quarter. Jennings poor play and slow start in the first half is concerning given that the Lions played mostly their starters on offence while the Lions offense played against the Bombers mostly “B” Team or backups on Defense. Jennings did not lead the Lions offence to a TD until 8:35 of the 3rd Quarter, which is when Jennings play began to improve. In fact I would argue that Buono started Jennings in 3rd quarter following the half-time break due to the fact that Jennings played so poorly in the first half and failed to lead the offence to a TD. Buono wanted to get Jennings “untracked”, and when Jennings played better on the drive which led to the TD Buono substituted Lloyd shortly thereafter. I would also argue that Lloyd played quite well considering he had only played in one CFL game prior to playing against the Bombers. Llods numbers were comparable to Jennings when comparing the actual playing times of the two QB’s. Also I would argue that the Lions O-Line had a terrible game, committing a lot of penalties. The Lions had 160 yards in penalties, double that of the Bombers, with most of those penalties committed by the O-line. Slow starts were an issue last season by Jennings. Hopefully the slow starts do not become a habit once Jennings becomes more framilar with the new playbook and schemes of OC Jurious Jackson.

  3. BC Dave // June 9, 2018 at 8:17 pm //

    First of all, I had my regular glasses, but thanks for the input.
    1. Where in my comment did I say JJ had a great first half?
    2. In another post, I acknowledged it was not perfect and a slow start but he was accurate.
    3. Lloyd showed more poise than most rookies playing up here for the first time.

    Anyway, you are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to mine.

  4. BC Dave can you NOT read plain English? I did NOT say that you said JJ had a great first half. What I asked you was: You said that you were “impressed with JJ last night”. I presented counter argument to your opinion with facts which indicate that JJ instead had a very poor first half and did not begin to play well until approximately one-third of the way into the 3rd quarter. What did YOU see in Jennings play that gives credibility to YOUR statement which YOU make that YOU were impressed with JJ last night? All that I am asking is for you to provide your facts as to why you think JJ was impressive last night when he actually played very poorly in the first half and did not play well until the series when he threw the TD and two point conversion to Brian Burnham at 8:35 of the 3rd quarter. On the NEXT series Otha Foster intercepted Bomber QB Chris Streveler and returned the football 62 yards for a touchdown. On the next Lions series on offense following the Foster interception Ricky Lloyd was put in the game at QB by Buono and JJ never returned to the field following his TD to Burnham. Lloyd came into the game late in the 3rd quarter with 3:40 remaining. I would suggest that Lloyd got LESS playing time against the Bombers because Jennings had such a poor first half and Buono kept Jennings in longer to get him “untracked”.

  5. BC Dave what exactly do you mean when you assert that Jennings was “accurate” last night. Do you mean that Jennings was “accurate” with his passing”; or do you mean that Jennings was “accurate” with his play selection; or do you mean that Jennings was “accurate” with his over all execution of the plays that he called in the huddle? Your phrase that Jennings was “accurate” is very ambiguous.

    Lets assume that your phrase that Jennings was “accurate” last night is a comment which you make which applies to Jennings passes. This would be the conventional wisdom which most would likely apply to your statement. I submit that you are wrong in your assertion that Jennings had a slow start in the Bomber game but he “was accurate” in his passing. In fact Jennings was not very accurate in the first half and that Jennings was not accurate in his passing UNTIL the series at 8:35 of the 3rd when he threw a TD and two point convert to Burnham. After the TD to Burnham Jennings was pulled from the game and replaced by Lloyd so Jennings was not able to show that his passing was going to be more accurate over the rest of the game. Why do I say that Jennings was NOT accurate in his passing overall in the first half. Jennings did NOT throw a TD pass in the first half. The only TD scored by the Lions in the first half was by the defense. Jennings two point convert on the Odell Willis TD was an INCOMPLETE pass attempt; (Hence, Jennings was NOT very accurate on that pass , when that pass mattered the most at that point in the game). The Lions were only successful on 4 of 10 second down conversions in the first half, again an indication that Jennings was not accurate in his passing or his play calling. Both the Lions and the Bombers had the same amount of passing yards at the end of the first half (137 yards to be exact). The Bombers had a one point lead at the half and without the Willis TD would have led by 8 points. The fact is that the QB’s of both teams did not play well or throw the ball very accurately in the first half of the game, which is contrary to YOUR claim that Jennings was “accurate” last night. Again, your comment seems to indicate that you watched the game through “rose coloured glasses”, rather then being objective and honest with how Jennings actually played overall during his time in the game.

  6. BC Dave // June 9, 2018 at 10:54 pm //

    I think you are the one having trouble reading. You did not say, that I said JJ had a great half but you keep referring to his less then stellar performance in the first half as THOUGH I said that. Listen, he did not complete ONE HUNDRED % of his passes so I’ll concede to your and your arse51 friend that JJ stunk. He should be cut and all the “experts” that recruited him, coach him and the TSN guys are ALL wrong. You and arse are right. SO yes, he was not 100% snd that makes him a terrible passer. There…YOu happy now. I’m done. No dialogue here, just self proclaimed experts with HUGE self esteem problems that feel the need to bring everyone else down.

  7. BC Dave // June 9, 2018 at 10:56 pm //

    Drew, you really need to clean up this place so normal people can communicate without insulting everyone else’s opinion every chance they get.

  8. Wow BC Dave you really are a piece of work. Someone (like myself) takes an alternate point of view that is contrary to your point of view using facts (in the case of my three posts above I actually use facts from the game to support my point of view) and you instead with your last post choose to respond with an attack that constitutes emotional insults rather then engaging in a dialogue like an adult would using facts to support your point of view.
    The fact that you CANNOT rely on facts to support your point of view is obviously the reason why you chose to rely on insults rather then dialogue that a reasonable adult would engage in.
    How exactly did I insult your opinion. I simply disagreed with it and I disagreed with it relying on FACTS from the game to support my point of view.
    Lets be clear about one other thing here: You admit that I did NOT say that you said JJ had a great first half. I also did not claim in any of my three posts that I THOUGHT you said JJ had a great first half. I am simply saying that SINCE JJ did not have a good first half on what basis are YOU saying that YOU were impressed with JJ last night? These are YOUR words, not mine. I am just pointing out the contradiction between YOUR observation and JJ performance3 overall in the game last night; and because YOU can not respond with a counter argument based on facts, you instead rely on an emotional diatribe grounded on insults. Be a little more objective in your commentary. If you continue to rely on insults as the basis for your future rebuttals YOU are the one whom Drew should ban from this site.
    For your information, I regard Jennings as the fourth best quarterback in the nine team CFL behind Mike Riley; Bo Levi Mitchell; and Ricky ray, in that order. I am hopeful that the poor season which Jennings had last year is an aberration and that the 2018 season will be more like Jennings 2016 season. Now that you know that, its time you grew up and behaved like an adult, instead of an adolescent child.

  9. The VERY, I repeat VERY first thing you posted after I did n this thread was that I was wearing Rose coloured glasses. Tell me sir, HOW is that factual statement unless you were sitting here beside me looking at my glasses?

    I have facts/stats to support my thoughts but I do not need people like you being rude. You say you want dialogue but again, the VERY first thing you said was a rude, inaccurate comment which you are trying to push off as fact. If you really ant to see a piece of work, oh never mind…You won’t understand.

  10. My comment about you wearing “rose coloured glasses” was written as a “figure of speech” to emphasize that your post really constitutes a statement based on “emotion” rather then being a statement having any “factual” basis. The comment about you wearing “rose colored glasses” was used in the first three sentences of my first post, which reads as follows:
    BC Dave when you say that you were “impressed with JJ last night” you must have watched the game through rose coloured glasses. What exactly did you see in the first half from Jennings that impressed you? I would argue that Jennings did not play that well in the first half.
    My reference to you wearing “rose coloured glasses” was also used as a “figure of speech” to point out and emphasize just how LACKING in objectivity your comment is given the facts that I present in my posts; which by the way, you still have not refuted with your so called facts. If you look at the context of my statement you, as well as most other educated individuals should clearly understand the context in which it was used. It is okay to make an emotional statement; just don’t pass off your emotional statements in future as fact. In other words; unlike you, just because Jennings steps onto the field it does not mean that I am going to be automatically impressed with his play if he continues to play like he did last night. Lets face facts: if the Bombers had played their starters on defence and offence, even with their average quarterbacking, without the Lions defence scoring two TD’s, with Jennings poor play like he played last night only being able to put together one TD scoring drive in two and a half quarters of play, the Lions would lose a majority of the games that they play. Jennings simply has to play better then he did last night is the Lions are to reverse last seasons dismal won/loss record. Unlike you, Jennings has to PROVE to me with his play on the field that he is worthy and deserves to be the Lions #1 QB. I am NOT going to say that I am IMPRESSED with Jennings simply because he steps onto the football field, which you seemly have done as proven by your comment, when it is clear that Jennings in reality had a poor game over two-and-a-half quarters of play.
    You SAY that you have facts but you choose not to share them. Your failure to share them simply tells everyone who is reading this thread that you are being disingenuous and likely dishonest. Disclose YOUR facts to support your position and your feeling that Jennings was “impressive” last night. Your failure to do so simply supports the fact that you are the one who is being RUDE.

  11. Also I object to the last statement which you make in your post which reads as follows:
    “Can’t wait til we start shooting real bullets next week”.
    Your choice of words is very poor indeed particularly given the gun violence within the city of Surrey and the frequents deaths from gun violence that are occurring in that municipality. Your poor and inappropriate statement just affirms your overall lack of good judgement, which comes across in many of your posts on a frequent basis.

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