Shots on goal and other points to ponder in the Lions’ pre-season win

No parade routes are quite yet being planned, but there are points to ponder nonetheless after the B.C. Lions beat Winnipeg 34-21 Friday and became only the second CFL team to win both its pre-season games this year:

  Taking their shots: It might not rank with the introduction of the Quar rating by the league last season to measure quarterback excellence, but the Lions have come up with their own funky stat that goes some distance towards explaining their solid pre-season start.

Mixing terminology with a sport more familiar to the Lions’ non-imports, defensive coordinator Mark Washington and defensive backs assistant Stanley Franks have coined a new term which appears to have attracted the interest of their players.

Every attempt to create a turnover by players who try to pull the ball out of the hands of an opponent is recorded by Franks as a shot on goal. So far, the position assistant has been busy.

Forgetting briefly that the Lions hardly went up against opposing starters, the defence created nine turnovers in the two games, producing 37 of the 70 points the registered in exhibition play.

A touchdown off a fumble recovery by Odell Willis on the second play of the game, plus a pick six by Otha Foster goes a long way to hiding the fact Jon Jennings and the protection looked a lot like last year before the offence got rolling in the second half.

Under Otha: the gnashing and braying that took place while Ed Hervey underwent his free agent signing binge initially seemed to be justified when it appeared the Lions made no attempt to sign Chandler Fenner and Loucheiz Purifoy, who each had spent time at nickleback the last two seasons.

Truth be told, the Lions thought they had a chance at one of the two but ended up with neither. The replacement on display Friday has rendered further discussion completely misguided.

Foster looked so much at ease in his first game at the position on the Lions defence, TSN 1040 analyst Giulio Caravatta predicted after the win over Winnipeg that Foster this year will be the team’s nominee for defensive player of the year. Solomon Elimimian is hereby on notice.

A few months shy of his 30th birthday and with the NFL bug perhaps out of his system after an attempt to make it with the Baltimore Ravens last year, the addition of Foster from the 2015 Grey Cup team assembled in Edmonton by Hervey could be every bit as potentially profitable as the moves to strengthen the defensive pass rush.

“Ed’s work speaks for itself,” Foster said when asked why he wanted to play again for Hervey. “I just like the type of guys he brings into the locker room. He makes sure the room is full of friends who hang out outside of football. You need that type of team in order to win.”

Locker-room harmony has been a topic around the Lions in the past. It isn’t at the moment.

Never easy: It hardly ranked as a surprise when the Lions made their final round of meaningful roster cuts Saturday and only one player signed during the off-season by Hervey, Canadian safety Cauchy Muamba, was among the 12 players who were released.

If there was a surprise move by the off-season by the Lions, it was the signing of Muamba in the first place. He was unremarkable during his first tour of duty when drafted by Wally Buono in 2010 and when he came back this spring he had virtually no reps throughout training camp.

The final deletions still showed the cruel side, however. Second-year wideout Tyler Davis, described by several teammates as the best athlete in camp this year, didn’t get a chance to go on the injured list owing to the ankle injury he suffered in camp. Davis is still considered a rookie, having played in only one game for the Lions last year, and as such it is easier to make a move before reaching veteran status. Others also with the Lions for the most part who were on the practice roster last year who received bad news Saturday: DBs Tevin McDonald and Kendall James.

Davis wasn’t the only one to  be unrewarded, however. Rookie import offensive lineman Cassidy Curtis was also cut. Curtis can now go on his honeymoon. He was married the day before training camp opened May 19 but determined in his attempt to land a roster spot, showed up in Kamloops as scheduled, only in vain.

 

 

Lowell Ullrich

Lowell Ullrich

Lowell Ullrich has covered the Lions since 1999 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014. He is also a contributor to TSN1040.
Lowell Ullrich
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Lowell Ullrich
About Lowell Ullrich (173 Articles)
Lowell Ullrich has covered the Lions since 1999 and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2014. He is also a contributor to TSN1040.

6 Comments on Shots on goal and other points to ponder in the Lions’ pre-season win

  1. BC Dave // June 9, 2018 at 6:25 pm //

    Anyone know when the PR list will be out?

    No surprises for me on this list except for Tyler Davis and Kendall James. James only got in one game, I think, last year but looked pretty good. Wondering if he might end up on the PR. I believe he came part way in last year so they might feel some potential there.

    Gotta agree with LU on Cauchy. I was shocked he was even signed. Said so to a co-worker.

  2. Jose Perez // June 10, 2018 at 12:53 am //

    As being at the game and seeing James he got beat several times by WR when covering. Last year he did look hungry in the game he played. Hard hitting. Not sure what happened in this game and why he got beat badly.
    Tyler never got his real chance to show speed as WR used as a RB was the worst thing for him last year. Since we had Chris Williams, Tyler never had a chance. I thought this year he would of been able to come in and show his true strengths. Unfortunately injury to his anckle happened. Feel for this guy as he stayed off season and was doing activities for the community and part of programs.
    Hope he falls on the Injury list though and gets his chance. As for McDonald there were just better players to take his spot more polished in his position.
    Other cuts well just didn’t show enough.

  3. There was a better vibe at the stadium last night… There are some new guys and they seem to be melding in a positive way with the vets from before… And Ricky Lloyd looks like a “find”

  4. BC Dave // June 10, 2018 at 1:51 am //

    I agree Jose, that is why I am surprised that he did not end up on the injured list. My understanding too, this year, they were going to focus on him as a receiver. Maybe we will know more tomorrow and they still add him to the injured list but at the same time, we already do have one guy on the 6 game, Vaillancourt if I am not mistaken. Maybe it was just because they felt he was not going to beat out Ricky Collins ???

  5. TouchDownBC // June 10, 2018 at 3:15 am //

    See how they fair against a starting line up next week vs Montreal but 2-0 preseason is a great start! Oline looking shaky again under Mr.Dorazio’s complex zone read.He needs to dial it back for 2018.

    • Super Flea // June 10, 2018 at 11:01 am //

      Well JJ must get rid of ball on time. Both sacks with first OL were on him. OL cut blks ball out qwik! Ran ball solid so run blocking good

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