No longer wishful thinking: Posey joins Lions

It had not reached a point where Ed Hervey had to close his eyes and make a wish to land DeVier Posey but had the general manager of the B.C. Lions done so it’s clear their newest receiver would relate to the concept.

Posey became the potential answer to a stagnant attack when he signed Monday to play with the Lions for the remainder of the CFL season, and the 28-year-old doesn’t have to be pushed to admit a big reason he will play Friday against the Montreal Alouettes is the opportunity presented by the injury to Manny Arceneaux.

Posey calls himself a forward thinker, but his past also makes him a player who wants to live in the moment as well. It’s an approach brought about from his will to fight back from a decidedly unhealthy childhood the Lions hope will manifest itself in the form of a more explosive attack.

A native of Cincinnati, Posey suffered from immune system deficiencies from the time he was six weeks old. The concerns about his life were so great at age two he and his family were given a trip to Disneyland by the Wake-A-Wish Foundation, which works with critical illness children.

Much of his youth was spent in and out of hospitals and Posey admitted in a 2017 TSN feature there was talk he might have to live in a bubble, until his immune system kicked in eventually and he sharpened his desire for a football career catching passes from Terrelle Pryor at Ohio State.

Any other setback, like the time he tore his Achilles in a 2012 AFC playoff game with the Houston Texans having been taken in the third round of the NFL draft that year, would be minor by comparison.

Same thing for the figurative kick in the teeth he took this spring. Posey asked for his release from the Toronto Argonauts after being named Grey Cup MVP, but was cut by the Baltimore Ravens this summer, and a workout with the Buffalo Bills went nowhere too.

Getting Posey to sign with the Lions, however, was no small feat given he said Argos coach Marc Trestman was responsible for his personal transformation. Coming to B.C., he suggested after his first Lions practice Monday, was a decision based in part on some of the survivalist instincts he used to walk out of the hospital for the last time.

“It’s definitely been a backdrop to my inner courage,” Posey said Monday. “I’ve always leaned on that in the past. Anytime you experience adversity you lean on it to get through to the next storm.

“Being here now is the only way I can live and enjoy life. If I’m looking forward or the past I’m not really here.”

In that context, he couldn’t have arrived at a better time for the Lions, who don’t have to thank the incessant lobbying of former Toronto teammate Shawn Lemon to get Posey on the field.

The lineup that showed up to work on offence Monday looked a good deal different from the one at the end of the game which had held off the Ottawa Redblacks Friday.

Quarterback Travis Lulay showed no ill effects of the hit he took that put him in concussion protocol briefly and was back taking first-team reps. Chris Rainey was no longer in coach Wally Buono’s doghouse and was working on offence.

Now there’s Posey, along with perhaps more work in his second week for Canadian receiver Anthony Parker, who dressed against Ottawa but had minimal snaps, with the Lions thinking what the two could do for them now might be similar to the mid-season boost they got in 2011 from the signing of Arland Bruce after a celebrated 0-5 start.

Posey won’t be the answer to all the Lions’ offensive concerns. He is best known for his 175-yard outing to earn him Grey Cup MVP honours last year, but his 52 catches and 744 yards last season with Toronto was more modest.

Rainey will help, admitting he got the message from Buono, who wanted a returner who will attack holes on special teams and not try to win games on his own. It’ll be the Lions’ next wish that Rainey backs up his words with deeds.

LIONS TALES: Lulay said he was confused by the non-call that took place Friday but was heartened to learn of reports both commissioner Randy Ambrosie and director of officiating Darren Hackwood admitted the crew headed by Tim Kroeker missed the spear of Ottawa’s J.R. Tavai on him. “The officials aren’t going to be perfect,” Lulay said. “Once I saw the hit I was left with questions. I’m not saying it was intentional. It’s the type of hit that our league is concerned with. You’ve seen lesser things called.” The league has not yet indicated whether the officiating crew will be sanctioned for the miss and the lack of a quick announcement on Tavai would suggest a fine and not a suspension is forthcoming… Lulay will take snaps in Montreal from rookie centre Peter Godber, who has a chance to start his pro career following season-ending surgery performed on the right leg on Cody Husband on the weekend. Rainey will likely take the roster spot of Travon Van… The deal by Hervey on the weekend to send Maxx Forde to Ottawa was voided by the Redblacks when Forde dialled his physical. B.C. traded Forde off its one-game injured list. Forde has been on and off the roster dealing with a shoulder injury suffered in training camp.

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 (179 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.