Lions playbook laptop stolen; Jennings loses starting QB role to Lulay again

A wiseguy would see the upside when a laptop containing the keys to the B.C. Lions offence belonging to assistant coach Jarious Jackson was stolen out of his car on the weekend, given how the offence has performed at times this season.

Try looking for a silver lining if you’re the offensive coordinator of the CFL team, however, who was crestfallen when describing the events that took place following the Lions’ win over Toronto Saturday.

Jackson and fellow assistant coach Markus Howell were at a downtown Vancouver bistro to watch the MMA fight in Las Vegas only to discover his vehicle had been the victim of a smash-and-grab robbery.

Among the items stolen from the vehicle which has a Lions logo on either side was a club-owned laptop which contains essential elements of the offensive playbook.

“I feel like I’m starting on ground zero. It’s terrible,” Jackson said after practice Tuesday. “(The laptop) is going to be of no importance to whoever has it. I know they were just trying to smashing and grabbing and trying to make some money to buy drugs or something.

“To me, it’s everything.”

Digital offensive playbooks seem to be a hot commodity with the Lions. Just over 10 years ago, thieves stole a laptop belonging to former offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine from his home in Abbotsford which contained similar data. The theft came a few days before the Lions played the Calgary Stampeders.

Jackson is putting up $1,000 as a reward to get his possessions back, which also contains his U.S. passport, work permit, hard drives and Bible. The story was initially reported by Global BC.

If thieves were looking for images of Jon Jennings as the Lions starting quarterback they can return the stolen property to the Lions immediately. As expected, Jennings has again lost his starting spot to Travis Lulay, coach Wally Buono said.

Lulay has been out for the better part of four games, during which Jennings posted a 3-1 record, but had first-team reps as the Lions began preparation for their road game Saturday against Calgary.

Jennings was not asked about losing his starting spot following practice but for a reaction to the weekend comments of general manager Ed Hervey, who was critical of his practice regimen.

“It’s only a distraction because you (media) keep asking about it,” said Jennings. “If that’s the way he feels I got to speak about it to him possibly. Everyone’s entitled to say what they want to say. I’ve worked my tail off for four years. I have the same regimen. I get in early and I do extra film work at home. I’m one of the hardest-working guys on the team. I never thought that would be questioned.”

Lulay, meantime, admits he will again face questions about his health and won’t know whether he has fully recovered from his latest injury setback until his dislocated left shoulder absorbs a hit for the first time since Montreal’s John Bowman decked him in the Lions’ game Sept. 14.

“People (ask) ‘what if a 300-pounder falls on your shoulder’? Well, you’re probably going to get hurt. That’s the nature of our business and it doesn’t change whether your healthy or coming off an injury. I can play and play with confidence with where I’m at,” Lulay said.

Also taking first-team reps in the Lions offence Tuesday was tailback Tyrell Sutton, who is expected to replace Jeremiah Johnson despite posting the team’s first 100-yard rushing game against Toronto.

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.