‘We’re about to win four in a row’: president Victor Cui believes Elks will beat Lions, Riders and Redblacks

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The Edmonton Elks may be 2-5 and in the basement of the West Division but Victor Cui believes they are about to become a CFL juggernaut.

Speaking with Tom Gazzola of TSN 1260 on Friday, the Elks’ president made a bold prediction ahead of his team’s Week 9 match-up with B.C. Lions.

“I’ll make this call right now: I think we’re about to win four in a row,” Cui prophesized. “We’ve got B.C., Saskatchewan and back-to-back Ottawa. I think all of those are winnable.”

With Ottawa sitting at 1-6 and Saskatchewan struggling through injuries, the latter half of that schedule seems ripe for the taking. Promises of victory on Saturday against the 5-1 Lions are another matter, given that the Elks got blown out 59-15 the last time they travelled to B.C in Week 1.

Nevertheless, Cui believes that performance isn’t indicative of the quality of the team the Elks are now putting on the field.

“If you sign up for a career in sports, winning and losing is what you sign up for. That’s part of the game; someone’s going to win, someone’s going to lose. That’s what sports is about, so you can’t really make that your only benchmark for how are you doing as an organization,” he said.

“For me, what I care about is that, win or lose, the next day we decide that we go back to work and try and improve. I think we’ve done that since our loss in B.C. You’ve seen Coach Jones tweak and tweak and tweak; we’ve done over 80 transactions since the start of the season.”

Some have questioned whether that level of player turnover might have a negative effect on the team’s chemistry and culture, but Cui doesn’t see it that way. Despite his wheeling and dealing, Elks players are still loyal to head coach and general manager Chris Jones.

“When you talk to the players, they have such a high level of confidence in Coach Jones and the coaching staff,” Cui said. “They just believe in what he does because he has a track record of rebuilding and building success. In that locker room, there is just such extreme confidence in his leadership, you can feel it. I know they’ll tell you they’re willing and ready to run through a brick wall for him.”

“I don’t think that they see the changes and the things that he’s doing as disruptive. My sense is they see them as, look, this is what it takes to build a winning team and I’m here to do my part.”

That bodes well for the Elks’ chances of an upset in Vancouver, especially with a number of key players returning to the lineup after injury. The likes of defensive tackle Jake Ceresna, receiver Derel Walker and defensive back Nafees Lyon will all be back in action against the Lions and each could be a key element in a victory that would alter the course of the 2022 campaign.

“We win those next four in a row, that takes us to 6-5 and we’ve still got another seven games in the season,” Cui noted. “So, in my mind, we do that and we get to 6-5, that’s like starting the season all over again.”