Time for our weekly edition of Den Talk. A weekly round up of the new surrounding the BC Lions. The club played their first exhibition game of the 2009 season and many questions remain surrounding this years editions of the Lions.
The Game :: Lions 30 at Stampeders 37
As far as exhibition games went it sounded like a fairly entertaining contest after the slow first quarter. Neither team came out firing on all cylinders, and with Buck Pierce struggling to get a good drive going, he probably played longer than Wally Buono wanted him the lineup but he got the chains moving late in the first quarter and connected on a TD pass to Greg Hetherington to begin the second.
Jeremy Gibbs had a strong game on defense, swarming around the ball and recording 3 tackles and 1 sack on the night. His performance no doubt left him as the front runner to replace Tyrone Williams.
Emmanuel Arceneaux and Terence Scott and Hetherington were the best receivers on the night while all four quarterbacks had success. Travis Lulay almost rallied the team for the tying touchdown on the last drive of the game but ran out of time. This fresh crop of receivers are impressing enough that former Lion and Arena League standout Jerel Myers was released this week. It will be interesting to see who Wally chooses to remain on the roster after this final week.
The offensive line payed decent on the night, with players switching in and out and playing out of position at times for the benefit of the coaching staff. Jon Hameister-Reis looks to be laying claim to the left guard position thought to be Dean Valli’s to lose. A knee injury at camp has come at the worst time for Valli, but it didn’t keep him out of the game. Both Darren Marquez and Walter Stith looked good at the tackle spots.
The real concern coming out of the game, besides some missed tackles and big plays given up by a raw secondary, was the non-emergence of a presence at running back. Ian Smart continues to look like the best option, but the Lions return game looked inept for the most part without him. Somewhat to be expected trying new personnel perhaps but Buono said he won’t use his featured back as a returner. With Stefan Logan surviving Steeler mini-camp, he’ll now likely be gone until at least September if he comes back at all, so Roy Shivers will have to find some more options, or hope that one of the contenders or a kick returner shows something special on Tuesday.
The Lions rolled out their retro uniforms from the 1960’s era and I have to say, they look pretty sweet. The helmets, right down to the gray face masks are very slick and the simple white uniform with orange sleeves and back pants complete a very nice nice combination. You can check out Buck Pierce modeling the uniforms on BCLions.com.
Lowell Ullrich of the Province touches on the running back situation.
Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald speaks about Wally Buono’s pursuit of the CFL all-time coaching wins record.
This weeks transactions:
2009-06-19: Deleted from roster: DB B.J. Tucker (I), DB Mil’von James (I), DL Rodney Allen (I).
2009-06-16: Deleted from roster: DB John Guice (I), WR Jerel Myers (I).
2009-06-12: Deleted from roster: DB Donald Brown (I), LB Marcus Richardson (I), OL Vaughn Lesuma (I). Added to roster: LB Courtney Smith (I). Removed from suspended list and added to roster: DB Trestin George (I).