With the BC Lions one game shy of the halfway point in their season and on their 2nd and final bye week of the season, I thought it was time for another edition of the Lions Notebook. Obviously the Lions would like to be better than the 3-5 record they sport, but there is still time to turn things around and make a run in the second half of the season. The question is, can they?
No Defence no Hope
The Lions offence has taken its fair share of heat over the first 8 games of the season, but if the Lions can’t get their defence sorted out, things could continue to remain bleak. Defensive coordinator Mark Washington is likely bunkered down this week trying to figure out ways to get this defence turned around. The Lions are averaging 134 yards rushing allowed per game, and they are second last in the CFL in passing yards allowed.
They also can’t seem to get stops on 2nd down and are staying on the field way too much. It would help if the offence could sustain more drives, but the Lions haven’t demonstrated any consistent results against the run or the pass. At times they are getting pressure on the quarterback, but they aren’t getting sacks and often not getting containment either.
Time for Travis to Step Up
Let’s face it, you have to be thrilled that Travis Lulay is still playing, especially with the luck that has hit many of the league’s top pivots this season. What you can’t be thrilled with is how the offence has for the most part sputtered along.
One can’t simply point the finger at Travis Lulay, because outside of Andrew Harris he’s had plenty of help stalling drives. The Lions offence has been extremely one dimensional; shut down Harris and you will beat the BC Lions.
We all knew that Lulay would need some time to readjust to game action. But 8 games in should be enough to hope that Lulay can elevate his game in the second half and help get the offence going. The Lions have to find ways to get other players involved. They need to stop going for the deep ball they’ve done nothing to help set it up. More shirt quick passes, try to get everyone involved which will take the pressure off Harris and prevent other teams from loading up the box to shut him down.
Time for Manny to Show
Reviews of “The Manny Show” have been mixed so far this season. The main knock on Manny Arceneaux seems to be that when a pass is contested, he doesn’t come down with the ball. Arceneaux made some comments following the Montreal game that are likely to end up in the Alouettes dressing room next week. Not respecting your opponent when they beat you in all three phases isn’t the best lesson to teach the young players on the team.
Manny is one of the hardest working Lions off the field, but he needs to use the gifts that he’s been blessed with to have the same tenacity on it to become the impact player the Lions want and need him to be.
Lions Family Mourns the Loss of Vic Spencer
The man that co-founded the BC Lions has left us. Victor Spencer has passed away at the age of 90.
“If football in British Columbia has a father then it’s Victor Spencer,” said Lions’ president and CEO Dennis Skulsky. “Without his vision, his efforts and his love for our great game, it likely would have been many years before British Columbia had a professional football team to call its very own”.
Spencer was the driving force behind securing BC a place in the Western Interprovincial Rugby Union which became the West Division of the Canadian Football League.
It took Spencer and his partners 3-years of hard work to get the Lions approved by the other teams in 1953 and in 1954 the BC Lions debuted at the brand new Empire Stadium which played host to the Empire Games the same year.
Spencer is a member of the BC Lions Wall of Fame, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the BC Football Hall of Fame.
On behalf of Lions fans, our thoughts and condolences go out to the Spencer family.