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B.C. Lions

(11-7 in 2008 - 3rd in West Division)

General Manager:
Wally Buono | Head Coach: Wally Buono
Offensive Coordinator: Dan Dorazio | Defensive Coordinator: Mike Benevides

Video: 2008 Rewind | 2008 Statistics | 2009 Schedule | Team Page


Key Addition: LB Anton McKenzie - This free agent signing somewhat softens the blow of losing Jamall Johnson (NFL), Jason Pottinger (traded) and Otis Floyd (released) in the linebacking corps.

Other Signings and Acquisitions: DB Calvin Bannister, DL Nautyn McKay-Loescher

Key Deletion: DE Cameron Wake - No team can lose the league's Most Outstanding Defensive Player and not feel it. Honourable mention to OL Rob Murphy, who will be missed on the other side of the ball.

Other Releases and Deletions: OL Kelly Bates, SB Jason Clermont, RB Stefan Logan, RB Charles Roberts, LB Otis Floyd, LB Jamall Johnson, DL Matt Kirk, LB Jason Pottinger, DL Tyrone Williams

Matt Dunigan's Quarterback Analysis: The B.C. Lions declared Buck Pierce the #1 man, top dawg, go-to guy and their starting QB. After signing a new contract this off-season, it makes sense to give the ball to Buck and let him play the game without the fear of being yanked off the field after making a mistake. Buck has worked his tail off this off-season to add size while losing 10% body fat. Good idea, because there still is some serious competition going on @ the Lions' camp for playing time under centre. Jarious Jackson has proven he's a legitimate CFL QB and can win games with his strong arm and playmaking ability. He can't let up one bit as he's being pushed by a Louisiana Tech product by the name of Zac Champion. Champion received a ton of high praise from Wally Buono when we discussed his stable of QBs. Wally could not say enough good things about the young QB and praised his quick release, mobility, intelligence and poise on the field. Rounding out the QB depth chart in B.C., you have a college stud from Montana State, Travis Lulay, 6'2 216lbs. He can run and throw as exemplified in his college career stats of being only the 5th NCAA QB to throw for 10,000 and rush for 1,000. Hello!!!

Jock Climie's Offensive Analysis: The Lions have once again handed the reigns to Buck Pierce to lead B.C.'s offence. However, don't expect Jarious Jackson to hold a clipboard all season. Pierce has gone down to injury before and, given the way he likes to play the game of football, Jackson is likely to be needed again. However, both are very capable quarterbacks. The real pressure is on the Lions' receiving corps to make this offence click. Some B.C. fans are no doubt concerned about Jason Clermont's departure. However, the reality is that he was seldom used last year and will be hardly missed. Once again, Geroy Simon and Paris Jackson will be counted on to do most of the heavy lifting. However, the Lions will find themselves struggling if they can not find at least one other dominant receiver to emerge from training camp. The CFL lost one of its most exciting players to the NFL when Stefan Logan was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Lions saw its running game fly south with him. However, perhaps all is not lost as the diminutive tailback may be back. The NFL has very few 5'7'' running backs after all. Failing Logan's return, the Lions will have to rely on Ian Smart or find themselves a diamond in the rough. Either way, expect the Lions' running game to be slow off the mark in 2009.

Glen Suitor's Defensive Analysis: In 2008, the Lions' secondary led the league in interceptions with 27 and the starting group is intact heading into the 2009 season. However, the front seven has lost four starters, including the league's best defensive player in Cameron Wake. Head Coach Wally Buono will have to rely heavily on his scouting staff and what they have found. There are many questions to be answered in training camp, especially on the defensive line with the loss of Wake. The sack leader had 23 in 2008, which accounted for a third of the Lions total, and may have to be replaced by two players. Those two could be Nautyn McKay-Loescher and Ricky Foley, but even if both have career years, replacing the overall presence of Wake will not be an easy task. The defence will benefit from the acquisition of Anton McKenzie at linebacker and a veteran secondary, could buy time for the front seven to find some chemistry.

Duane Forde's Canadian Content: No team lost more from their Canadian talent pool over the offseason than the Lions, who released two-time CFL Most Outstanding Canadian Jason Clermont and traded former All-Canadian guard Kelly Bates and special teams demon Jay Pottinger. However, few teams could withstand those losses like B.C., which still boasts another two-time Most Outstanding Canadian in Brent Johnson, a still-improving 1,100-yard receiver in Paris Jackson, and ratio breaking middle linebacker Javy Glatt. First round picks from the 2006 draft Dean Valli and Ricky Foley will get first crack at replacing Bates and import Cam Wake, at guard and defensive end respectively. Meanwhile, safety Tad Crawford heads an impressive group of first-, second-, and third-year homegrown Leos, who will be counted on heavily in '09.

Chris Schultz's Overview: Going into 2009, all but one of the CFL head coaches has two or less years of experience which should make you feel comfortable as a B.C. Lion, knowing that Wally Buono has 19 years of experience in determining what fits on the team and what will not work. But as important as continuity is in a coaching staff, I'm sure Coach Buono will tell you it's not as important as finding good players to work with. More...

What Makes Them Good? General manager and head coach Wally Buono has the ability to turn over personnel and maintain a high level of success. In a salary cap world, his talents are magnified.

What Makes Them Vulnerable? A number of veterans were lost through free agency, trades and NFL signings. Talent can be replaced but there is no substitute for experience.

Coach Buono Says... "I'll say it publicly, we're no longer on top of the mountain. We've been knocked off there last year. Other teams, and I will say it in a nice way, got to our level. No longer are we maybe a better football club than the other teams." - The Canadian Press

2008 Statistics

Total 496 51 387 291 118
Rank 3rd 3rd 4th 4th 4th

Total 457 50 357 278 109
Rank 5th 5th 3rd 4th 4th

2008 Team Leaders

Player, Total Geroy Simon, 10 Geroy Simon, 1,418 Stefan Logan, 889

Player, Total Javier Glatt, 87 Cameron Wake, 23
* Led the league
Barron Miles, 9
* Led the league

2009 Draft Picks

Rd Player Position School
1 Jamall Lee RB Bishop's
1 James Yurichuk LB Bishop's
1 Matt Carter WR Acadia
3 Matt Morencie OL Windsor
4 Tang Bacheyie S Kansas
5 Jonathan Pierre-Etienne DL Montreal

CFL Feature

CFL on TSN analyst Paul LaPolice opens his playbook and breaks down key plays from each week's games. More...

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