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The Rouge: How can the Lions keep pace in the West Division?

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Ben Fisher, TSN.ca
11/29/2013 3:38:58 PM
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2011 was a great year for the BC Lions.

They kicked off the still-going trend of host cities winning the Grey Cup and sent Hall of Fame head coach Wally Buono to the front office a champion.

That was two years ago however, and things have been getting increasingly worrisome on the West Coast ever since.

First, the Lions failed to deliver on their strong 2012 regular season when they were upset in the Western Final by the Calgary Stampeders. But that was nothing compared to this year.

BC clearly fell behind the Stampeders and Saskatchewan Roughriders in the regular season before exiting the playoffs in the Western Semi-Final, their earliest exit since 2010.

The Lions do have excuses for their down year, with star quarterback and former Most Outstanding Player Travis Lulay missing the final seven games of the regular season save for a short, four-pass cameo in the finale due to a shoulder injury. Lulay also underwent off-season shoulder surgery early this off-season, suggesting the 30-year-old wasn't 100 percent during his start in BC's Western Semi-Final loss to the eventual Grey Cup champion Roughriders.

That said, the Lions were still in third place in the West, two games behind both Calgary and Saskatchewan, at the time of Lulay's shoulder injury.

Both the Stamps and Riders appear to have the foundation in place to once again field West division contenders next season; can BC keep up?

The Lions made their first off-season move on Wednesday, parting ways with offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine. The list of candidates rumoured to be in the running to replace Chapdelaine is fairly impressive; will that move alone be enough to kick start BC's fortunes for next year?

The Rouge asks: Do the Lions need a shakeup this off-season to keep pace in the West Division?

Andrew Harris (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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