Monday, June 13, 2011

CFL Preview-BC Lions

BC Lions
2010 Record: 8-10
2010 Postseason: West Semifinal, Lost to Saskatchewan 41-38


     Travis Lulay returns to the Lions as the starter for 2011. Lulay had hit some bumps last season in his first full season at the helm, and improvement is a must for 2011. Lulay passed for 2602 yards last season, but his TD/pick ratio was not good, as Lulay finished with 9 TDs while tossing 11 picks for the year. There seems to be a ton of support for him, and he seems confident entering the season.
     Jarious Jackson returns for his 7th season with the Lions. Jackson played in limited moments last season, and never scored through the air. He will be pushed in camp by Corey Leonard, who enters his first season out of Arkansas State. Mike Reilly, out of Central Washington, was with the club last fall, but never tossed a pass. Leonard will likely be trying to push him out of the 3rd spot, with Jackson the likely #2 guy.


     Jamal Robertson looks to be the returning starter for 2011. Robertson rushed for 953 yards last season after coming over from the Argos. He scored 8 times on the ground, and added 54 catches for 387 yards and scored 1 TD through the air. Robertson played his college ball at Ohio Northern, where he was a tremendous star for the D3 program.
     Jerome Massam will likely be the primary backup, as nobody else on the roster has experience in the league. He will be pushed by newcomers Keegan Herring (Arizona State) and Tim Brown (Temple).
     The Lions have a 3 man battle going on for the FB spot, with non-import Tim Cronk (Bishop's), Jamall Lee (Bishop's), and Rolly Lumbala (Idaho) fighting it out for the job.


      Emmanuel Arceneaux is the leader of the WR group, as he is the only returnee from last season with real experience. Arceneaux was solid last season, as he led the WRs with a line of 67-1114-5. Arceneaux has 130 receptions in two seasons for the Lions.
     There will be a battle behind Arceneaux on the depth chart. Akeem Harris (St. Francis Xavier), Andrew Harris (VI Riders), Marco Ianuzzi (Harvard), and Nick Moore (Toledo) will be fighting it out for the next 2 weeks to discover who can get it done.

     Geroy Simon is a CFL legend at this point, as he is now entering his 13th season, his 11th with the Lions. Simon may be slowing down just a touch, but his slow is still top shelf. Simon posted a line 78-1190-6 last season. Simon has piled up 13,373 yards during his career, and he has scored 90 times. They don't get any better than Geroy Simon.
     Steven Black returns for his second season, having posted a line of 22-370-5 last season for the Lions. Black will get a minimal role in this offense as long as Simon remains in front of him. The bad news for Black is that the Lions have acquired Kamau Peterson, who enters his 12th season in the CFL. Peterson comes over from Edmonton, where he had his worst season last year. Peterson only caught 8 passes for 66 yards last year and failed to score, so a new start with the Lions is much needed. Peterson may very well push Black out. Peterson has caught 522 passes in his pro career, and has compiled 6741 yards and 28 TDs.
      The Slotback position is muddled further when yo consider that Paris Jackson returns for the Lions for his 9th season as a Lion, and he is coming off of a season in which he posted 61-758-1. Jackson has scored 30 TDs in his Lion career.


      Angus Reid rteurns for his 11th season in the CFL, and looks to be the likely choice to anchor the line at center. Battling for the spot along with Reid will be Justin Sorensen (South Carolina) and Dean Valli (Bishop's). Both are experienced players with a combined 9 years of time spent in the league combined, so a decision between the two is difficult.
      The Lions only come in with three Guards on the roster, so depth is not at a maximum here. John Hameister-Reis and Andrew Jones look to be the starters entering camp, but rookie Yannick Sage (Sherbrooke) looks to come in pushing for a job.
     The Tackle position is exceptionally thin coming in, as only two reside on the roster currently. Ben Archibald (BYU) and Nick Hennessey (Colgate) anchor the spot until depth can be found.

      There is likely to be some depth at the DE position, as there are five DEs in camp. Keron Willams (40 tackles, 5 sacks) has one spot locked up right now, while Brent Johnson (29 tackles, 7 sacks) seems to have the other spot locked down. Where the competition comes will be in providing depth to the spot. Keyon Brown, James Bryant, and Chris Hodgson, all rookies, will be in battle mode to try and win spots. Rajon Henley and Sean Ortiz will try to battle their way into the rotation as well.
     There looks to be a 3 man rotation at DT that will be all set coming into the seasno, as Eric Taylor (arriving from Toronto), second year man Khalif Mitchell, and 6th year man Aaron Hunt all have decent experience. Mitchell has the least amount of production, probably making him the 3rd man on the charts, pending his camp performance.

     The Lions appear set at LB, especially with Solomon Elimimiam, who finshed last season with 77 tackles for BC. Anton McKenzie looks to return as a starter with him, and Joe Henderson looks like he is ready to move up the ladder and take the next step in his development. Adam Leonard and James Yurichuk look to add depth and steal some play time, and three young players look to try to compete their way in as well, but may only see special teams duties if they make the team. They are Adam Bighill, Joash Gesse, and Tyrell Graham.

     Stanley Franks appears set at CB for the Lions, as he returns to the team for his second season out of Idaho. Franks finished with 70 tackles last season and finished with 3 picks and 2 fumbles recovered.  Dante Marsh returns at CB for his 7th season out of Fresno State, and was very solid for the Lions, having posted 63 tackles and 4 picks. There will be some competetion, however, as the Lions acquired Davis Sanchez, a veteran out of Oregon, in 2010. Sanchez arrived from Montreal, and was an instant hit for BC, having acquired 37 tackles and 2 picks as the third CB. He may push his way up the roster this summer, but at worst, he's a very dependable reserve. Hamid Mahmoudi (Montreal) is a rookie on the team, and doesn't figure to break through the rotation of vets ahead of him.


   Korey Banks appears to be the top option at DB for the Lions, as he posted 55 tackles with 7 sacks last season. Banks also scored a pair of picks while recovering 4 fumbles on the season. His 4 fumble recoveries was by far a career high for Banks, who returns to the Lions for his 6th season with the team, and his 8th in the league. Competing with him for top billing would be Ryan Phillips, who scored 49 tackles, grabbed 4 sacks, and picked off 5 passes. Phillips has also been a veteran presence for the Lions as he enters his 7th season with the club out of Eastern Washington.
    Anthony Reddick and David Hyland provide depth at the position, but Reddick is known more for his special teams play. Rookies Michael Carter (Maryland) and Travis Williams (East Carolina) will try to crack the roster, but practice squad or cuts seem more likely.

    This position is thin. There is very little in the way of returning talent here for BC, and experience is limited to mostly special teams play. Jason Arakgi and JR LaRose appear to be the front runners, while Doug Goldsby (from Montreal) and Cauchy Muamba (rookie out of St. Francis Xavier) will come in to try to win jobs. This could be the weak link unless someone steps up big.


     Paul McCallum is old man river on the Lions roster, as he returns for his 21st season as a kicker in the CFL, and he returns for his 7th season as a BC Lion (his third term). He was responsible for 177 points last season, the 4th highest total of his career, as he nailed 88.5% of his FG attempts, while not missing any PATs. He also averaged 41.7 yards on his punts last fall, making him a valuable part of this roster. McCallum is not likely to give up his spot, but the Lions have brought in a rookie to be an understudy, as Hugh O'Neill comes in from Alberta. Dan McCullough is the long snapper.

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