Tuesday 22 June 2010

8 Teams, 8 Days: British Columbia Lions

Last Season: 8-10, 4th in the West (Lost the East Division Final 56-18 to Montreal)


Casey Printers is back. Last season, after a slew of QB injuries, Printers was given the starting nod by Head Coach Wally Buono, and he made the most of it. His stats weren't spectacular, but he did lead the Leos to a victory in the East Division Semi-Finals against his former team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Printers will enter the 2010 season as the team's starter, and he looks to find his MOP-winning skills from a few years ago.

Running Back is somewhat of a question mark for the Lions with the departure of last season's Most Outstanding Rookie, Martell Mallet. Mallet signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and has been replaced by former Argonaut Jamal Robertson. How Robertson performs will be key to whether BC contends for a home playoff game, or whether they will have to hope to cross over into the East.

The Wide Receivers in BC are as strong as ever. Geroy Simon seems not to age, Paris Jackson seems to never have a bad game, and Emmanuel Arceneaux emerged as a reliable target in 2009. The team also added Derrick Armstrong, which makes BC a very deep and talented bunch.

The line lost veteran Jason Jimenez to Hamilton and still looks to be the weak link in BC's offensive arsenal. For this team to be good, Printers needs time. If the line can give him that time, he can be very dangerous.

Player to Watch: Casey Printers


Losing Ricky Foley (last season's Most Outstanding Canadian) will hurt, but with Brent Johnson still there, the line should be fine. The Linebackers leave something to be desired, but with time, they could jell. Davis Sanchez left Montreal to finish his career in BC, but he's a little long in the tooth, so to expect him to be the Sanchez of years past would be a mistake. I do expect former McMaster Marauder Jason Arakgi to have a good season. I don't really know why, just a gut feeling. All of that said, this is not a great defense, and the Lions might have to win some games 38-34 or 41-37 to compensate for that.

Player to Watch: Jason Arakgi


Despite the defensive deficiencies, there is something about BC that I like. Maybe I'm just drinking the Buono Kool-Aid, but his teams always find a way to win. Last year was considered a "down year" for Wally, and yet his team still made the East Division Final! I think if Printers can stay healthy, this BC team could be one scary outfit. I don't know if they'll make it to or win the Grey Cup, but with Wally Buono at the helm, you just never know. Counting BC out would be very foolish.

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