Buono and Teford gas two veterans

So the latest news out of the Lions' Den is the Buono-Tedford apple-and-a-road map for veteran defensive tackle Eric Taylor and thirty-something mighty mite Stefan Logan. Logan didn't exactly light it up in 2014 for a lackluster BC offense, before or after the job was his to lose after the injury to Andrew Harris. Taylor is the fourth BC defender to get a new area code, a surprise to many Lions fans who thought most of the offseason upgrades would be on the offensive side of the ball. Given the few legitimate tackles on the current roster Buono and Tedford are counting on the free agent camps to fill Taylor's old spot. With Keola Antolin looking good late last year, he may be the guy who slides into Logan's old spot.

Sort of wondering who the veteran leadership will be on defence with the departure of Taylor and Dante Marsh, other than the ageless Khreem Smith and the duo of Biggy and Solly. It looks like Jabar Westerman will fill Taylor's sport and the other three defensive tackles on he roster (David Menard, Marcus Dixon and Zach Minter) will compete for reps at the other defensive tackle spot.

Makes me wonder who the next aging Lions will be to get gassed. Maybe Paul McCallum, who is now doing just field goals and converts and getting paid plenty to do so.

Thanks for the update dooger. :thup:

"With Keola Antolin looking good late last year, he may be the guy who slides into Logan's old spot."

Yes, I think Antolin may do quite well. I was happy to see Logan back and a little surprised he got his walking papers. The plan was to run Logan and Harris but as you say, it was Logan's to win or lose with Harris getting injured.

McCallum? Hmmm… how much does he have left in that leg? I have to wonder if he is still with the Lions because the Lions haven't found a good replacement.

Beag, you can bet the team is looking for an international player with experience who can do kickoffs and punting. leaving McCallum to kick field goals as he did in 2014. They’d rather probably have a Canadian who can do all three jobs, but guys like Passaglia or McCallum in their primes don’t exactly grow on trees. And the addition of two extra roster spots last year means CFL teams have the flexibility to use two active roster spots for kickers. That spreads the work around to keep everybody healthy and fresh near the end of the season and playoffs when it really counts. It also provides an insurance policy if one of them goes down or underachieves.

I thought I’d also mention the CFL college draft coming up in the next month or so. Barring a trade to move up/down in the rankings, BC will pick 5th, 14th and 23rd in the first three rounds.

The 2015 draft has a bumper crop of draft eligible hoggies, a whopping nine of them in the first 15 rankings. That’s a lot of disappearing Subway sandwiches! Conveniently, there are three well-fed Canadian offensive linemen tha were ranked 6th, 7th and 8th last December: Sean McEwen from the University of Calgary at 6th, Sukh Chung also from Calgary at 7th and Danny Groulx from Laval at 8th. Of the three, McEwen has made the largest rise from the September to the December rankings: 14th to an impressive 6th. He may become unavailable before BC chooses their first pick.

With the gassing of Eric Taylor, BC may try to trade up to get 3rd ranked Daryl Waud from Western or 15th ranked Brandon Tennant from Laval. Or opt for project guys they can bring along for a couple seasons from now like 18th ranked Ese Mrabure-Ajufo from Wilfred Laurier, 20th ranked Ettore Lattanzio from Ottawa or 23rd ranked Roy Connop from Western.

BC could use a good Canadian defensive back with smarts, size and toughness, to compete for and eventually assume the safety spot which has been a problem position for years in an otherwise terrific BC defence. 12th ranked Chris Ackie from Wilfred Laurier is the only DB in the top 23 ranks and may be gone before Buono can get him in round 2.

One other player is an intriguing option: 16th ranked linebacker Adam Konar from the University of Calgary. I wonder if he’s former Lion linebacker Kevin Konar’s son. The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree you know…

We’ll have more clarity regarding which team will end up with these draft eligible players, once the spring ranking come out in a few weeks.

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

"Beag, you can bet the team is looking for an international player with experience who can do kickoffs and punting. "

And a good punter is something the team needs desperately. The difference in winning and losing can come down consistently good field position. McCallum can still do well with the FGs, but his punting can be atrocious.

Dooger, you sure know your football! Some of the stuff you post, I don't have a clue about. :frowning:

Thanks Beag, for those kind remarks. I just try to put my take on information that is already out there, from places like the 2015 free agent tracker website, the CFL college draft site or the local newspapers' sites. Totally unoriginal; I just put my spin on the CFL news of the day. Sometimes I have an have an opinion on stuff our local CFL writers churn out, guys like Cam Cole, Mike Beamish and Lowell Ullrich. I do my research, read as much as I can and then write an outline of my ideas. Hopefully I produce something that is accurate, informative and entertaining to read.

But back to the BC LIons for 2015. (Nice blend, huh?)

Clearly what we thought would be a significant offensive overhaul with a bit of tweaking for the defence and special teams has become a significant overhaul of what was the league's leading defense. While out defenders looked solid for 15 games they completely unraveled in the last three, then were eviscerated in that beat-down in Montreal in the post season.

To get better at stopping the inside run (a big problem for a couple seasons) they felt they needed to jettison aging veteran Eric Taylor after similarly gassing former Lions standout Khalif Mitchell. I thought Taylor was the least of our problems; that shows you how little I really know. They must feel the tackles they have right now (Westerman and three others with little game time) plus whoever they can find at their five free agent camps. Other defensive question marks: Can Solly and Biggy dominate like they did in 2014 and stay healthy in 2015?

To get more snaps for up-and-comers in the secondary like TJ Lee and Torri Williams, and to lower the overall age of their defence, Buono and Tedford let go former shutdown corner and recent discipline problem Dante Marsh. Somehow the ageless Khreem Smith avoided the over thirty chopping block that cost Marsh and Taylor their jobs. If his play diminishes this year Smith may be similarly shown the door after the 2015 season. Hey, its a young man's game.

After a sub-par year the BC offense has plenty question marks, starting with the quarterbacks. Will Lulay be able to take a hit on hi shoulder? Will he even be healthy in early July? Can young prospects Jordan Rogers and/or Greg McGhee fill the void if Lulay can't do it anymore? Will receiver Austin Collie give the team the offensive upgrade at receiver they're hoping for with the departure of Ernest Jackson? Where does Shawn Gore fit in with the signing of Collie? Will there be a larger role in the BC offense for big play threat Lavasier Tuinei? What about their offensive line, who due to injuries and the absence of a consistent lineup couldn't sop a beach ball on the left side for the first ten games of 2014? And why can't our offensive linemen get out of training camp without half their guys injured? Either they aren't coming to camp in good enough shape, or the coaches' two-a-day practices are just to much for the hoggies.

Clearly Wally and Tedford are building the foundation for future successes in 2016 and beyond. The new head coach would love to win the Grey Cup in 2016 and then parlay that into a big $$$ head coach job in the no fun league in 2017. I don't see him earning a third or less of what he normally makes down south for more than two seasons. Hey, a guy's gotta eat filet mignon, right?

As usual in the CFL there has been plenty of player and coaching movement. Lets hope the Lions' brain trust makes the right decisions, or 2015 will be another long year for BC fans.

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy: