Congratulations to Wally Buono for convincing former Stampeder and veteran offensive lineman Ben Archibald to ink a two-year deal for $140,000 per season on February 22nd. Three players—Dean Valli, Andrew Jones Jesse Newman—will compete in training camp for the position made vacant by the release of veteran guard Skerko Haji-Rasouli. Second year lineman Jovan Olafioye will move to right tackle. Jon Hameister-Reis will probably remain at left guard. This signing is the latest in a series of important moves by Buono, keeping key players such as QB Travis Lulay, DE Brent Johnson, RB Jamal Robertson, CB Davis Sanchez and center Angus Reid in the orange, black and white. Buono also signed big defensive tackle Eric Taylor to help shore up the lions' front line against the run and fill the spot left vacant by the release of Stevie Williams in January of this year. The Lions now have three defensive tackles inked, the others being the veteran Aaron Hunt and Khalif Mitchell. These moves address the teams greatest needs right now, upgrades on the offensive and defensive lines. David Hyland, a play maker if ever I saw one, was picked up late last season and made a good showing at both safety and corner. He should make everybody on the wet coast quickly forget the the inconsistent play of Tad Crawford.
Next on the agenda is either re-signing Jarius Jackson for less $$$, or finding a suitable replacement for the number two spot at quarterback.I don't believe Buono is serious about signing perpetual clipboard holder Stefan LeFors. And who knows how much better the other Lions QB, Mike Reilly, can get with another training camp under his belt. Another key position to keep an eye on is kicker. Will the productive yet aging Paul McCallum compete well enough to win the kicking job for another year? If so, does that force Sean Whyte to look elsewhere for employment? Tough to find good young Canadian kickers with CFL experience. Things are really shaping up for a much, much better year for the Lions and their fans. Dooger in Surrey <!-- s:cowboy: -->:cowboy:<!-- s:cowboy: -->