Less than perfect, but Lions will take it

Sunday, July 29, 2007 - 12:00PM

B.C. shows shortcomings in victory

By Jean Lefebvre,
Calgary Herald

Like Cindy Crawford's mole, like Audrey Hepburn's wheat-stalk physique, like the Tower of Pisa's tilt, the B.C. Lions are beautiful in spite of their supposed flaws.

The reigning Grey Cup champions produced yet another damaged masterpiece Saturday night at McMahon Stadium, maintaining their impeccable record with a 32-27 victory over the Stampeders. The Leos go 5-0 even though their passing attack managed just 118 yards and their usually hermetically sealed defence got clobbered for 527 net yards.

"At the end day," said Lions boss Wally Buono, "yardage for and against, if they gave you points for it, then I'd be concerned about it."

Buono's response to critics' penchant for finding clouds in the Lions' silver linings is one part bemusement, one part befuddlement.

"At the end of the day," he noted, "they only measure one thing and that's points for and points against. And I think we were ahead . . . and we should have been. We're 5-0. Am I going to apologize for that because sometimes we're winning tough? No. We've won three games on the road. I mean, most teams don't win three games on the road all year. The point is, we're 5-0. Everyone else is looking up at us, and we're not looking back."

B.C.'s task Saturday was complicated by the fact a defence already deprived of linchpin linebacker Otis Floyd lost defensive backs Korey Banks, Mark Washington and Sebastian Clovis.

"Yeah, we gave up some yards," acknowledged Calgarian Javier Glatt, the Lions' starting middle linebacker, "but we had so many injuries on the back end. We had guys playing new positions all across the board. I've never seen anything like that.

"Yeah, we gave up some plays, but we made plays when we had to. We had picks to end drives, we had two-and-outs, we knocked balls down in the end zone. We were on our last legs -- it felt like we were on the field a lot. But all that matters is that we got the win. Good teams find a way to win and we found a way to win tonight."

"You have to look at (the yardage B.C. surrendered)," said defensive lineman Brent Johnson, "but ultimately you've got to look at your win-loss. And we're winning. Anyone who thinks football is easy and that we should just step into places and just flat-out dominate is (B.S.). Calgary is a good team and we just came into their house and beat them, and that's really hard to do."

"Yardage is a relative thing," said Buono.

"How many points did we give up? Twenty-seven? OK, that's the worst we've given up all year (and that's playing) with half a secondary. That's not bad considering the firepower (Calgary) has."

Just to add to the Lions' degree of difficulty, Jarious Jackson at halftime replaced limping Buck Pierce, who was filling in for concussed regular starting QB Dave Dickenson.

"That's OK," shrugged Buono. "There's no excuse. We don't make excuses about things. It doesn't matter to us that Jarious is our No. 3 (quarterback). When he's out there, he's our No. 1. That's why I think we have a very good football club."

BC’s defence is simply ridiculous. I cried the day papa Dave left the Peg, he deserves another shot at a HC job somewhere in the league.