Upon Further Review: BC Lions

Upon Further Review is a series that looks back at each team’s 2021 season, their key free agent additions and other staff and roster changes and looks ahead to their 2022 campaign.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2022/03/03/upon-further-review-bc-lions/

To state the obvious much rests on the shoulders of their young Cdn QB's. I'm with you - I really hope they succeed. It would be good for the league. They have a very good receiver corps with Burnham, Whitehead, Rhymes & Cottoy. Petermann in, Shaq Johnson out. Butler likely returns @ RB & the run game was almost non-existent in 2021. The OL needed fixing but is little changed. They lost Steward & brought in McGloster. Ryker Matthews remained unsigned. This doesn't bode well for the QB's.

Defence will be markedly improved. The DL is much better with key free agents like Richardson, Baron, Menard & Betts brought on board. They have a decent LB corp led by Most Outstanding Rookie Williams. The back end looks really good. Breaux, Purifoy, Sayles , Peters & Lee, 2nd tackles/game DB's, are as good as any unit in the CFL.

Whyte comes home to BC & is an excellent kicker.

So much of the BC offence was dependent on the OL last year. The problems there made it difficult to establish a run game & resulted in a very predictable offence. They have a decent schedule with 5 of the 1st 7 games @ home so a quick start will be essential. Their byes are nicely spaced.

I think it will be difficult for BC to make the playoffs until the problems plaquing them on OL the past 2 seasons are fixed.


Mike Reilly may be gone but his hand picked offensive coordinator is still there. Best wishes to Jordan Maksymyk. Putting drives together vs long bomb big plays will be the challenge.

When you have a mobile QB who can extend plays, the O line takes a bashing for lack of protection.

That and BC had no real running game last year which means line up and tee off on the QB because every down is a passing down. It's also tiring for your O-Line guys, trying to stop guys for ten seconds rather than blasting a running lane open in two seconds.

What BC's offence, o-line, and young QB's need is a balanced attack and a solid running game.

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The lions lost 3-4 games because they had no field goal kicker. They will make the playoffs in a heart beat!

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I agree with you. The Lions will continue to needlessly beat up their own QB's and miss the playoffs until they take their offensive line seriously.

...and, as I have already mentioned "ad nauseum", we can see how serious they are by the amount of O-Linemen they are bringing in compared to what seems like the dozens of receivers they are bringing in.....hopefully there is a plan not yet revealed about American Linemen coming in per the ratio flip they are so happy about?!?!?!?

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They have to make a move soon. It takes time for an offensive line to gel. That's why the Lions need five good starters to work together right off the bat so that they'll become an effective unit before they get too far into the season. If they wait until NFL cuts come loose in September it might be too late for the new guy(s) to get used to the linemen beside them.

Agreed. The thing is there is familiarity - Chungh, Figueroa, Knevel, Norman, Pierson & Godber have been there for awhile & have been re-signed. I think Lawson & Perkins have been there a bit too. So are you going to bring in better guys? They may think the guys they have are okay. That bunch has been there 2 seasons for the most part so is there a will to make 2 or 3 changes?

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Good question. Two of your linemen are top notch while two others could get the job done if they'd only stay healthy. The fifth is likely to get better and he's a Canadian so there's reason to believe that management might decide to roll the dice YET AGAIN in the hope that somehow this group will be 'just good enough' this year.

Kent Perkins (American) 27 is your best lineman and if you had four more of him (CLONE HIM NOW) you'd have the best line in the league.

Sukh Chungh (National) age 30 might be injury prone but if he stays healthy he'll do just fine.

Joel Figueroa (American) at age 32 has a ton of experience but played injured last year. I think he's still got some gas left in the tank.

Center Peter Godber (National) age 27, came back from a bad injury and is a bit of a question mark. He's got good size but can he make it through the season?

Andrew Pierson (National) age 27, played well enough to get a contract extension. If you're lucky he's the kind of player who's hitting the gym and working his butt off to get to that next level.

IMHO Philip Norman (American) at age 26 might be Practice Roster material.
Lawson (National) age 26 is probably not a starter either while David Knevel (National) age 27 filled in for the injured but from what I'm hearing was overwhelmed.

If it was up to me to make ONE change... I'd bring in one more top American like Perkins to firm things up and then cycle Pierson in and out of the lineup to keep everyone well rested.

If only the o line problem was two years. More like 20. Dave Dickenson concussion. Buck Pierce same, Travis Lulay injured. Pitiful protection for too many seasons.

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My god you guys always go on and on about how bad the Lions OLine is… the OLine coach has to have a plan for what he wants from his boys this year. The OC has to plan around what works and just maybe a new starting QB can get things going. As said above… getting our kicking game under control before the season is half over sure won’t hurt.

Lions will be back in the playoffs in 2022 or Matt Baker will eat my shorts.

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Farhan Lalji has previously stated the Lions are going with 3 Americans and 2 Canadians on the Offensive Line. Lalji said he expects David Knevel to become 1 of the Canadian starters and be the LG. Since Sukh Chungh probably is the highest paid lineman on the team, I would think he is the other guard. Joel Figueroa and Kent Perkins could be the tackles with Phillip Norman at Center. Jarell Broxton might be in consideration as well.

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The least you can do is soak your drawers in bacon fat starting now. By playoff time they'll be ready for Matt Baker's grill.

The o line is not as bad as people seem to think, and Rourke is not only more mobile than Reilly he showed better pocket presence in his start against Edmonton. It was very noticeable that he has the instinctive knack of moving just a step or two to change blocking angles for his linemen and get that extra second to get the ball away.

Very good analysis. Godber, I believe, they would like to play backup & add a 3rd American there. Chungh, it has been oft mentioned, isn't great as pass blocking. He's a road grader. I agree Perkins is solid, I've always liked Figueroa if healthy, Pierson if lucky & Norman, hopefully to back up. Most of them have been together for awhile so there's that. But still a lot of question marks, as you ably point out. So, let's assume they play well because until they do teams will blitz the heck out of them. There's still the question of 2 National QB's with a combined 107 pass attempts in game action are gwtting them to the playoffs. BC is really rolling the dice. I wish them well, really do, but I'm not a believer, yet, in the OL or the guys behind them.

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Lions will be in charge of their own destiny with 3 games against each of their Western division rivals. I wish them well. 2 out of 3 will do imo.

Lions could also be in on Castillo given their SMS situation. Would think they know his number and nothing better than kicking in the dome.

Thought Chungh re-signed for $165,000 before Christmas so don't know if they used last year SMS room on him but if true is now a bargain given recent signings.

Winnipeg bid BC up on him last time round knowing he was going to sign in BC. Not Chunghs fault he got paid. He is a physical player who might be a better run blocker. I can see fans buying his jersey.

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I would be surprised if BC management stood completely pat knowing what they MUST know.

Chungh re-signed for $200K. The problem is, like Neil McAvoy has pointed out, there just isn't much out there come free agency with top O Teams lock up their top CDN's or, as in the case of Evan Johnson prior & Korte this year, they have already decided to head home. I'm a bit surprised that Ottawa's MacMillan is still available - used to be a real good OL. Justin Renfrow is another guy who could be a good depth signing.