What can we expect from the 2014 Lions?

2011: Grey Cup Champions
2012: Upset in West Final by a hot team still regarded going into '13 as deep and talented team.
2013: Mediocre 11-7, hot and cold throughout season, defeated in West Semi Final by the Riders
2014:???

I still see this Lions team as a talented team with depth, they didn't utilize Harris as well as they should've and you could tell Lulay (Demarco,Pierce) were missing that experienced receiver the void left by Geroy and Arland. They have the best Linebacking unit in the CFL. I'm not sure what changes they really can make, is it all mental? I saw this team going 14-4 not the Stamps. What do you guys expect from an odd Lions squad next season.

[quote="saskfan23"]2011: Grey Cup Champions
2012: Upset in West Final by a hot team still regarded going into '13 as deep and talented team.
2013: Mediocre 11-7, hot and cold throughout season, defeated in West Semi Final by the Riders
2014:???

I still see this Lions team as a talented team with depth, they didn't utilize Harris as well as they should've and you could tell Lulay (Demarco,Pierce) were missing that experienced receiver the void left by Geroy and Arland. They have the best Linebacking unit in the CFL. I'm not sure what changes they really can make, is it all mental? I saw this team going 14-4 not the Stamps. What do you guys expect from an odd Lions squad next season?"

After what I saw yesterday I can see the Lions taking top spot in the West next year and going on to the Grey Cup and winning it all. Yesterday's performance spoke volumes. The Lions are not the team they were during mid-season. The Roughriders are an excellent team but except for a few key plays the Lions dominated most of the game and could have won it. Harris was playing the way the Lions fans expect him to play. Now, with Logan on the team the Lions are that much better. Though Elimimian did not play, the combination of BigHill and Elimimian makes for a formidable D. Brown will be back into the mix as well.

The Lions can win it all with Lulay, Pierce and Demarco. They can win it all with just Lulay for that matter. The Lions are a potent team but the O-Line needs to be improved even more. They are certainly better than they were in the first half of the season. For most of the year Lulay was getting blitzed and laid out on the turf. I'm also concerned about some of aging players. Aging as in their early to mid 30s. I'm not even talking about our kicker McCallum who will be 44 in a few months. Without a good kicker the Lions cannot enjoy good field position or get key FG points. I think Lui Passaglia retired at the age of 46 so maybe McCallum still has a couple of good years left.

To sweeten the pot the Lions host the 2014 Grey Cup next year.

:cowboy:
  1. Lions will be one of the favourites next season.
  2. Solomon E. did not play in the Western SEmi-Final and that hurt the Lions particularly in the 4th quarter.
  3. The loss of G. simon and A. bruce was Not a factor this season. They have a stable of very good young receivers.
  4. Coaching is fine, McCallum is going to break down sometime soon. like owning a 1980 Honda - how long can the engine last at 500,000 km.
  5. If healthy the Lions and Calgary have the best rosters with my Riders a close 3rd and Edmonton miles behind.
  6. Problem with Lions is WetCoast lifestyle that the players get drawn into.
:cowboy: :wink: :roll:

Here are 5 things the Lions need to do to get back on top in 2014:

  1. New OC. Not blaming all of the offensive woes on Chapdelaine, but team clearly needs fresh ideas and a new playbook. They are still running a variation of Hufnagel's spread offense from his Calgary days. Why did it take until Week 16 to FINALLY change the blocking schemes to improve pass and run blocking??

  2. A true nose tackle. Wally traded Khalif Mitchell to the Argos for being a disruftive influence. Fair enough. But he never tried to replace him with a run stuffer who needed to be double teamed. Keron Williams is not that guy. Oft-injured Eskimo Julius Williams was a free agent bust.

  3. A new kicker. Love McCallum's contribution, but it's time to part ways. Lowest punting average in the league (40.6 average) and field goals from 40+ yards an adventure. No longer even reliable inside 40 yards. And sorry, but kick-offs to the 25 yard line like we saw yesterday, will no longer cut it. Sean Whyte a possibility for 2014.

  4. A new safety. JR LaRose is outstanding in the community, but he's not fast enough to be a starting CFL safety. Rookie non-import Matt McGarva blew out his knee early and will get a long look at training camp. Kenyon Parker (Quick Parker's kid) also in the mix.

  5. Better depth all around. Top to bottom you're right - they're a talented bunch. But too many comfy greybeards on this team. Not enough young guys on the PR to push the vets. When I compare our PR to Calgary's, Montreal's, and Saskatchewan's (all of which could have fielded a competitive 9th CFL team this year), no comparison. The cupboard in BC is mostly bare. Poor drafting is partly responsible, but a dearth of quality imports also a concern.

Great comments rhymes with orange. :thup:

" A new kicker. Love McCallum's contribution, but it's time to part ways. Lowest punting average in the league (40.6 average) and field goals from 40+ yards an adventure. No longer even reliable inside 40 yards. And sorry, but kick-offs to the 25 yard line like we saw yesterday, will no longer cut it. Sean Whyte a possibility for 2014."

I agree. Personally I cannot see McCallum going another couple of years though he may beg to differ. Why did you suggest Whyte for 2014? Did the Lions not trade Whyte and keep Hugh O'Neill instead a year or two ago? Though Whyte has been having his problems recently why would the Als want to release him and why would the Lions want re-acquire a guy they let go?

I suggested Whyte for a number of factors.

  • Just a hunch, but I don't believe the Als will try hard to re-sign him (he missed some crucial field goals down the stretch, and lost his job punting late in the season to Burke Dales)
  • He's from White Rock BC.
  • He knows the Lions - they know him.
  • The Lions didn't trade him because they didn't like him. They traded him to the Als (for a draft pick - which turned to be Hugh O'Neill) because they felt future HOFer Paul McCallum still had some gas left in the tank - which he did. And they couldn't ask Whyte - yet again - to back up McCallum.
  • If the Lions part ways with McCallum, no way do they go with a non-proven commodity (i.e. practice roster kicker Steven Shott) in their Grey Cup hosting year.

Wally Buono always puts out competitive teams so I suspect the west will be a dog fight again between Saskatchewan BC and Calgary. Edmonton could be good as well depending on how Hervey addresses the o line issues. Winnipeg is still a few seasons away from being competitive.

Some good posts, I agree, I just find there predicament... odd, since they won the Grey Cup in 2011 they've been competitive to say the least but I feel they are capable of much more. (Like I said I saw them as the 14-4 team not Calgary) Next season is going to be interesting enough, whether Saskatchewan or Calgary wins it, BC will be hungry, I feel with the Riders limited Cap space we have to win it this year, if not were going to have some cap casualties and we may fall off next season.

...if a club hires the right people and makes key player personnel acquisitions, the turn around can be astounding in this league...Look what the riders did going from a dead beat team under Greg Marshal to one step away from going to the Cup this year....AND that was not a great deal of time....Bombers will be in the thick of things next year in the west, it'll be a dog-fight, count on it....Especially when a franchise qb. is installed in the Peg..AND one is definitely on the way... :wink: As far as the leos and Wally are concerned...He'll right the ship but could be hard pressed to keep Harris from what I've heard...Isn't comfortable with Logan being the go to guy...Andrew 'could' be moving on...we'll see :wink:

I've never been a "Chapdelaine fan". So I will offer to drive him to the airport.

I agree with Rhymes....We need a better safety that "No hands" Larose. He dropped so many interceptions this year. I think the secondary and a defensive lineman should be two areas to upgrade.

I like the duo of Harris and Logan. Wally will upgrade talent. I see us up there in the mix with Calgary and Saskatchewan.