Without A Captain...Who Is Steering The Good Ship "Lions"??

First, Gridiron Guru, I have to say that you and I seem to have nailed the inadequacies of this team right now. The question is, will the Lions finally wake up and realize they have some serious problems (not issues) right now. Speaking of one of those...

I have to agree with Mike Beamish of the Vancouver Sun in a highly astute observation about the Lions. It's also a fact that a lot of die hard Lions fans have also been trying to just not address or think about. That is...


The obvious and most direct answer would Mike Benevides and his merry band of assistant coaches (some of which have nicknames like Predictable Paul and Zone Lovin' Zeke). The shortcomings of these guys has been more than well documented on this forum by myself and G.G. Clearly, it seems (and I hope you're reading this Benny) that the players have either tuned Mike out and/or didn't really tune in to him in the first place. The same goes for pretty much ALL of the assistants. Wally needs to really start thinking about this. The evidence is there, on the field and sidelines, in the games (Yes, even the ones the Lions have won). Strange decisions at strange times. Players putting lax or half-hearted efforts in. Mental screw-ups. Poor decisions during dead-ball periods for unnecessary roughness and/or objectionable conducts. The list goes on and on and on (Wow, I almost started singing "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz there). So, with Coach Leadership of the team, at the very least, TEETERING...

Someone on the team (Wally? Are you listening) better be concerned, as Beamish put it in the Vancouver Sun a couple of days ago, with the actual leadership from WITHIN the personnel in the locker room, sidelines and field. That is, where is the next Simon or Bruce. Korey Banks would be a natural leader who can back up his talk with his play. His veteran savvy on the field and with the media should be something that ALL Lions take note of. But do they? Dante Marsh and Ryan Phillips talk a big game in the media (Although usually playing the roles of Captain Obvious and his faithful assistant when they say things on newscasts such as "We need to have a good week of practice". "Everyone, to a man, is all very mad right now and we need to step up our game"...whatever that means). Trouble is, the two of them get torched (Yes, Discipline And Punish they really do) when it's a critical play. As I've said before, as does Gridirion, Dante gives far too much room, even prior to the snap, thinking he can make up that ground and it is SOOOO easy to run right by Ryan...he just can't keep up anymore. Soooo, I ask you, knowing about their play on the field...

Would you listen to those two?

Paris Jackson, I believe, probably does his best, especially if you watch the way he stirs the troops pre-kickoff. But, given that he's relegated to the role of Utility Receiver and Special Teamer now...Do his words ring hollow when it comes down to it? Sad...because he's been in the league so long now.

What about Keron Williams? Paul McCallum? Andrew Harris? Are they too quiet or just not natural born leaders?

Scanning the WHOLE roster it brings us back to Travis Lulay? He has a Grey Cup MVP but maybe that doesn't count for much if you don't have a solid grasp of where the bl**p things are going wrong right now for the offense. I must be honest in that even though he shoulders the blame during media scrums, he often returns to "freezing up" in big plays, throwing interceptions and not being able to back up his play. Don't get me wrong...I'm a huge Lulay supporter. But someone, quite recently, said during a TEAM 1040 post-game, "Travis Lulay is a SHADOW of his former self". Think about that. Travis, if you're reading this, think about it as well to see how much merit the statement has. How has this happened? What has changed? I can't believe that the departure of Simon and Bruce has Lulay saying to himself "Gosh, now what am I going to do? Well, I can throw and hand off to Andrew Harris a lot...but then if he's covered, Who's my go to guy? Arcenaux...Nick Moore?" Thinking about the "freezing up" thing. Lulay does seem undecided at times and then takes off and will often absorb a HELLACIOUS hit. (Thank our lucky stars for him popping back up all the time. I'm pretty sure though you don't want your starting QB to keep getting hit all the time.) Bottom line is that Lulay's play doesn't speak volumes of leadership. So...

As my subject line states...."Without A Captain...Who Is The Steering The Good Ship LIONS??"

Plenty of blathering there, but a few good points.

I don't think Lulay is the problem. Today in the Province there was a short story about Mike McCarthy, the Lions' new eastern US scout. He's been tasked with finding "big bodies" for both sides of the ball, import bodies from late NFL cuts looking for a place to play this year. The deadline is Tuesday for all NFL teams to do their final cuts. You don't see the BC coaches pulling the rip cord and throwing in Demarco, so clearly they don't think that is where the teams' worst deficiencies lie. The Lions also lacked continuity in their receiver corp for most of this season due to injuries to Arcenault and Moore, the five starters being available only on opening day and last week in Montreal. That affects Lulay's ability to generate offence. Look how Montreal's offense was affected when Richardson went down..

Clearly the team needs help along the offensive line, to better block the blitz that has forced Lulay out of the called play and into improvisation mode. Jon Hamiester-Reis couldn't play this year. The injuries to Reed, Baboulis and more recently Kirby Fabien forced BC to play depth players, Kabongo, Valli and Norman inside; two second-stringers and an upcoming player with good promise but at times getting schooled by veteran defensive tackles as often as not. BC needs better run blocking to get Harris and Brown producing. The opposition is penetrating on run plays and they're sending seen guys rushing against five linemen and a back. Somebody is going to be unblocked. When you see Arceneaux staying in blocking you know teams are beating us off the edge.

Also today in The Province, Ed Willes suggested "...its time for a change, whether its personnel, game-planning or coaching." He thinks the offense needs "a more physical presence in the backfield, someone who can get tough yards and sustain drives." I'd love to see an NFL-type fullback lead-blocking for Harris and occasionally pounding it inside on second and short situations, real smash-mouth football. When you can shred teams on the ground the rest of the offense opens up and the pass rush diminishes because the front seven are focused on the back. We used to have a guy like that, Jerome Messam, who wasn't enough of a choir boy to stay on Buono's team.

Their team in the basement of an eight team league in sacks for all but this week, Buono and Bene clearly need a more effective pass rush and better inside pocket push than they've been getting from Jordan, Westerman, Taylor and Keron Williams. We used to have a guy like that, Khalif Mitchell, who got run out of town on a rail for lack of discipline. Notwithstanding the four picks the pressure created last week in a losing cause. And they needed to be less predictable in their defensive schemes, especially when playing against rookie QBs. I'd love to see more halfback blitzes, corner blitzes, twists, the whole defensive playbook.

I agree that both Phillips and Marsh have been getting lit up lately. Phillips especially seems unable to get with his feet where his brain tells him to go. He doesn't wrap up enough on tackles. Like Phillips, Marsh is on the high side of thirty and has probably lost a step. That, and the fact that sometimes he has the entire deep third to cover, which at least sometimes accounts for why he's giving such a big cushion.

We'll see how much fire they have in their bellies against Hamilton this Friday, after getting embarassed by a team with only 14 starters on both sides of the ball. And how freaking hard is it to drop everybody back and prevent a freaking Hail marry with 9 seconds left. Sheesh.

Dooger in Surrey :cowboy:

Good points guy--

I see the Lions needing a major boost in physicality- It was clear that the way MONTREAL beat us, it was a complete physical mismatch--

-We need a much stronger O line- Our O line is slow and fat and weak- We dont have the strength and athleticism -

-We also need a more physical inside pass rush and also a speed edge rusher- Keron Williams shows up once every 5 games but most of the time he plays more like KAREN WILLIAMS and not Keron Williams-

I find it hard to believe why we dont have anyone on the practice roster for our secondary and the safety postion- Who is on our practice roster if we dont have anyone better than PHILLIPS and MARSH and LAROSE?

You can only do so much with poor coaching- To me this staff is pretty poor- Benevides does not know when to call timeouts- He blew the MONTREAL game by calling that late timeout that he blames the defense for calling- If he had control he would have taken control and not allowed the defense to call the timeout allowing MONTREAL the extra play to beat us

BENEVIDES will go for it on 3rd and 1, and if he is stopped he will start punting and wont keep going for it?

The defensive schemes are so obvious- Its 100% obvious we are only rushing 3 or 4 guys- We dont have everyone close to the line of scrimmage and then have the dbs and linebackers drop into coverage and some blitz- We are either too lazy to try that or the dbs are too slow and have to be lined up 10-15 yards off the ball standing in their zone position- Notice this, you never see a BC DB 5 yards off the receiver- They are always standing way back there- They never come up and PRESS a receiver becuase IN MY OPINION they have no speed--

Stubler's defense is terrible- Its 100% obvious they are in ZONE every single play- They never mix it up and play MAN to MAN and mix in the ZONE keeping teams off balance- When the rush gets to the QB with 4 guys the LIONS win, when the rush doesent get there, they will lose by 20 points usually-

Stubler is a fraud- How else does COLLAROS and MARSH beat you? Both Collaros and MARSH would not do anything vs other top teams in the CFL- Look at COLLAROS vs CALGARY- HE DID NOTHING ALL GAME--

Harris is a SCATBACK- He is Daren SPROLES of the saints- HE needs the ball in space to run with the ball- He is not a everyday RUNNING BACK--

Remember JOE SMITH? We need a back like that, with a couple of physical O LINEMAN-

IN terms of leadership- We have none because guys like HARRIS are more interested in signing autographs and others are interested in business promotions etc- Arcenaux and Harris when asked by reporters on SATURDAY both said they are not leaders and they are not here to lead= Way to step up guys-=

Harris said " I got nothing for you" as he was running late for an autograph session--

ARcenaux said his job is to catch the ball and not to lead--

Macalum is the best- He refuses to mentor any young kickers, because they might steal his job-