After QB Travis Lulay had to leave the game after taking a high hit backup QB Jonathon Jennings would step in and look impressive, completing 10/12 passes to successfully lead the Lions offense the rest of the way. However, one of the most notable improvements for the Lions in Week 13 was their efficiency on defense, as B.C. limited Ottawa to just fourteen points while and forcing three interceptions and recording six sacks on the night. I had an opportunity on Wednesday to speak with the unofficial Godfather of the BC Lions, head coach Wally Buono, about what he noticed the most from last Friday’s key victory over the Redblacks.
In addition to being more aggressive and opportunistic against Ottawa, the Lions showed on Friday night that they aren’t giving up on the season. One of the intangible elements in the game of Football, and in all sports for that matter, is the factor of competitive nature. While having players with speed, skill and strength can never be undersold in value to any team, having players that hate to lose can also be a huge factor in determining wins and losses. Coach Buono then gave his take on how competitive nature can factor into its success.
In the CFL and in pro-sports in general the word Intensity is a very rounded word that encompasses a lot of different meanings. However, there’s no denying how much an intense and competitive group of individuals/players can change the climate of any game. Coach Buono then went on to talk about whether he feels intensity is something that can even be taught.
With the Lions currently still sitting at the bottom of the CFL’s western conference, their chances to make the post season will rely heavily on their resilience as a team for the season’s duration. The Lions next four games will feature match-ups against teams that are also near the bottom of the standings, so this will be the Lions’ last opportunity to climb back into playoff relevance. The Lions first stop on the comeback trail comes Friday night in Montreal, when the Lions visit an Alouettes team that has struggled to remain competitive this season. Montreal has had their fair share of challenges on offense and defense, currently leading the league in the category of most turnovers and sacks allowed, while boasting the worst offensive possession time of any team in the CFL. However, it is important to note that the Alouettes have won their last two games after going 1-8 to start the season, and cannot be taken lightly.
Aside from what could be the Lions last trip to Montreal this season, for coach Wally Buono it could be the final trip to Montreal of his CFL coaching career. During his illustrious career that has seen him capture five Grey Cups – three with Calgary and two with B.C., Buono has seemingly done it all in the CFL. Known as one of the greatest offensive minds in league history, Wally has compiled an all-time best 277 victories as a head coach in the CFL while influencing many along the way. None more so than Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson, who spent time in B.C. under Buono in the early 2000’s. Wally then spoke about what his approach has been like to his final CFL season.
Friday night’s must-win meeting with the Montreal Alouettes gets underway at 4:30 Pacific with Travis Lulay expected to start at quarterback against Montreal’s Antonio Pipkin.