Here we Go…
NWSB editor “Q” asked me to make some predictions for my B.C. Lions for the 2012 season. So here we go.
Travis Lulay will run away with the CFL’s Outstanding Player for the second straight year. He has the deepest receiving corps in the league, a dual threat in the backfield and probably the best O-Line in franchise history to protect him.
Andrew Harris will win the Most Valuable Canadian award. All this kid did last year was get better week in and week out. After finally being announced as the team’s starter, Harris set the tone for Lion’s march to the Grey Cup.
Equally explosive receiving as he is taking a hand-off, look for Harris to be leading the CFL with total TD’s.
Lin-J Shell will repeat as a CFL All-Star and quite possibly garner some votes as Defensive Player of the Year.
After a standout campaign with Toronto last year, Shell will only improve under the direction of Mike Benevides and a superior D-Line in front of him.
The Leos were thin at DB and the off season saw the departure of Tad Kornegay, so the door is wide open for Shell to be the most disruptive force for the Lions D.
The Defensive Line…
…will lead the league in sacks this year. Three of the four Grey Cup starters return in Khalif Mitchell, Khreem Smith and Keron Williams. Add in off-season acquisitions Jeremy Geathers, Maurice Evans, and first round pick Jabar Westerman.
This group is relentless and will attack until the final whistle.
One more significant signing on defense…
…at the position of Linebacker intrigues me.
While James Yurichuk looks ready to be a starter and Anton McKenzie is a lock on the outside, there is not much help after that.
Joash Gesse was injured most of last season and Adam Bighill is a great special teamer but he didn’t see much action on a regular rotation.
Finally, fourth round draft pick Jordan Verdone, is rumoured to be switching to full-back. My guess is that last year’s inside LB Solomon Elimimian will be back.
So there you have my five fearless predictions for 2012. As a bonus prediction, don’t be worried if the Lions get out to slow start.
The first three weeks of the season will be toughest on the schedule. Week one home opener against a pissed off, ramped up BlueBombers squad that has been gunning for the Lions all off-season.
Week two, also at home, against early Grey Cup favourites; the Hamilton Tiger Cats with their new QB Henry Burris. Week three sees the Lions on the road for the first time against the Roughriders.
No team is as unpredictable as the Green Riders at home.
If the Lions can weather that early storm look for most of these CFL predictions to become reality.
Cheers, The Bartender