Lulay needs to find a No. 1 target
When it comes down to the dying moments of the game — and the BC Lions‘ need those final yards or points –- who is that go-to receiver? The guy everyone knows the ball is going to but he still snags it anyways?
Who is the Leos clutch player that will fight for the ball and make himself get open in those critical times?
I think it’s a role that still has to be determined for the 2013 Lions, and it’s one that I feel they struggled with for a lot of last season.
Travis Lulay is a great quarterback and seems like a nice guy, but that could be the problem. He’s never had a receiver he’s really connected with and likes spreading the ball around. Doing that is fine, but you’ve got to know where the playmaker is, and I don’t think Lulay and the Lions have any real clue just who that player may be.
The Riders have Weston Dressler, the Stamps have Nick Lewis, Toronto’s got Chad Owens and Edmonton has Fred Stamps.
Who is that marquee player on the Lions?
Some might say Emmanuel Arceneaux, but coming into this season he’s still somewhat unproven in the CFL. He’s only got two years under his belt and had only scored 12 touchdowns before this year –- not exactly in the discussion with the aforementioned players.
Nick Moore is another guy who people point to as the next great Lions receiver, and he’s off to a good start, but is already having injury issues and missed the Lions’ last game against Winnipeg. We all remember the last time Moore was given a featured role in 2011 –- plenty of dropped balls and a seat on the bench as the Lions picked up Arland Bruce and went on a magical run to the Grey Cup.
Courtney Taylor is another mostly unproven guy who has looked good early on, but again is nowhere near an elite receiver. Same goes for Marco Iannuzzi and Shawn Gore –- capable receivers and great depth guys, but not players who scare other teams. I also love me some Paris Jackson, but unfortunately his best days are behind him.
The Lions might be 4-2, but it’s not an overly impressive 4-2. Aside from a nice opening season win against Calgary, the Lions have barely survived against teams like Edmonton and Winnipeg and lost games to the Stamps and Argos.
And worst of all, Lulay hasn’t looked all that great. His quarterback rating is fifth amongst all regular CFL starters, and he’s also fifth in yards per pass. He ranks tied for third in touchdown passes, and that’s a category that he should be challenging for the lead.
The dog days of the CFL schedule is the perfect time for quarterbacks to develop chemistry with their receivers –- especially with a relatively young and inexperienced cast of characters catching the ball. It’s crucial for Lulay to develop a one-two punch with a receiver. Any receiver, and I don’t think he’s done that just yet.
Lulay should go to Arceneaux or Moore and keep on going to him. Give one of them 10-15 opportunities to catch the ball a game, build up their confidence, develop a bond and make other teams fear and respect it.
The search for that go to guy makes me harken back to the days of Geroy Simon -– wouldn’t he look pretty good in orange right about now?
Despite him being “old” last year, he was still second on the Leos in receiving yards, and I think still could have played a nice role on this team.
It’s all up to Lulay and the way he uses his receivers. It’s time to focus and build up one guy, or when it’s crunch time, he may not have anyone he can confidently turn to.