BC Lions General Manager Wally Buono has been firing shots across the bow of his club the last few days.
Embroiled in a mediocre 6-4 season with the team showing a true lack of effort on the road, Buono publicly called out his players and coaching staff in a radio interview. And he’s right.
Head Coach Mike Benevides does need to face the music as the Lions offence continues to sputter and the defence is starting to show signs of weakness. His players too need to show more mettle, especially early in contests.
A sense of urgency
Buck Pierce was a Lion from 2005 to 2009 until Lulay ousted him as the starter.
This move helps Benevides squad in two ways; one, it shores up the position of a reliable second string QB, no offence Thomas DeMarco, and secondly it should provide some added incentive for Lulay to perform at a higher level.
In another mid-season move, Buono re-signed Defensive Lineman Chris Wilson, another former Lion who helped BC clinch a Grey Cup in 2006.
Wilson has spent the past few seasons on the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins practice rosters before getting let go earlier this year.
How will the Lions respond
So while the rants and acquisitions will help, Ol’ Wally still has to fill much-needed holes in the team.
This team is still desperate to find some quality depth at Offensive Line and Defensive Back. Most notably in the middle of those two units Center and Safety, respectfully.
Along the Offensive front Matt Norman needs to move back to Guard. Remember last year when he was a rookie and everyone was talking about how good he was? He was playing Right Guard.
I’m just not sure if Dean Valli is the long-term solution as a replacement for the injured Kirby Fabien. Rookie Matt Albright deserves a shot at Center if Angus Reid still can’t go.
And the Lions haven’t had a Safety since their current DB’s coach, Mark Washington, retired.
It’s readily apparent that JR Larose isn’t communicating the coverage scheme effectively, as the secondary is breaking down like a ’72 Pinto.
This has been an area of concern for the past few seasons and it seems that after every opposition touchdown you’ll find Lions DB’s arguing about their responsibilities.
Maybe it’s time Buono and Benevides throw Washington back onto the field as a player-coach.
Nevertheless, I like the emotions that are finally starting to emerge from this ball club. And it’s starting from the right place; at the top and trickling down to the players.
Even erupting as a full on fist fight this week in practice between veteran players. If the Leos are to have any success this season, this weeks’ sparks better turn into a raging inferno down the stretch.
Cheers, The Bartender