Strong starts haven’t exactly been the strong suit of this Roughrider team. The last two weeks saw them get behind their opponents early. In Calgary, it was insurmountable. Against Toronto, they were able to pull out the game in the end.
But head coach Chris Jones doesn’t want his team to have to keep bouncing back from a large deficit.
“You can’t continually put yourself in a 10-point hole and expect good things to happen, especially on the road,” Jones said before the team’s flight to Vancouver on Thursday.
It seems the message has been received by his players, as well. Defensive back Jovon Johnson says the team needs to stop shooting itself in the foot early.
“Especially on defence, we can’t give up plays to offences when they don’t have to work for it. That’s what gets us down in games and we have to stop doing that,” he said.
Especially against a strong B.C. Team that has lost just two games this season and seen any drop off since their starter went down in mid-July.
Travis Lulay has been in top form playing in relief of Jonathan Jennings.
“He doesn’t look like he missed a beat. You can’t say enough about him,” Jones said.
Though he’s not the Lions biggest weapon, that honour likely belongs to linebacker Solomon Elimimian.
Elimimian currently leads the league in defensive tackles and finished the 2016 season atop the category with a total of 129. He was also good for eight sacks last year.
“He’s like a heat seeking missile, when he’s coming you better get down,” said quarterback Kevin Glenn, who says it’s tough to plan for a player like him.
“You find him, number 56, and you slide,” he smiled. “He’s a very passionate player who fights every down to try and make a play.”
Jones was equally complimentary of Elimimian.
“He’s so instinctual that he puts himself in good positions. You assign a guy blocking him, but there’s not going to be one guy that just goes out and blocks him consistently. You just got to do a great job of putting a body on him and have a second guy coming to keep him out of plays.”
The Roughriders and the Lions square off in their first meeting of the regular season tonight at 5 p.m.
— Arielle Zerr (@arielle_zerr) August 4, 2017
.@cwillkl80 makes his long awaited debut tomorrow!
— BC Lions (@BCLions) August 4, 2017