Losing start not getting BC Lions down as they prepare for Calgary
BC Lions quarterback Mike Reilly.
Published Friday, June 28, 2019 6:51AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, June 28, 2019 6:52AM PDT
The BC Lions are licking their wounds after last week’s loss to the Edmonton Eskimos and hoping to revamp both the offence and defence.
"The Grey Cup is not won or lost in the first two weeks," BC Lions quarterback Mike Reilly told CTV News. "But certainly we need to see improvement, we need to figure out what our mistakes are."
It’s been a slow start to their season, which includes three interceptions and Reilly facing all sorts of pressure, being sacked eight times. He needed a fresh start and new look, starting with his shaving off his iconic beard.
"It's about as clean shaven as it gets, it's cold on my face when it's windy out. Other than that, I just gotta get my chin strap readjusted, my helmet doesn't fit properly anymore," said Reilly.
The protection of Reilly will be critical for the Lions moving forward, and that starts with the offensive line which is quick to take responsibility.
"It's a combination of things, not just the offensive line we definitely to blame, we'll take the blame, we'll definitely take the blame but there is a lot of things from the outside looking in you won’t understand scheme wise that what we were doing wrong," offensive tackle Joel Figueroa explained. "It starts with the running backs, offensive line and quarterback and the receivers make sure they are at the right place at the right time."
The Lions made a few more changes, adding some new defensive personnel to the lineup, but it's back to the drawing board as they prepare for their next opponent, the Calgary Stampeders, who are also winless this season.
But the B.C. team knows the challenge will still be tough.
"The biggest thing is they don’t hurt themselves they don’t hurt themselves in penalties, turnovers, so they wait for you to beat yourselves so you have to play sound football if you want to walk away with a win," said Reilly
There is some good news and that is the chemistry developing between Reilly and former Stamp Lemar Durant.
"It's a testament to the work we put in the off-season. We started working out together and running some routes and talking about timing and he said he's going to trust me this whole season. I came here to try to be a play maker and try to help this team win," said wide receiver Lemar Durant.
Durant, a local product who played high school football in Coquitlam, isn’t concerned about his team's slow start.
"We know it's a long season, there is a lot of teams that start off rough and get back. A wise man once said you can’t climb a mountain if it's smooth, you got to go over the rough spots so that's what we are thinking right now," he said.
Kickoff is Saturday at 4 p.m. on TSN.