'We haven't packed in the season yet': BC Lions head coach
Published Friday, September 13, 2019 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, September 13, 2019 7:13PM PDT
Even though his team is 1 and 10 with seven straight losses and no wins at home, it’s a team with franchise quarterback Mike Reilly, who has loads of talent on the offensive at his disposal.
But simply put, they haven’t been able to get the job done this year.
"Mike (Reilly), myself, Duran (Carter), Lemar (Durant) and Shaq (Johnson) we are supposed to score points, and if we can't do that then we aren't doing our jobs," says BC Lions wide receiver Bryan Burnham.
Burnham has been doing his job on the field this year however, posting a decent stat line of 55 catches, 848 receiving yards, four touchdowns and has no quit in his game.
"I come to work hard because my paycheck depends on it," Burnham told CTV News. "I'm going play every single game the same way as hard as I can and try to be the best."
The Lions recently fired offensive line coach Bryan Chiu, replacing him with Kelly Bates, a former CFL player and running back coach with the Lions, in an effort to help protect quarterback Mike Reilly, who has been scrambling all year avoiding the oncoming rush.
The team has given up a league high 45 sacks so far this year.
"Last week, I thought we had a good week given the circumstances of our offensive line having to learn a new system in a three-day practice week," Lions’ quarterback Mike Reilly told CTV News
"We all have improvements still to go as they do upfront. I do think they are moving in the right the direction," the pivot added.
If you look closely there are a few bright spots on the BC Lions roster this season.
Kick returner Ryan Lankford has had a few highlight reel returns on special teams, with a couple of touchdowns that brought the crowd to their feet, including a 118-yard sprint to the end zone.
The team needs his explosiveness as a game changer on special teams; the 27- year old has been in the league since 2015, joining the Leos this summer to spark the offence.
"I add a lot of speed I think that in the return game, I have the opportunity to break a play any time I get the opportunity to get the ball,” the Lions returner said.
"I think also just a good team mate I really strive to be a great locker room guy," says Lankford
Reilly agreed with Lankford, saying if he got the rest he needed to make plays on special teams, he becomes a handful for opponents.
"If we can get opportunities to get him involved in the offense, that’s a weapon that will hurt other defenses," said Reilly
At practice this week, Claybrooks says he doesn’t want to live in the past, instead just concentrating on the team’s matchup against Ottawa this Sunday at B.C. Place.
He says the Lions are still motivated, even after what they have gone through this season.
"I think that is a testament to the guys we have in the locker room. There is no dissension amongst the ranks the guys are still buying in there still working hard and still believe that and know that we are a good team." Claybrooks said. "But, they know that you are what your record is and our record is one and ten so they know we have to improve on that and those are the things we are focusing on."
B.C. still wants to make their home field a tough place for the opposition, but it will have to start with a win on Sunday against the Redblacks for the first time this year.
"It sucks to be in this position," Lions wide receiver Bryan Burnham told CTV News Vancouver this past Tuesday, "but, we still got to go out there and play, and that’s our job go out there and play and put on a show and hopefully give whatever fans are in the stands something to talk about."
Kick off against the Ottawa Redblacks is 7p.m. at BC Place.