B.C. Lions put religion in Vernon Adams as crew strikes on from record-setting Nathan Rourke

Vernon Adams is a 2019 CFL All-Star, however Nathan Rourke’s achievements loom giant.

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The B.C. Lions have turned to Vernon Adams Jr. to fill a Nathan Rourke-sized gap as they head in to the 2023 CFL season.

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Rourke lit up the Lions’ offence final 12 months, profitable the Most Excellent Canadian Award and setting different information alongside the way in which.

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However he opted to go to the NFL after the season and be a part of the Jacksonville Jaguars, leaving the Lions trying to fill his sneakers.

The crew traded for quarterback Adams final season after Rourke was injured, sending a first-round choose to the Montreal Alouettes in trade.

“Final 12 months is final 12 months. I’m frightened about this 12 months,” Adams stated about taking the reins from Rourke.

Adams stated he’s labored exhausting to bond together with his extensive receivers, internet hosting a few of them at his house in Pasadena, Calif., and working observe classes with them earlier than the pre-season.

“I present them that I care about them, I like them, on and off the sphere. They make me look good,” he stated. “That’s the least I can do for them and I take a look at it as an funding and hopefully we get that again on the finish of the 12 months.”

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Adams is a 2019 CFL All-Star, however Rourke’s achievements loom giant.

Rourke completed the season with 25 landing passes and was sixth total within the league with 3,349 passing yards regardless of being injured on Aug. 19.

He broke former quarterback Gerry Dattilo’s 41-year-old single-game passing file for Canadian quarterbacks after which broke his personal file in back-to-back weeks with 477 passing yards after which 488 yards in wins over the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders.

“I believe that being on an NFL crew and getting NFL movie, whether or not it’s pre-season or common season is admittedly essential to have the ability to solidify your self as an NFL starter,” Rourke stated beforehand about leaving the Lions. “I don’t assume it’s occurring in the event you’re taking part in one other 12 months within the CFL. I simply don’t.”

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Adams, in the meantime, had 1,504 passing yards with eight touchdowns and one interception in eight video games with the Lions final season.

B.C. Lions quarterback Vernon Adams runs for yards against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during first half CFL action in Winnipeg on Oct. 28, 2022.
B.C. Lions quarterback Vernon Adams runs for yards in opposition to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers throughout first half CFL motion in Winnipeg on Oct. 28, 2022. Picture by John Woods /THE CANADIAN PRESS

Throughout his all-star season with Montreal, Adams recorded 3,942 passing yards and threw 24 touchdowns whereas dashing for 394 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Head coach and co-general supervisor Rick Campbell stated he’s been impressed by the way in which Adams has labored to combine himself in to the crew and its offence.

“It was a tall activity for him final 12 months. He needed to are available in, study the playbook and type of assimilate himself in to this crew which isn’t simple to do in the course of the season,” Campbell stated.

He additionally highlighted the variations between Rourke and Adams, noting the present quarterback’s willingness to run the ball if wanted.

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“He’s an all-around quarterback. He could make all of the throws and the bonus is he can use his ft. So if we get in to hassle or issues go the mistaken approach he can improvise and make performs, and scramble or purchase time and run for a primary down,” Campbell stated.

Campbell additionally expressed his confidence within the offence persevering with its performances from final 12 months resulting from each Adams getting a full pre-season in addition to nearly all of the primary wide-receiver core returning.

“There’s a consolation degree there the place they labored collectively final 12 months and now they knew what the scenario was going to be the entire low season so now they will put it in to motion right here,” he stated.

Moreover Rourke, the offence has seen one other change with Lion stalwart Bryan Burnham deciding to retire after eight seasons.

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He was a four-time CFL all-star with 476 receptions and seven,212 receiving yards with the Lions. Each marks rank fourth in franchise historical past.

Burnham was the Lions’ finalist for the league’s excellent participant award in 2019, when he set profession highs with 1,492 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

“Nothing’s modified,” stated extensive receivers coach Jason Tucker concerning the lack of Burnham. “It’s the identical group that was right here final 12 months simply minus Bryan Burnham. We introduced in a whole lot of good guys that may step in.”


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Originally posted 2023-05-16 22:27:40.