B.C. Lions: Receiving crew 'feed off one another's successes'

Second-year go catcher Alexander Hollins has had a breakout season, sitting inside placing distance of 1,000 yards receiving going into Friday’s go to in opposition to Saskatchewan.

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Rely Alexander Hollins amongst those that preserve that the B.C. Lions’ receiving corps is simply superb in sharing the glory.

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Hollins wasn’t probably the most recognizable identify with the Lions’ pass-catchers when the CFL season kicked off. He was behind the likes of Dominique Rhymes, Fortunate Whitehead, Keon Hatcher and Jevon Cottoy in that regard. 

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He has been a favorite goal of quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. up to now although, his team-leading totals for receiving yardage (936) and catches (62) placing him fourth and fifth within the CFL, respectively, in these classes going into this week. His six landing catches are tied for third-best within the league. 

Hollins’ manufacturing has dipped prior to now two video games, with 5 catches for 57 yards. His 4 video games prior noticed him go for 305 yards on 23 receptions, with 4 TDs. 

Hollins doesn’t appear in the slightest degree panicky about any of his current private statistic traits. That’s undoubtedly helped alongside by the truth that B.C. (10-4) is duelling with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-4) for prime spot within the West Division with the end line for the 18-game common season developing shortly. The Lions carry a three-game win streak right into a Friday go to to B.C. Place by the Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-8). 

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“We rejoice every others successes. It doesn’t matter what it’s,” Hollins, 26, mentioned of the Lions’ receivers. “It may be a six-yard catch by any individual and we rejoice it. It may be a primary down and we rejoice it. It may be a landing and we actually rejoice it. It may be being a decoy in order that any individual else can catch the ball. We’ll rejoice it.

“We feed off one another’s successes as if they’re our personal. It doesn’t occur all over the place. There are some guys who can get annoyed after they don’t get the ball as a lot as they need. We love taking part in for one another.”

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Hollins does really feel like he’s began to get additional consideration from defences alongside the way in which. 

“There’s been a bit of double protection and issues like that. No matter works for them,” mentioned Hollins, a local of Yazoo, Miss., who performed collegiately at Jap Illinois. “After they wish to have two guys on me we’ve bought different guys. You wish to key in on one man and we’ve bought three, 4, 5 different guys who may also make performs.”

Leos head coach Rick Campbell added: “We’ve talked about our quarterback’s job being to distribute the ball the place it’s dictated and never getting caught up in throwing to particular guys.”

The Lions carry a big-play menace again into the combo this week, as Rhymes (knee) is ready to return off the six-game injured record in opposition to Saskatchewan. 

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Rhymes (1,401 yards) was one of many three 1,000-yard receivers final 12 months within the multi-dimensional B.C. assault put collectively by offensive coordinator Jordan Maksymic, together with Hatcher (1,043) and Whitehead (1,011). All three pass-catchers have missed time with accidents this 12 months, which has performed a job within the breakout of Hollins.

“The offence can get higher. Manner higher. We’re bringing the Ferrari out,” Hollins mentioned, borrowing a line from Campbell about Rhymes. 

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The perpetually upbeat and energetic Hollins was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2019 by the Minnesota Vikings and bought into 5 regular-season video games that 12 months, making two catches for 43 yards. He was ultimately dropped to their apply roster after which did a stint on the Cleveland Browns’ apply roster earlier than signing with the Lions in March 2022 and becoming a member of their apply roster.

Campbell says that the Lions’ coaches have been eager on getting Hollins promoted to the lively roster final season. He carried out nicely when he bought that probability down the stretch and within the playoffs, together with making a landing catch within the 28-20 loss to the Bombers within the West Ultimate.

Campbell noticed him as a starter coming into this 12 months. There was a spot mechanically open, too, with the retirement of Bryan Burnham.

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“He’s clearly very athletic and really shifty. He’s laborious to deal with,” Campbell mentioned of Hollins. “He’s additionally supersmart. Final 12 months he was a backup man and he knew all of the spots. There are some guys who can solely study one receiver’s spot. He discovered all of them. He’s a man that may study and develop.”

As for his chase of a 1,000-yard season, Hollins says it wasn’t a objective he set going into the 12 months.

“I simply needed to return in and execute,” the 6-foot, 175 pound Hollins mentioned. “I used to be on the apply squad after which bought the chance to play and I needed to select up the place I left off final season. I needed to be huge for the offence, huge for the staff.”

Hatcher (931) is closing in on 1,000 yards receiving as nicely.

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