Solutions will come for the B.C. Lions when the tackles begin to damage

B.C. Lions’ working again place is ‘vast open’ and the three remaining contenders might be whittled down to 2 after Saturday’s pre-season sport in opposition to Saskatchewan.

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Iron Mike, the falsetto thinker and pragmatic pugilist, as soon as stated: “Everybody has a plan till they get punched within the mouth.”

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The B.C. Lions have a heavyweight bout happening for the precise to be the beginning tailback in 2023, and the bell has simply sounded for Spherical 1.

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Saturday’s pre-season sport in opposition to the Saskatchewan Roughriders is the place they figuratively get punched within the face — in spite of everything, they’re not going through Cam Decide and the Calgary Stampeders right here — and show they’re not simply practice-field performers.

“I’d say we don’t have leaders. I believe we undoubtedly have good candidates,” Leos head coach Rick Campbell stated Thursday, breaking down the place battles. “This sport is gonna be an enormous sport for sure positions … And we’re gonna give these guys equal alternative and see what they do. We have to see them in sport motion and see what they do in opposition to a unique opponent. So I’m undoubtedly wanting ahead to seeing how this all performs out.”

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The Lions got here into camp with Antonio Williams, Raymond Calais, Gregory (Buddy) Howell, Vance McShane and Taquan (Smoke) Mizzell as their tailback contenders. It was a formidable crop from the beginning.

Calais, the velocity service provider who received a Tremendous Bowl ring as a member of the Los Angeles Rams follow squad, was launched Could 17.


NEXT GAME

Pre-season

Saturday

B.C. Lions vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders

4 p.m. PT, Mosaic Stadium

Sport streamed on CFL.ca


McShane and his associate had a child simply earlier than camp, and he by no means got here to Kamloops, electing to remain dwelling in Illinois. The Leos positioned him on the suspended checklist, a paper transaction that preserves his rights, on Could 14.

Mizzell was on the Leos’ suspended checklist after being signed in 2022, but additionally stayed dwelling. He’s come into camp and impressed this season. He can play vast receiver, RB or return kicks, and was the one participant in ACC historical past to have greater than 1,500 yards in each dashing and receiving when he was on the College of Virginia.

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Williams noticed the sector with the Buffalo Payments in 2020 and is an every-down succesful again, one who has the flexibility to decrease his shoulders and energy by tackles, or dance round them.

Howell additionally has a Tremendous Bowl ring as a member of the Rams, and his talent set is harking back to the person he’s vying to switch in B.C. — James Butler.

“The working again (place) is vast open and has been from the start,” stated Campbell. “We made a degree of holding an open thoughts about it. The three American guys at tailback, we expect all can play they usually look to be good soccer gamers. That’s going to be a really intriguing factor to look at simply to see how that complete factor performs out.

“I’m holding an open thoughts, and we’ll contemplate their complete physique of labor and all the pieces that they’ve completed right here, however the sport (on Saturday) is gonna undoubtedly think about to which manner we go.

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“We wished to focus to (minimize) it down as a result of they should have sufficient reps. And I can’t say what we’ll do for certain, nevertheless it wouldn’t shock me if we have been down to 2 for the final sport.”

All three have had their moments in Kamloops, however when helmet paint begins getting swapped on Saturday at Mosaic, the actual image ought to grow to be clearer. Can they run by arm tackles? Make tacklers miss within the gaps?

“Often the fellows which are persistently good in follow, that interprets into the sport,” stated Campbell. “I believe the one time it that doesn’t join is there’s guys that don’t just like the bodily a part of the sport. I’ve seen receivers that catch each ball in follow, as a result of they know they’re by no means going to get hit. After which that’s totally different within the sport.

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“One benefit of not having all of the solutions is meaning there’s competitors, and often that implies that’s a superb factor. If it was straightforward, meaning we didn’t herald adequate gamers.”

However Campbell is assured they’ll have their roster solutions by the point opening night time rolls round in June.

“I awoke (right now) and I noticed that it was Thursday,” he stated. “Every week from right now we’re going to be enjoying our final pre-season sport in Vancouver, and two weeks from now, we’re going to be in Calgary enjoying a regular-season sport.

“So it’s coming down quick.”

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