VANCOUVER -- Ask any coach and they will tell you that two of the toughest games on any CFL schedule regardless of the combatants are the games before and after the bye week.
For the Lions, a trip of potential distractions to Toronto followed by six days of rest and six days of preparation for a Saskatchewan team desperate for a win looked treacherous for a Leos team that was sitting third in the West Division standings at the time.
“We have a veteran club that approaches each week with professionalism and a dedication to their craft,” says head coach Mike Benevides. “That approach eliminates a number of pitfalls along the way so a trip to Toronto with the bye-week looming or coming back to take on a division opponent 12 days later was less of a worry for me.”
The Lions have passed that early season test and now have an equally tough stretch against East Division teams with back-to-back trips to Winnipeg and Montreal followed by home games versus the Als and Argos in September.
|Morris on the Lions|
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We have a short week of preparation before facing an angry Winnipeg team trying to climb back into the race and then a week later we’re in Anthony Calvillo’s backyard, so if we’ve cleared one hurdle over the past couple weeks this next hurdle is even higher,” added Benevides.
The Lions haven’t enjoyed successful trips to Winnipeg the past couple visits and know that this ‘Bomber squad is different than the one they defeated in Week 1 of the regular season.
“Joey Elliott (Winnipeg quarterback) is for real,” says defensive back Dante Marsh. “Anybody who comes into this league and throws for more than 400 yards is somebody you need to take very seriously regardless of where he started the year on the depth chart.”
Short week aside, the Lions will likely be travelling into a sold-out hornet’s nest this week and need to get off to a better start offensively lest the Bombers get the crowd riled up.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|