June 6, 2018

Arceneaux stressing positive mindset as Lions look to bounce back

There is no sleeping for the BC Lions ahead of the 2018 season.

Well, more so a mentality than in actuality, and it starts with veteran leaders like Lions receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux.

“You’re out here competing for a job. Everything is earned, not given and that’s the good mindset that they have,” Arceneaux told BCLions.com’s Matt Baker.

It’s a mentality like that which is helping the Lions stick to their paces, as they work towards improving their performance from last season that saw the Leos miss the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

Bringing in some key acquisitions this off-season, the Lions have been working on building upon their disappointing 7-11 record from a year ago ahead of the season that will see the CFL’s all-time winningest coach retire, regardless of whether the Lions’ season comes to an end at the start or the end of November.

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Lions’ new General Manager Ed Hervey has been instrumental in addressing change in the off-season. (CFL.ca)

Along with the culture change with the Lions roster, 2018 also marks the 47th and final CFL season for head coach Wally Buono.

“I think the thing I really have enjoyed is the chemistry. We have a lot of veterans from other teams and sometimes that can be a little polarizing,” Buono told BCLions.com.

“The other thing is the work ethic. I’m always griping at them about the work ethic, but they’ve worked hard, they fly around to the football and the game in Calgary proved that. A lot of the turnovers were caused because of the guys being aggressive, being around the football and these are things that the coaches have been preaching.”

After being brought into the Lions front office four days after the 105th Grey Cup, the Lions new General Manager Ed Hervey has been quick to take chance and make changes in hopes of improving the Lions roster.

Those changes included bringing in defensive vets like former Alouette Gabriel Knapton and Eskimo Odell Willis, who has been a fan favourite everywhere his CFL career has taken him. The Lions also brought in defensive back Otha Foster and offensive lineman Joel Figueroa.

Lions’ pass-catcher Emmanuel Arceneaux sees that potential in all three areas.

“Whether you’re a veteran of 10 years, 13 years or a first-year guy you’ve got to come here and earn your right to wear the orange and black for the 2018 season,” said Arceneaux. “I think that’s something that’s good; having every guy compete in every position so you don’t feel you’re guaranteed this or that due to how long you’ve been around the organization.”

After sitting out in their team’s victory over the Stamps in their first pre-season game, Arceneaux and the other veterans will see their first opportunity to prove last season was simply a mere blip on the radar when they wrap up their pre-season schedule against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday, June 9 at BC Place.

“I’m just going to be excited to watch Burnham, Ricky (Collins), Shaq (Johnson) and some of the new additions do their thing. I’m more excited just to see Jonathon Jennings, to get back in the huddle with him and see him have a pretty outstanding 2018 campaign for the BC Lions,” said Arceneaux.

With files from BCLions.com