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September 12, 2018

Posey key piece in Lions’ playoff push

VANCOUVER — “He needs to learn some grieve time, ’cause he called me like three hours after I got cut,” DeVier Posey said on Monday, cracking a joke with regards to Shawn Lemon‘s recruitment tactics before signing with the BC Lions.

The two were teammates in Toronto since 2016, winning a Grey Cup last year before Posey eventually signed with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens in early February this past off-season. Lemon, on the other hand, was traded to the Lions near the end of July this season.

“I am extremely happy to have him,” Lemon told BCLions.com’s Matt Baker. “I’ve been in his ear every day for the past few weeks.”

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In the two years of CFL experience that Posey has under his belt, the former Ohio State Buckeye has 16 games where he has hauled in 65 receptions, good for 905 yards and seven touchdowns. Along with averaging nearly 14 yards per reception, nearly a third of Posey’s yards have come after the catch.

He also set a Grey Cup record for longest touchdown reception in the league’s championship with a 100-yard touchdown reception against the Calgary Stampeders in last year’s Grey Cup game held in Ottawa, leading to him being named MVP of the game after the Argos went on to win 27-24.

Although Lemon’s methods of getting his former Double Blue teammate may have had little to do with Posey’s decision to land in BC, Lemon’s presence, along with he positional situation inside the Lions’ receiving corps, may have contributed to his decision.

“I try to act on personnel and football, because that’s what I’m going to be doing everyday. I want to be able to enjoy it. That’s really what me and my wife came to.”

Lions head coach Wally Buono voiced his appreciation for the patience Posey took in making his decision, eventually deciding on the Lions, which Buono is hoping to have a similar conclusion to the season as both Posey and Lemon experienced with the Argos last year.

“He was very thorough with the process. He wasn’t going anywhere just for numbers,” Buono stated to BCLions.com’s Matt Baker on Monday. “I think he wanted to feel good about the environment. He wanted to feel good about the organization and where we were trying to go. He looked at his position here, he felt he could come and help us to do what it was they did last year in Toronto. I think they were in a similar situation”

With the Lions currently sitting at the bottom of the CFL’s West Division standings, Posey joins the Lions seeing nothing but opportunity and potential, both in himself and product the Lions already have on their roster.

“He had opportunities to go other places, he chose here and we’re very happy for it,” Buono said.

“Just wanted to take my time and think about it,” Posey said. “I didn’t just want to be predictable as far as going back to Toronto just because it was where I was. I wanted to approach it like free agency and still look at the variables, and look at the best way that I can go in and help a team and produce.”

DeVier Posey poses with the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Player trophy after helping lift the Toronto Argonauts to a championship in his sophomore year (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

Posey joins a receiving corps that recently had to face the news that they would be without their veteran leader in Emmanuel Arceneaux, a situation that certainly appealed to the 28-year-old when considering where it was he would end up.

“With Manny going down, I just feel like this team needed a guy, and that’s what Ed and I talked about. I think it’s a great opportunity.”

The Lions are one of just two teams who do not have a receiver in league’s top 10 among active players, the other being Saskatchewan.

Bringing in Posey, however, adds a dynamic playmaker to play alongside Bryan Burnham, who takes over as the Lions leading receiver with the injury to Emmanuel Arceneaux.

The Lions enter Week 14 having only played 10 games so far this season, while everyone else has played 11 or more. They also enter a week in which the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are on a bye, which presents the opportunity to jump ahead of the Blue and Gold should they defeat the Alouettes on Friday. Winnipeg currently sits ahead of the Lions with a two-point advantage in the standings with a 5-7 record, while the Lions sit at 4-6.

With this weekend and moving forward, Wally Buono knows that each of the Lions’ remaining games will be crucial if his squad hopes to still be playing football in November, but it certainly helps to have added a playmaker to the lineup.

“I think we have a guy that we know can make big plays. We know in big games he can handle the pressure and the expectation.”

The Lions travel to Montreal to take on Antonio Pipkin and the 3-8 Alouettes on Friday. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium.

With files from BCLions.com