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September 13, 2018

Morris: Learning curve ‘doesn’t take much time’ for Posey in BC

BCLions.com

Long after the BC Lions’ practice had ended DeVier Posey and Travis Lulay stood talking and gesturing at midfield.

The newest Lions’ receiver listened and nodded his head. The veteran quarterback diagrammed plays in the air and pointed to where he wanted Posey to run on certain routes.

The two have been teammates for just a few days but it didn’t take long to discover they talked the same language when it comes to football.

“There is one language in football, schemes and terminology and hard work,” said Posey, the MVP of last year’s Grey Cup game, who signed with the Lions Monday after being released by the NFL Baltimore Ravens.

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DeVier Posey takes in his first practice with the Lions earlier this week (BCLions.com)

“This offence is real familiar. You have somebody that can understand hard work. You kind of mesh quickly. It doesn’t take much time. Football is the same game in Vancouver or Florida.”

Posey is expected to be in the lineup when the Lions (4-6) face the Montreal Alouettes (3-8) Friday night at Molson Stadium.

The offence the Lions run is similar to what Posey played while with the Toronto Argonauts. Lulay said that quickened the process of getting the quarterback and receiver on the same page.

“He understands a lot of the nuances and a lot of the details,” said Lulay.

Staying late, throwing some extra passes, helped Lulay “pay extra attention to what he does well.

“Just getting to know his body language. I really like his demeanour. He’s here to work. He seems like he’s on a mission.”

Posey showed how explosive he could be by making seven catches for 175 yards and a touchdown in Toronto’s 27-24 upset win over the Calgary Stampeders in last year’s Grey Cup. The major came on a record 100-yard reception.

With veteran Manny Arceneaux on the six-game injured list with a knee injury, the Lions needed a game-changing type of receiver.

When Posey was released by the Ravens he had his choice of CFL clubs but decided to sign with the Lions, a team battling to stay alive in the West Division playoff hunt.

“Is anybody having a great year besides Calgary?” Posey said. “I know the CFL is all about getting hot at the right time. You look at our season last year, there’s no reason to fear going and winning some games in front of you, at least attempting to give it everything you have.”

The Lions have not won back-to-back games yet this year but haven’t played as badly as their record indicates. Three of their last four losses have been by four points or less.

“You turn on the film, the defence is flying to the ball,” said Posey. “The DBs are physical. You look at all the losses, they are not bad. They are not blowouts.”

The six-foot-two, 210-pound Posey was a star at Ohio State before being taken in the third round of the 2012 draft by the Houston Texans. He played 26 games over three years for Houston, making 22 catches for 272 yards.

He spent time with the New York Jets and Denver Broncos before joining Toronto in September 2016. In 16 games as an Argo he had 65 catches for 905 yards and seven touchdowns.

Posey won’t be the only new face in the BC lineup.

Posey poses with his MVP trophy after the 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw in Ottawa (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

A broken leg suffered by veteran Cody Husband means rookie Peter Godber will take over the centre duties against the Alouettes. The six-foot-three, 304-pound Toronto native was taken third overall in the 2018 CFL draft. He had a four-year career with Rice University where he started 35 of 48 games.

Godber has seen some playing time this year on short-yard situations but has never started a game at centre.

“I have been playing football since I was 13 years old,” he said. “Honestly it is just another game for me. Football is football. I’m excited to hit someone.”

Husband was injured early in the Lions’ 26-14 win over the Ottawa REDBLACKS last Friday. He was replaced by veteran Chris Greaves who struggled at times, resulting in several snaps being a fielding adventure for the quarterback.

Offensive line coach Dan Dorazio is confident Godber can make the adjustment.

“It would be a challenge for anybody,” said Dorazio. “He’s up for it.

“He’s energetic. His IQ in football is very high. He likes to play the game. He loves football.”

Godber will benefit by being surrounded by veterans like Joel Figueroa, Hunter Stewart, David Foucault and Jovan Olafioye on the offensive line.

“We have a great group of guys around me, which makes my job that much easier,” he said. “They all know everything by heart. I have to make the right calls and I have to earn their trust. It’s great being surrounded by those guys.”

One of Godber’s responsibilities will be calling out blocking assignments for the O-line. He credits Husband with helping him all season during film sessions, answering questions and explaining how to counter different defensive fronts.

“Being next to somebody like that really helps you with the learning,” he said. “Cody took me under his wing and made sure to let me know all the information he knew. That’s going to make my job so much easier.”

Lulay returned to practice this week showing no ill affects from a vicious hit he took from Ottawa defensive lineman J.R. Tavai last week. Tavai’s helmet hit Lulay under the chin, knocking him out of the game.

Lulay passed all the concussion protocols. He credits his chin strap and mouth guard for preventing more serious injury.

“I feel like I kind of dodged a bullet to be honest,” said the 34-year-old.