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September 18, 2021

Reilly on Whitehead: ‘His energy is infectious’

Peter McCabe/CFL.ca

MONTREAL —  While he was initially looked at as a return specialist, Lucky Whitehead‘s game has evolved week after and week and has been a major player during the Lions’ three-game winning streak.

In Week 5, while he didn’t have the most yards on the day, Whitehead was able to make special things happen when the ball found his hands. Week 6 saw him completely dominate the return game as his performance was highlighted by a 119-yard kick return touchdown which he followed up with an encore performance against Montreal, recording 133 receiving yards and a touchdown.

“He’s absolutely a weapon to the likes I’ve ever had before because there’s not many of them out there,” said Michael Reilly to the media following their 27-18 win over Montreal.

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While Reilly knew that he and the Lions’ offence would be getting an extremely quick player during his offseason singing, Reilly has been floored with what he’s seen from Whitehead so far.

“His physical attributes are obvious,” said Reilly. “We didn’t really know at the beginning of the year what we were getting. We knew we were getting a speed guy, but I’ve talked at length the past month about how impressed I’ve been with his route running…he never seems to get tired, his conditioning is great, his strength is great, he’s out there blocking.

Before joining the Lions, the former Florida Atlantic University Owl, Dallas Cowboy and New York Jet spent his first CFL season with the 2019 Grey Cup Champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers. There, he made an impact in a similar receiver/returner role, recording 596 kickoff return yards, 521 receiving yards for a combined three touchdowns. Since his addition to the Lions’ offence, Whitehead has since surpassed his 2019 single-season receiving high and continues to make plays on special teams.

Off the field, Whitehead’s personality, sense of humour and overall demeanour has not gone unnoticed. So much so that his preferred choice of transportation to get around the Lions’ facility garnered mass attention online.

 

“His energy is infectious,” said Reilly. “The speed and the energy he has physically is the same way that he is with his personality. When he shows up, he’s goofy, he likes to play around and have fun; but he shows up ready to work. That’s a great thing to have, it keeps things light-now that the game’s over he’ll be up to his shenanigans on the flight home…it makes everyone excited to play and I can’t say enough good things about Lucky.”

Being the quarterback, the addition of Whitehead has also made life easier for the Lions’ signal-caller.

“The physical part where he can stretch the field, just makes us a deep threat on every single play,” said Reilly. “Lucky is one of those guys who leads by example.”

Whitehead, Reilly and the rest of the BC Lions will get a chance to make it four in a row as they head back home to take on the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders next Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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