Lions Feeling the Pressure/Wally May Coach Another Season

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Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:07 am

Our Leos are feeling the pressure of making the playoffs as we hit the stretch, with five games remaining in the season.

But if that lack of success continues, Buono said "he could be prompted to stay another year, should the team continue to struggle".

Egads!!! :yahoo:

Buono left the sidelines (but not the cherry picker) at the end of 2011. He imagined, when he returned to the sidelines, that he would retire once more, holding the Grey Cup above his head.

It does not look like Buono will be willing to leave the Head Coaching position going out with a whimper. In other words, his ego is paramount in his decision. He will only retire as a winner.

So, there it is. Make the playoffs and win some playoff games and Buono retires, heads to Hawaii and returns to cooking up Italian, the only thing he has said he is good at besides coaching.

But keep losing and we likely get him back for another season.

Wally word is a strange land. Wally did not want Benevedes or Tedford to continue because they were not winning enough. But if Wally as HC doesn't win, Wally the GM rewards Wally the Head Coach with another season on the sidelines. Makes sense if one is a hypocrite.

I really wanted to see this Leos team win this season because its a very talented team and watching some of the individual talent on this Leos squad is a treat. There are some very exciting, highly skilled, and very motivated players on this Leos team.

But now I really, really want this Leos team to win so that Buono will not be back next season, even if it means there will be less of:
Root, toot, scoot, boot
We just gotta execute

Murmurs have surrounded Wally Buono’s future all season, and this week the Lions’ head coach and GM said he could be prompted to stay another year should the team continue to struggle (Lowell Ullrich, 3 Down Nation).

Micah Awe is a pretty smart guy, who grew a member of a pretty smart family.

The first-year BC Lions’ linebacker has a degree in petroleum engineering from Texas Tech. His mother has a master’s degree in molecular pathology while his father holds a masters in criminology.

“We’re hard workers,” Awe shrugged. “Smart is relative.

“You can be smart in petroleum but have no smarts in culinary arts.”
Point taken.

» Checking Down: Buono still mulling over CFL future

» Nissan Titan Power Rankings: Where did the Lions land?

Awe is fitting in nicely in the Canadian game in his first CFL season

But you don’t have to be a genius to do the math and realize with five games remaining on the schedule the Lions (6-7) are in danger of missing the CFL playoffs for the first time since 1996.

“It’s going to be tough,” said Awe, who has made 40 tackles and dealt out some punishing licks in his first CFL season. “Football is tough, life is tough. Now we have the advantage because we have the pressure on us.”

Awe even managed to use an oil producing analogy to explain the Lions’ predicament.

“One thing I learned from engineering is the only way to get oil out of the ground is you have to have pressure,” he said. “If that reservoir doesn’t have any pressure, you’re not going to (get) it up a 3,000-foot hole.

“Pressure creates good things, honestly. Now we have that pressure on our backs we’ll see who we really are.”

The Lions have lost two straight games and five of their last six. They currently sit fifth in the West Division, two points back of Saskatchewan and Edmonton (7-6-0) and trail second-place Winnipeg (10-3-0) by eight points. The Calgary Stampeders (12-1-1) have already punched their playoff ticket.

The Lions can’t afford another loss when they face the Ottawa REDBLACKS (5-9-1) Saturday at BC Place Stadium. Things won’t get any easier down the stretch as BC plays Winnipeg twice, Edmonton and Toronto.

The Lions have struggled with promising drives that have stalled and a defence guilty of allowing too many big plays.

BC has scored an average 21 points over the last six games but have given up 27 points a game. That’s a difference of a couple of field goals.

The Lions’ defence is middle of the pack in many categories. The 21 sacks the team has made is second least on the league while the 66 quarterback pressures is the fewest.

The Lions’ average of 7.7 yards on punt returns is the worst in the CFL.
Maybe one of the most damning stats is BC has allowed 27 plays of 30 yards of more. Only Ottawa, with 29, has given up more.

“Those have been our nemesis,” said Mark Washington, BC’s defensive coordinator. “Those have been the things that have bit us in the butt.

“We’ve been decent at stopping touchdowns. The bigger plays have been putting their offence in position to kick those field goals, which is making a difference in the game.”

Awe said brain hiccups and breakdowns in coverage have lost games.
“It’s a lot of mental mistakes,” he said. “We’d rather let a team drive it 95 yards and score on us. If they do, hats off to them.

“To get a 60 or 80-yard (play) and be in field goal range after getting stuffed the first two downs, that’s our fault. That has led us to our demise sometimes.”

The six-foot, 221-pound Awe has earned a reputation as a big hitter. He actually began his career as a fullback, but in seventh grade was switched to linebacker.

At first he found the position boring, then even frightening. By the time he reached high school Awe was just five-foot-10 and 185 pounds but found himself facing running backs two inches taller and 35 pounds heavier.

Awe was smart enough to realize that to survive he had to be the hammer and not the nail. He carries the same attitude today when he squares up against running backs like Calgary’s Jerome Messam.

“Messam and all these running backs, they don’t feel sorry for me if they run me over,” he said. “It’s up to me as a linebacker to be physical towards them.”

Awe’s aggression resulted in him being fined earlier this year for a pair of hits he leveled on Messam and Stampeder running back Roy Finch.

“I made mistakes,” said Awe. “The league has actually helping me to work on my tacking techniques and still be physical.”

Awe responded to the fines with a season-high 10 tackles in the Lions’ 24-23 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sept. 22.

The 23-year-old was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and moved to the U.S. when he was three years old. At Texas Tech he made 171 tackles over 51 games and was a defensive captain in 2015.

Washington compares Awe to all-star linebacker Solomon Elimimian in his rookie season.

“He’s borderline out of control but he’s given you everything he has every single play,” said Washington.

“He’s a very intelligent player. He’s a very good student of the game. He knows his stuff. I think over time he is going to be a very good linebacker.
“He brings the elements of speed and physicality.”

The Lions have struggled in the last few games but managed to keep most of them close. Three of their last four losses have been by seven points or less.

After analyzing all the data, Awe remains “very confident” the Lions can make the playoffs.

“It’s just not like a cliché of me saying that,” he said. “It’s a matter of watching film.

“We haven’t been without effort or without being physical. It’s just a matter of winning games.”

BC Lions
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

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Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:24 am

Nothing new here. If you read the article, all signs point to him not returning.

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Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:07 am

New regime needed...boring stale predictable football will not help fill BC Place

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Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:41 pm

If Buono returns, the chances of Braley selling the club is nil . Guess the Lions will raise the prices on the remaining season ticket holders to raise more revenue to offset the declining attendance

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Toppy Vann
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Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:51 pm

For me it's kind of "a damned if you; damned if you don't" situation with Wally and his record of picking HCs. I'm not sure I want Mark Washington over Wally coaching and that's exactly who BC will get if Wally has his way.

If it were to be LaPo, I'd sure want to know he's learned something as he didn't help that last time as he was a bit stubborn and his play calling as HC was suspect then. He clearly had a bad GM but it seemed to me he was not doing the overall HC role as well as he should have. It became a gong show with Joe Mack as GM.

I think LaPo would have learned a lot including how to be successful and what to avoid from last time.

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Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:11 pm

But didn't Lapo do that cringe-worthy cornball thing of bringing in a giant mirror into the locker room when he was in Winnipeg and had all his players to look into it? :roll:

I hope he's learned a bit about coaching professional men since then.

DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

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