Ahead of the weekend Dennis Skulsky, President and CEO, Wally Buono, General Manager and VP of Football Ops, and Jeff Tedford, Head Coach, made themselves available for questions from the media. Here are the Hard-Hitting Facts from that call:
“We were very, very fortunate to bring a guy like Jeff Tedford in.” – Wally Buono
Geroy Simon has been taken on as a personnel and scouting member of the team.
“We have assembled a quality staff, with a lot of CFL experience.” – Jeff Tedford
- Tedford played 6 years in the CFL, and coached for 3.
- Evaluation process is underway, all players are getting looks by the new coaching staff.
- There’s a very good foundation based on the 3-day passing camp.
- .500 season is not good enough.
First impressions mean a lot. First-time coaches like to my good impressions.
- Expectations are critical to define.
- Fast, physical, smart football.
- Attention to detail.
- Habits are made over time through consistent repetition.
Is the job in BC a less intense environment than before?
- “Football is football. Everyone wants to win. There is only one way to do that; full speed.” – Jeff Tedford
- This is professional football played at a very high level, the coaching needs to reflect that.
Innovation to the CFL game regarding game speed from coach Tedford?
- Physically; speed is very important to success in football. We have built a team around that.
- The Lions will be changing tempo’s during a game based on the needs of the game. “It’s a mindset that we need to get used to.”
Travis Lulay’s progress? QB situation?
- Travis has been on a plan throughout the off-season. In the 3-day passing camp, he saw continued progress.
- You’re not going to find anyone that works harder than Travis.
- We’re excited to get to camp with Travis.
- The team will go to training camp with 4-5 QB’s, which means there will be cuts before next week.
- The team expects Travis to be ready to go for training camp.
A lot of changes from last year. How many new-comers will crack the roster?
- Cannot comment on the situation because training camp will be an open competition.
- The Lions ‘have to improve from being a 9-9 team.’
Players picked up at free agent camps.
- Great experience this season.
- Being a college coach, Tedford had some insight on several college players that could make an impact.
- There are a handful of players that Tedford had prepared with, or against in the college/NFL systems that brought some good perspective on the US free agents.
- Jeff’s notoriety as a coach has brought several players to the club that might not have considered the league/team otherwise.
Reconfiguration of season tickets: By consolidating season tickets into the lower-bowl of BC place, management hopes that there will be a bigger home advantage.
Changes in personnel-styles?
- Size and speed is what scouts are always looking for.
- Physical secondary doesn’t always come with size. The Lions want guys that can run, hit, and tackle.
- Match-ups are always an issue. Bigger receivers means bigger defenders to match.
- The style of defense in the CFL is going to change. Collisions will no longer occur in the deeper portions of receivers’ routes. This will allow quarterbacks more opportunities to release the football, resulting in more pressure on the defense.
- This will require more speed from defenders.
- Coming off injuries like Andrew’s, guys need time to get back into the rigors of football.
- Harris went through ankle surgery in the off-season, which means that the team will monitor and put him through a slow progression to make sure that he returns to 100%.
- At training camp Andrew will not be over-burdened.