Shrewd moves by Buono give Li­ons depth

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - LOW­ELL ULLRICH

VANCOUVER — An as­tute set of moves by B.C. Li­ons coach and gen­eral man­ager Wally Buono dur­ing the win­ter has made it much eas­ier for the Cana­dian Foot­ball League team to with­stand two sea­son-end­ing in­juries.

B.C. (3-1) will visit the 2-1-1 Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers on Fri­day with­out start­ing de­fen­sive back T.J. Lee and veteran re­ceiver Nick Moore. Both play­ers were in­jured in the Li­ons’ 40-27 win over Saskatchewan that pre­ceded a bye week and will not re­turn this year.

Re­place­ment de­fen­sive back Steven Clarke and re­ceiver Ger­aldo Bold­ewijn will have a chance for sea­son-long work with strong out­ings against Cal­gary. Nei­ther player was in the Li­ons’ off-sea­son plans. Buono let both play­ers out of ex­ist­ing con­tracts with the Li­ons in or­der for them to work out with NFL clubs.

An un­ortho­dox bit of flex­i­bil­ity on the part of the CFL’s leader in ca­reer coach­ing wins has en­abled the Li­ons to deal eas­ily with the first se­ri­ous rash of in­juries to face the team this year.

“All the clauses in a con­tract aren’t al­ways nor­mal,” said Buono, who also raised eye­brows this week when he re-signed de­fen­sive backs Chan­dler Fen­ner and An­thony Gaitor to the prac­tice ros­ter af­ter cut­ting them in train­ing camp.

“You have to com­pro­mise a lit­tle. You can be hard and I’ve been hard, but if be­ing fair meets ev­ery­one’s needs then let’s be fair.”

The Li­ons knew what they had in Clarke, who played 15 games last year at wide-side cor­ner­back in the de­fen­sive sec­ondary be­fore a failed bid to make the NFL’s Ten­nessee Ti­tans this spring.

“It was just a great op­por­tu­nity that B.C. al­lowed me to come back,” said the 25-year-old Clarke upon tak­ing over for Lee.

Stamps coach Wally Buono “Let’s be fair.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.