Vancouver Sun




Since arriving in 2003 as part of the new Wally Buono regime, Lions head coach Mike Benevides can’t remember a time when injuries have so devastated the organizati­on as in this unparallel­ed season. “Without a doubt,” he said. “It’s the worst we’ve ever gone through. Every game, we’re losing two players. You’re going to lose people in football. It’s just the nature of the game. But ours have come to a lot of key players.” Despite his 31- 19 record over three seasons and the fact he was given a contract extension through 2016 before the start of the season, Benevides knows that “security” in the football business is an illusion. “Football is about the here and now,” he said. “You have to win. I don’t give ( the future) any thought. I can only think about preparing this team this week to win.”


Players grow up fantasizin­g about scoring the game- winning touchdown or making the game- saving tackle. They don’t think about carving out a career as an unheralded special teams specialist, fighting through a minefield of bodies at the risk of being blindsided. It requires unselfishn­ess, toughness and intensity — something Lions special teams coach Chuck McMann has found lacking. “I would have to say, this year, I’m disappoint­ed,” McMann said. “It’s not just the performanc­e, it’s the intensity — and the lack of attention to detail. Whether it’s knowing their job, spending a little extra time on video … you’ve got to do that on your own. Yes, I’ve been a little disappoint­ed this year.” Said Tim Brown: “( McMann is) telling us, ‘ We’ve got to have more from you.’” Last week, linebacker Adam Bighill addressed the issue in a team meeting.


Redblacks quarterbac­k Henry Burris, 39, marks a career milestone Saturday when he makes his 200th career start, fourth all- time behind CFL leader Damon Allen ( 302). His 102nd career win Oct. 3 against Winnipeg — a 42- 20 blowout — was especially sweet, since it had been a long time in coming, with the Redblacks ending a nine- game losing streak. “Putting up a W allows you to sleep better — and the wine tastes better,” Burris quipped Friday. Burris, in fact, considers himself Ottawa’s resident oenophile. When he played in Hamilton, he frequented wineries in the Niagara Peninsula. “I love wine,” he said. “It’s Mother Nature’s gift to the world.” Following Friday’s walk- through at BC Place, Sippin’ Hank’s next order of business was a visit to the Sutton Place Wine Merchant Store. “I love the small production vineyards,” he said. “That’s what I focus on.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada