How the 2015 season played out:
To most teams, a 7-11 record might not seem very good, but for the B.C. Lions it was just good enough to get them into the playoffs. Coming into 2015, hopes were high as the team hired veteran NFL and US College coach Jeff Tedford. Things did not go completely to plan, as the team was never above or at the .500 mark past Week 7, even after rookie Jonathan Jennings tried his best to fill in for the injured Travis Lulay.
The team also benefitted from poor years by Winnipeg and Saskatchewan and did just enough to hold Montreal off from the cross-over playoff spot, only to go on to lose 35-9 to the Calgary Stampeders in the Western Semi-Finals. Tedford resigned from coaching the team after the season concluded to end what had been a roller coaster year in Vancouver.
Additions and Subtractions
The B.C. Lions added solid defender Brandon Stewart as a free agent over the summer, after being a part of the fine defensive group in Hamilton. They also added receiver Nick Moore who had previously spent time in B.C. under Wally Buono.
Speaking of Hall of Fame coach Wally Buono, he is once again returning to the CFL sidelines, having already won the Grey Cup seven times as a player, coach and as a part of management. there’s no doubt that Buono will still have that fire to strive for excellence in every game, and that should go miles in helping the Lions get their offensive rhythm back.
Jeff Tedford had to be frustrated with the results of his only season coaching in B.C. and the amount of open college jobs had to be factors in his decision to leave British Columbia.
Star running back Andrew Harris left in the free agency for his hometown team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The question is now, who replaces the rushing offense he generated so much of for this team?
2016 Season Thoughts
The Lions won’t be able to fall back on teams like Saskatchewan and Winnipeg having bad years. They’ll have to fight tooth and nail for every position in the standings this season. With the return of Wally Buono alongside a healthy Travis Lulay, the Lions will be a plucky squad that doesn’t put up with anyone’s guff, and they may even have the ability to surprise a few teams this season – if all goes according to Buono’s plans. A 7-11 record will not be good enough for anything in the 2016 season.