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September 10, 2018

Posey Adds Key Ingredient To Lions Engine

They’ve been lacking that huge spark plug, the one key ingredient the engine requires to potentially break away from one or two teams in this wild Western Division race. With the arrival of wide receiver DeVier Posey at Monday afternoon’s practice, the BC Lions offence is no longer void of that big game breaker.

Posey brought some sunshine to an otherwise wet and dreary day at the Surrey practice facility, one day removed from finally putting pen to paper on his Lions contract following a training camp release from the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and subsequent tryout with the Buffalo Bills.

Emerging as a hot commodity on the free agent market, Posey couldn’t say no to moving out west, especially with the constant recruiting efforts from his old Argos’ teammate Shawn Lemon.

“He needs to learn some grieving time because he called me like three hours after I got cut,” laughed Posey at his first post-practice media session in orange.

“In all seriousness, I’ve known Shawn for a while and we’re pretty close. Everybody has a purpose and I knew what he was trying to do so I didn’t look at it bad at all. I definitely took my time, talked with all my people in Toronto and definitely wasn’t an easy decision.”

Kidding aside, after observing the Lions from afar he learned enough about them to help sway his decision.

“I got The Score App so I was looking at the standings, checking it out and just looking at the games left and hey, this team can get hot. The defence is playing great, they’ve got pass rushers and the DBs are playing on a string back there. They’re talking and communicating. That’s what I saw on film.”

 

“I’m extremely happy to have him,” added his old buddy Lemon.

“He blocks in the run game and he goes out for routes in the pass game. He’s a huge playmaker and I think he’ll be a great asset. He’s always one of the cliche guys as far as one of the first guys in the building and one of the last guys to leave. He helped me get a Grey Cup last year so I plan on him helping me get another one this year.”

Along with his status as an elite playmaker, Posey brings another coveted quality to his new team: big-game experience. His nine catches for 175 yards and a major earned him Grey Cup MVP honours when his and Lemon’s Argonauts stunned Calgary 27-24 in last year’s snowy November classic. Six years before that, he scored a touchdown to help Ohio State take down Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

So yeah, it’s safe to say the bright stage lights never scared him. Perhaps because of the way he approaches every game as if it’s his biggest.

“I hope I bring my best when the lights are on, but I think for me man I’m looking for a level of consistency and trying to bring that type of production every week,” explained Posey.

“I’m not saying I’m going to go out and have an MVP performance every week, but that’s my goal is to maximize each opportunity, each rep and I think with that team and in that situation in the Grey Cup we had a great game plan and we were able to attack it, even in the snow. I think as this week unfolds and in the coming weeks it’s just about the preparation, the game plan and hitting on all cylinders.”

The Sugar Bowl victory was some nice vindication after he and a few other Ohio State teammates, including quarterback Terrell Pryor, were suspended five games for allegedly making money off of their game-worn memorabilia. A small obstacle to overcome after dealing with much more serious issues in his youth including battling autoimmune deficiency from when he was three years old.

“Every time you experience adversity you kind of lean on that to get you through to the next problem, the next storm,” explained Posey.

“I think for me, just always being here now and giving my max┬áeffort is the only way I can live, the only way I can enjoy life. If I’m looking past or if I’m looking forward I’m not really here. I look at the present as a gift and I try to treat it as such every opportunity I get.”

DeVier Posey (85) of the Toronto Argonauts during the game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at BMO Field in Toronto, On., Sunday, June 25, 2017. (Photo: Johany Jutras)

 

Now he is focused on that next opportunity to win. Above everything else, Posey is willing to accept any role in the offence.

“You really don’t know what your role is. You can be pencilled in as a big role, but you can have two catches that game or somebody else can have a big game. You want to enjoy work and you want an opportunity to win and compete.”

The engine is indeed revving for a long ride.

Monday Practice Report

Posey and his new teammates were back at work ahead of Friday’s road game against the 3-8-0 Alouettes in Montreal. As expected, Travis Lulay was full go and back at work with the offensive starters after he went through concussion protocol following the high hit he took in the victory over Ottawa. All signs point toward Lulay getting an eighth consecutive start as the squad looks for that elusive first road victory in 2018.

“Our medical staff was very candid that after the game they didn’t think there were any issues but they wanted to monitor it to make sure that there wasn’t,” said head coach Wally Buono.

“The fact that he practiced today and was very upbeat was very into what he was doing was a great sign.”

The league has since come out and admitted there should have been a penalty called on the helmet- to- helmet collision that forced Lulay to sit out more than half of last week’s contest.

“All those things I really don’t fret about. I don’t want to comment on it because that’s not fair to the league. They have to make their own judgement on it. What I think, that’s another issue altogether.”

Centre Cody Husband was placed on the six-game injured list after undergoing surgery for a broken fibula he suffered on the first play from scrimmage. First round pick Peter Godber, a healthy scratch last week, is the likely candidate to replace Husband this week.

Along with releasing fullback Dakota Brush, the Lions announced the following signings as part of the CFL’s practice roster expansion period:

LB Lee Bennett (I)
DL Michael Ramsay (I)
OL Cassidy Curtis (I)
DB Ronald Tyler (I)
RB Shaun Wick (I)
K/P Quinn Van Gylswyk (N)

Curtis and Wick both previously attended 2018 training camp in Kamloops while Tyler was at the club’s Surrey mini-camp in April.

Matt Baker: mbaker@bellmedia.ca