Simon still dangerous

Lions receiver Geroy Simon is not too concerned over his production this season. (Sun File/Jason...

Lions receiver Geroy Simon is not too concerned over his production this season. (Sun File/Jason Halstead)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

Stampeders fans have legitimate reason to question the four carries running back Joffrey Reynolds had last week.

Imagine how loudly the B.C. Lions faithful can query when they see Geroy Simon's impact this season.

Simon, last year's most outstanding player and leader in all the major receiving categories, heads into tonight's clash at McMahon Stadium with shockingly low numbers. He's 20th in the CFL with 294 yards receiving -- on 25 catches -- and one (that's right, one) touchdown.

The fact the Lions have five victories in seven outings allows Simon to somewhat accept the lack of production, but don't for a second think it doesn't bother him.

"Yeah, I do want the ball, but it's not in a selfish way. I want the ball because I know I can help this team win," he insisted after yesterday's light practice session at McMahon. "You don't do it in a way that's gonna hurt the team, you go about it the right way. Just let the quarterback know.

"You don't yell, you don't scream, you just let him know. But as a receiver you can't run to the quarterback every time you're open and don't get the ball, because that just sheds you in a bad light.

"Besides, quarterbacks know sometimes a guy was open, but they have to take chances on other guys."

Still, it's hard to believe they're not taking more chances on the soon-to-be 32-year-old slotback.

This is a sure-handed receiver who lit up the league in 2006 with 105 catches, 1,856 yards and 15 TDs.

He's as big a threat as any player in the league.

"I want the ball every play, but realistically I don't because that hurts our team," he said, maintaining a team-first attitude you'll always see from Simon. "That means they're trying to force me the ball and things like that.

'"We've got a lot of good players on our team. I just know I can help us win, I know other guys can help us win, I just want to be efficient."

Efficient would be an upgrade, but so far that hasn't been the case for a variety of reasons, the biggest being the Lions' QB situation.

Starter Dave Dickenson -- arguably the best pivot in the league -- continues to be sidelined by a concussion, leaving the job of hitting Simon with passes to youngsters Buck Pierce and Jarious Jackson. They're winning more games than losing, but not proving to be as threatening through the air, seeing that, as a team, the Leos sit last in the CFL for passing.

But still, you can't help but wonder if Simon has hit the crest of the mountain and is on the descent, because he and GM/head coach Wally Buono insist opposing teams aren't doing anything different with their coverage.

No way, they'll argue.

"Geroy's doing his part, put it that way," Buono said. "Can we be better in our execution? Definitely. Can we make excuses for our execution? Definitely. Should you give credit to the defences? Definitely.

"The thing that I'm not overly concerned about is that Geroy himself has not necessarily changed. He can still get open, he can still make plays for us. For some reason ... that's not occurred.

"The last two weeks, he'd caught more balls and we've lost both games, so there's not really any relevance. What's relevant is team success and unit success. Individually, you want success, but that doesn't mean it's gonna always be Geroy."

Which Simon points out was the case last season.

"Last year, I think, the numbers were kinda skewed because Jason (Clermont) got hurt, Ryan Thelwell got hurt, Paris (Jackson) was banged up," he pointed out. "A lot of times, I was the only option we had, and the numbers might have got a little inflated.

"But this year, Paris is playing well, and they don't have to force me the ball."


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