Seven RBs battling for spots

BOB MACKIN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

The B.C. Lions have seven running backs under contract and when training camp begins June 7 in Abbotsford, a camera will be focused on them at all times.

If head coach and general manager Wally Buono weren't in the business of winning Grey Cups, the Leos could make their own reality TV show. Buono is looking for the successors to Stefan Logan, who was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Charles Roberts, who was released.

"We're going to have a third camera that's going to follow them around at the end of the day they're going to be evaluated," Buono said. "In this offence, you've got to be able to run the footaball and catch the football."

The Leos completed the long list yesterday when they signed Martell Mallett (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) and Charles Pierre (Florida Atlantic). They join rushers Amos Allen, Andrew Harris, Emmanuel Marc, Darren Sims and veteran Ian Smart. Buono said two or three ball-carriers will be kept for the regular season.

Buono also has holes to fill on the offensive line after Kelly Bates went to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Rob Murphy to the Toronto Argonauts. Buck Pierce was declared No. 1 quarterback in February. All this leads to Buono's pre-season theme: change and continuity.

"Sometimes people have a hard time grasping change and continuity in the same sentence," he said.

Leos' business vice-president George Chayka forecast 22,000 season tickets, a decline of 2,000 from 2008. He said revenue will likely increase by 3-5 per cent because B.C. Place private suites are increasing from 25 to 50 and a new 1,341-capacity club seating area is being created.


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