Following the Wake

GERRY MODDEJONGE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Getting a hold of quarterbacks is what he does best.

B.C. Lions defensive end Ricky Foley leads the CFL with a dozen sacks coming into tonight's game against the Eskimos.

It's part of the effort that earned him his team's nomination for the CFL 2009 Canadian Player of the Year.

"I can kind of get a good start to my career, it's where I want to be," said Foley.

"I hope I can go this week and kind of put a stranglehold on winning that and that would mean a lot to me."

The 2009 season has brought different challenges to defensive lines as offences have become more willing to run.

"Teams have been running on us a lot more this year and that's kind of hurt our second-and-long pass rushing. We don't have as many opportunities," said Foley.

"As a team we're right up there."

The Lions will approach Ricky Ray the same way they have any other quarterback.

"Let our coverages confuse him and just hit him," said Foley. "Put him on the ground and hopefully he gets a little uncomfortable back there."

It's something they've specialized on all season as they lead the league with 45 sacks.

Foley and crew are filling a hole left by two-time CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player Cameron Wake, who recorded 39 sacks in his two years in the league before joining the NFL's Miami Dolphins this season.

"That's what people said at the start of the year: 'Do you feel pressure?' " Foley said.

"I didn't at all. I knew the writing was on the wall, me and Cam are pretty close and I knew what he was going to do at the end of the year.

"I probably knew after his first year here what the plan was so I bided my time and I was just happy to get my opportunity."

He's picked up a few things from his time with Wake. The two still keep in contact.

"We talk all the time," said Foley.

"It's mostly experience, some of the moves work in games that don't work in practice is the main thing I've had to get used to. And just discipline, I know I was playing a little reckless at the start of the year and now I'm more disciplined."

Which has advantages and disadvantages for the league's sack leader, who has relied on an aggressive approach to get where he is.

"I might not have as many opportunities to get sacks now, but I think all around my game's better."

As in: better watch out when he's on the field.

GERRY.MODDEJONGE@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos