Lions look to turn things around

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:42 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- It's the meeting of two sad-sack teams when the B.C. Lions visit the Edmonton Eskimos Friday.

Both sides have gone 0-6 since the clubs met on opening week when B.C. won 25-10. The Leos last loss came against the Toronto Argonauts, while the Eskies look to rebound from a 47-21 drubbing by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The two worst teams in the West are both playing must-win games, or so they say. This game reeks of desperation, with the Lions trying to end their three-game skid and Eskimos hoping to avoid a 0-5 record to start to the season. The stage is set for an entertaining showdown.

Lions running back Jamal Robertson played his best game of the season in the opener against Edmonton, rushing for 168 yards. After committing a costly fumble last week, the ex-Argo seeks redemption, this time against a porous defence that has allowed a league-worst 160.2 rushing yards per game.

With cornerback Dante Marsh out, Trestin George will most likely move into the halfback position. Rookie Stanley Franks moves over to Marsh's spot. This slight shuffle could cause problems in the Lions secondary, or not, depending on how quickly George adjusts in his first start of the season.

Ricky Ray was vocal this week, leading the Esks in the locker room and at practice. Now it's time for him to do the same on the field. The winless Eskies need their QB to help kick-start the offence, one that has scored a CFL-worst 18.5 points per game and tied for last with just three pass TDs.

Edmonton made several changes to both their offence and defence this week, including giving defensive tackle Adam Braidwood his first start since tearing his knee up two years ago. The Delta, B.C., native's presence on the D-line could be the key to stopping the Leos' ground game.

Casey Printers will travel to Edmonton, but it's Lulay's team for now. The Lions QB had a solid first-start outing last week but must avoid mistakes this time around. With so many proven receivers on the Lions, Lulay must also spread out his offence more.

"Every week, everybody's job is on the line. It's no different this week," said Leos coach Wally Buono. That may be so, but Esks' prez and CEO Rick LeLacheur spoke out Monday about job safety. The first pink slip could go to coach Richie Hall if Edmonton loses again.

Buono sent a message last week when he released Robert Jordan: The return game must improve. Yonus Davis gets the call to try and give the offence good field position. Look for Jerome Messam and Andrew Harris to get a few touches as well.


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