Lions sticking with Lulay at QB
By Hosea Cheung, QMI Agency
|Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Marcellus Bowman puts pressure on BC Lions quarterback Travis Lulay. (Brian Donogh/QMI Agency)
Hold off on the quarterback controversy, for now.
While the debate seems to be an annual thing, the B.C. Lions came into this season with the clear intention of having third-year pro Travis Lulay lead the way at quarterback.
Even now, despite a 1-6 start and having second-stringer Jarious Jackson come in as a replacement Saturday in the third quarter of a 30-17 loss to Winnipeg, Lulay is still the man for the Lions.
At least that's what Wally Buono affirmed Monday.
"This week, it's important to get Travis back in there and obviously give him every opportunity to succeed," the Lions general manager and coach said. "Getting him out for a quarter and a half to watch on the sideline helps, it takes a little of the pressure off him and it gives Jarious a little bit of an opportunity."
There wasn't really much thought by Buono to hand the reins to Jackson for Friday's meeting with the Edmonton Eskimos. The 34-year-old backup quarterback, whose last start came Aug. 12, 2010, threw for 124 yards and one touchdown in under 30 minutes against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
As disappointing as it was for Lulay to make way for Jackson, he took the coach's decision in stride.
"(Buono's) message to me was just at that point of the game, he was trying to give us a spark," said Lulay, who completed 12 of 23 passes for 103 yards. "You're in a situation in a game where we're focused on rallying a team and coming back to win, you want to be on the field with your guys. (Buono) said to me afterward, 'don't let it bog you down, learn from it and move forward,' and that's the only way you can approach it."
Lulay has started 13 consecutive games for the Lions, dating back to Week 14 last season. That's the most since late 2008 and early 2009 when current Bomber QB Buck Pierce made 17 starts in a row. No B.C. quarterback has started more than 12 games in a single season since Casey Printers in 2004.
For Lulay now, wins -- not starts -- are what he's focused on. That means limiting, and rebounding, from mistakes.
"The mental issues are what can be frustrating, but we just have to do a better job of overcoming issues from before," he said. "Once one mistake happens, then everyone (feels some panic) and tries to overcome that again. That's where we need to be better, is wiping the slate clean and knowing the next play is more important than the last play. We have to find a way to refocus and move forward."