Whatever you call it, Lions D is dominant
By HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency
|Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian celebrates his interception against the Argonauts in Toronto, Ont., Sep. 2, 2011. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)
VANCOUVER - Beware, Swaggerville.
The B.C. Lions' defence has its own fancy nickname, even though linebacker Solomon Elimimian is the only one who knows about it for now.
When asked if their 12-man unit has a cool moniker like the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' defence, the Leos linebacker came up with "The Black Holes" on the spot.
"Whenever the offence gets the ball, we swarm them. They're gonna get swallowed up," Elimimian said. "That's what I call it personally. You can call us whatever you want."
Veteran Korey Banks, however, wasn't as approving of the new label.
"We don't need one," the B.C. defensive back said. "We don't need all that attention because some guys can't handle it around here. Yes, I said that. We just need to stay under the radar and we'll be alright."
Banks has a point.
Nickname or not, the Lions' defence has been stellar in recent weeks. It hasn't allowed a touchdown in 13 quarters, dating back to Week 7 against the Blue Bombers. It held Edmonton to one point and Toronto to six in respective games.
The Leos have also allowed the fewest points in the league and are second in offensive yards against, behind the Bombers.
"There's no team, man-for-man, that can say they have a better defence than us," said Banks, who extended credit to the rest of the club. "Without our offence and special teams, we wouldn't have this 13-quarters streak going. But it's a good accomplishment. We're doing what we thought we can do."
Elimimian notes the difference in mentality has helped the defence turn their play around after a slow start to the season.
"We're tackling better and being more physical," he said. "Overall, the scheme is great, too. Getting the best players in the right positions, that's definitely key to our success."
As for facing the West Division's highest-scoring team, the Calgary Stampeders, Saturday at McMahon Stadium, the hard-hitting Elimimian said the game plan doesn't change.
"It's the same way you stop any offence and that's (by) getting 12 guys to the football," he said. "We know Calgary likes to do a lot of shifting and motioning. The best thing we can do is communicate and just be sound.
"Swarm 'em like the black holes, that's the way it is."