I’ve seen guys in this business get cut for less
And still unknown is whether the B.C. Lions will even need to defeat Kinne, Darian Durant, or any of the quarterbacks the Saskatchewan Roughriders dress on Saturday, to finish second in the Canadian Football League’s West Division.
The Lions’ confirmation of a home playoff date on Nov. 13 could be stamped Friday night in Ottawa, if the Winnipeg Blue Bombers lose to the Ottawa Redblacks. If Winnipeg wins, the Lions will need either a win or a tie against the Roughriders at B.C. Place Stadium.
Hype is what sports teams do to try and fill stadiums and arenas, but it’s difficult to hype the Lions’ final of 18 games for a victory that might not be needed, against a 5-12 team auditioning players and looking ahead to next year.
Still, it’s a professional football game, and that’s enough to get linebacker Adam Bighill hyped, even if he isn’t sure how many snaps he’ll play or how many a guy named Kinne will take.
“We want to win the game, no matter who they put out in front of us,” Bighill said Thursday. “We want momentum going into the playoffs. That said, we may not see that much of Darian or maybe certain guys. But I’m not really that concerned about what they’re doing with their roster. We’re ready to play against whoever comes out.”
While teammate Solomon Elimimian should think about dusting off the shelf in his trophy case for another defensive player of the year award — with a league-leading 128 tackles, eight sacks, he wholesale NFL jerseys has to be the favourite again, as he was in 2014— Bighill will keep doing his impression of the Energizer bunny. Clobbering ball carriers, blitzing quarterbacks or dropping back into pass coverage with the skill of a cat burglar, he isn’t that far behind Elimimian, with 105 defensive wholesale jerseys tackles and five sacks.
“I play high coverage (on pass attempts), probably more than any Will (weak-side) linebacker in the CFL,” Bighill says. “That’s a versatility aspect. I need to be able to do those things. In a sense, you lose something, statistically, by being asked to do that. You have a chance to make more interceptions. But you don’t have the chance to maybe make as many tackles, by not lining up as much in the box.”
And that is only one of the juicy little reminders of the wonderfully competitive intra-squad rivalry that Bighill cheap NFL jerseys and Elimimian maintain, even within the context of an enduring friendship and mutual respect.
“That’s the good thing about it,” Elimimian says. “As long as the rivalry is done with the right mindset, as long as it helps our team win, it’s positive. Having someone to compete with sharpens your game. Adam’s been the best defensive player in the CFL before (2015). That pushes me. That pushes cheap jerseys everybody.”
If the pure, unbridled, straight-up tackle is becoming a fading memory in modern football, Elimimian is the keeper of the art of taking a man to the ground against his will.
This season — where he is within 15 takedowns, with one game to go, of his league record 143 defensive tackles — may be even more impressive than his breakthrough campaign of 2014. That year, Elimimian became the first purely defensive specialist to be named the league’s most outstanding player. But, in 2015, he was confronted with the central dilemma that his career might be over after surgery for a ruptured Achilles.
“Honestly, after everything I’ve been through, this is personally more satisfying (than his MOP year) because of what I’ve had to overcome,” Elimimian says. ”Mentally, not knowing if I could come back, not knowing if would be the same player . . . I feel blessed. Not only to be able to play this game again, but to play it at a high level, I’m truly thankful. And I’m thankful to Wally (Buono) in showing the faith that I could come back. I’ve seen guys in this business get cut for less. There was a lot of doubt.”
In reintroducing himself to the CFL after devastating professional setback, Elimimian has revealed another compelling quality — handling adversity. He would be a worthy recipient, if there was such a thing, of the Comeback Player of the Year award.
As for Bighill, he seems content to be named the team’s “most popular player” in voting by Lions fans.
“I think it’s awesome. I definitely respect that a lot,” he says. “I always make time for fans. And I realize I wouldn’t be here, if it weren’t for them. Definitely, my style of play helps. I’m never going to take a play off. I’m always going to be physical. People respect that.”
From Cleveland Browns jerseys the standpoint of necessity, the question remains how near the physical threshold he’ll need to be on Saturday?
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