Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Benevides in No Hurry to Name Lions' Starting QB for West Division Semifinal

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Benevides in No Hurry to Name Lions' Starting QB for West Division Semifinal

Article excerpt

Lions' Benevides in no hurry to name starter


VANCOUVER - There's no disputing Travis Lulay's status as the B.C. Lions' No. 1 quarterback.

Whether he gets the start when his team visits the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Sunday's CFL West Division semifinal in another question entirely.

Lulay returned from injury last week for one series in the Lions' regular-season finale against the Calgary Stampeders, a 26-7 victory that meant nothing in the standings.

After missing the previous six weeks with an ailing right shoulder, Lulay finished 3-of-4 passing for 54 yards and also scored a rushing touchdown.

That small sample size and veteran backup Buck Pierce's strong play the last two weeks gives Lions coach Mike Benevides plenty to ponder ahead of the weekend tilt in Regina.

"Let's remember, as good as it was last week, it wasn't a lot of work," Benevides said Tuesday of Lulay's short outing against the Stampeders. "There's no doubt it's his team and Buck will tell you the same thing, but right now it's about all of us. It's not about a single person.

"As I told the guys, 'It's not about you, it's not about me. It's about us.' So whatever it's going to take to win the next game, that's what we're going to do."

Benevides added that he likely won't know the starter until after Friday's practice.

Lulay, who was hurt in a victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Sept. 15 and has been slowing rehabbing his throwing shoulder over the last number of weeks, sounds ready to go.

"I'm preparing like I am going to be the starter," said Lulay, the MVP of the Lions' 2011 Grey Cup victory. "I'm hopeful that I can demonstrate that I can make all the throws I need to make and then coach (Benevides) will have a decision to make."

Second-year man Thomas DeMarco won his first two starts in place of the injured Lulay, but lost the next three before being yanked in favour of Pierce after a miserable first quarter against the Edmonton Eskimos two weeks ago.

Reacquired by the Lions from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in September, Pierce rallied B.C. to a 43-29 victory over Edmonton -- which included three TDs through the air and another on the ground -- before starting the win over Calgary. …

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