Lulay looks sharp, but B.C. Lions set to start Kevin Glenn at QB against Hamilton — at least until further notice
Kevin Glenn, a quarterback who has answered his share of inquiries over a 14-year CFL career, figured there was no point in waiting.
Without even being asked, Glenn talked about what it is like to lose his starting job to Travis Lulay.
“You want me to answer? The guy’s coming back. He’s coming off an injury. I knew the situation when I got here,” Glenn said Monday, sounding resigned to the inevitable change that is in store with the B.C. Lions offence. “I just put myself in a position to play.”
He’s also in a position to be asked the same old questions for a while longer.
Glenn not only will play, he will in fact start again Friday against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The decision by coach Mike Benevides was essentially made after nearly an hour-long throwing session Satureauy by Lulay that received full video scrutiny, a highly irregular occurrence for a post-game walk-through, plus a lengthy chat between head coach and franchise player in an empty locker room.
As Benevides discussed the fine points of the Lions’ 25-24 comeback win over the Calgary Stampeders with a reporter Saturday, he was intently staring at Lulay all the time, admitting later he was going through a mental checklist to see the kinds of throws the quarterback was making.
The Lions are about to make a transition at the most important position on the field. It is not, Benevides said, as simple as removing a thrower who was acquired to be a backup and replacing Glenn with Lulay at the first opportunity simply because Lulay is the established product with a higher salary.
At this point, Lulay isn’t about to start in his first game coming off the six-game injured list from last winter’s shoulder surgery for one very simple reason: He isn’t quite ready.
“It feels like day three of training camp physically,” Lulay said. “I do feel pretty comfortable. I have a good knowledge of what we’re doing. But this week is important.”
Could he play Friday? “Ask me in a couple of more days,” Lulay said.
Indeed, the Lions could very well be buying time before making a decision, as not an hour after declaring that Glenn would start, Benevides joked that Lulay looked so good in practice he might have to reconsider by the end of the week.
An ideal transition scenario, admitted Benevides, would be to insert Lulay in a relief capacity with the Lions holding a comfortable lead against the 1-4 Tabbies. If that doesn’t work out, it’s possible Lulay would be first behind centre when the Lions face the Toronto Argonauts on Aug. 15.
Glenn and Lulay split offensive reps almost evenly Monday, but the accuracy and velocity of Lulay’s throws were not lost on teammates, who were impressed both by his precision and his mental sharpness.
“It’s been six weeks without much throwing, but he’s been preparing as if he’s played every game,” receiver Shawn Gore said. “That’s tough to do when you know you aren’t going to play.”
But after Lulay was lost to a shoulder injury late in the 2012 season and again last year, the Lions’ cautious approach has been understandable — although it likely won’t satisfy network television analysts who said he would not be back at all this season.
Meanwhile, unlike some players, the quarterback isn’t trying to talk himself back into the lineup, realizing he’d be shortchanging the Lions if he were to play when he’s not fully ready.
“He understands his value,” said Benevides. “And I understand his body language. Never push an athlete before he’s ready.”
And never let a quarterback answer a question before it is asked.
© Copyright (c) The Province