It's hard to know how much importance to attach to the B.C. Lions' performance on Friday night because, without putting too fine an edge on things, most CFL veterans look forward to preseason games with the same enthusiasm as a trip to the proctologist.
But this is also true. Following an uneven 2013 season, and with a couple of unsettling questions hanging over the team, the Leos sent a positive message in their final dress rehearsal with a convincing, comprehensive 37-13 win over the Calgary Stampeders.
Where things go from here, of course, remains to be seen but in the here and now, the Lions pronounced themselves ready and able for 2014 which, considering no one seems to know when starting quarterback Travis Lulay will be ready to play, comes as some comfort to the team's supporters.
Then again, so does the presence of Kevin Glenn.
"He's on a new team right now," Andrew Harris said of the 14-year CFL vet who's been thrust into the Lions' starting role. "I think more than anything he has our trust and we have his trust. It was definitely a step in the right direction He's our quarterback and our leader right now."
How long is the next question.
"Obviously he's a 14-year vet and he should have control," Lions head coach Mike Benevides said. "But he has to do it out on the field and he did that (against the Stamps). I think everybody sees that, right now, we need him to grab a hold of the reins and get it done for us."
While there remains some long-term uncertainty over the quarterback position, Glenn eased a lot of concerns with a confident and controlled stint which lasted just over two quarters. Playing against the Stamps' starting defence, the 34-year-old directed an offence which was productive (he went 17 of 21 for 173 yards and a touchdown), diverse (he completed passes to seven different receivers) and turnover-free. Throw in a killer return game, highlighted by Stefan Logan's 93-yard punt return for a touchdown, and six turnovers from the defence, and you had a recipe for a beatdown.
"With a new team, the biggest thing was just getting the chemistry going," Glenn said. "It helped having a lot of reps in training camp. Don't take this the wrong way but with Travis not taking as many reps it helped all of us."
Ah yes. Travis.
Lulay's health continues to be a story on this team and it's now clear that, at the minimum. Glenn will start the season as the Lions' quarterback. The good news is he's unfazed by the ambiguity over his circumstance and, under his direction, the Lions' offence looked very similar to when it's operating at peak efficiency under Lulay.
As for the bad news, well, there really isn't any yet.
"It's the first time a lot of us were out there for real," said Harris. "The biggest thing is he's composed and he understands what's going on. He keeps everyone grounded."
Glenn, for his part, understands his situation. He was brought in as a high-price insurance policy and he's expected to deliver the goods in Lulay's absence. In his first start, he answered a lot of questions but, starting next week, it counts in the standings and there are considerable expectations surrounding this team this seasonl.
"I've been around this game long enough to understand you never know," Glenn said. "My thing is to prepare as if I'm going to start and if I start, I start. "
He was asked about the unique pressure of playing for the Lions this season
"It's never a two years down the road thing with football," he answered. "Who comes into a situation and says we're gong to wait to win two years from now.
"No. We're in the business of winning. You come in and you've got to win and with the Grey Cup being here, there's that much more incentive."
And, right now, Glenn looks like he's all business.
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