Odell Willis headed to B.C.

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Hambone
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Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:56 am

Blitz wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:06 am
B.C.FAN wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:00 pm
CardiacKid wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:41 pm
Personally I think the Riders made the better deal today.
Agreed. The Riders now have two of the league’s best pass rushers in Jefferson and Hughes.

It took some complicated deals with East Division teams the Lions and Riders have both bolstered their D-lines at the expense of the Stamps and Eskimos, and that’s likely to help the competitive balance in the West.
I would have loved to see Hughes in a Leos uniform rather than Odell. Hughes has led the CFL in sacks the last two seasons.

Jones has pulled off a great trade and given the Riders a much better chance to be playing in the Big Dance this year.
I thought the same too Blitz Hughes versus Willis. Then I watched the TSN clip on Hughes and a discussion that Hufnagel (like Wally) has a pretty good sense of when players have passed their best before date. I was surprised that Hughes was older than Willis, by a full year. I thought Hughes was a couple years younger. Regardless both are clearly well into the back 9 of their career, more like the final 1 or 2 holes. Time will tell which one has the most fumes left in the tank.

In looking at Hughes' numbers last year he picked up 6 of his 11 regular season sacks in the first 5 games he played including a hat-trick (1/4 of his season total) against the Riders in Week 5). Over the other 9 games he recorded 5. Still a very good pace but not nearly as productive as coming out of the chute. He also seemed to feast on the Riders in particular and Edmonton to a lesser extent. Including playoffs he chalked up 23 tackles and 9 sacks in 6 games vs Saskatchewan (11 DT, 6 SK in 3 GP) and Edmonton (12 DT, 3 SK in 3 GP). Against the rest of the league it was 22 DT, 3 SK in 10 GP. In 2 GP versus the Lions he had but a single DT to show.

Willis' numbers weren't as impressive as Hughes'. Like Hughes Willis also played 14 regular season games and 2 playoff games. 6 of his 8 regular season sacks came in the first 7 games with 2 in the final 7 plus 1 more in the playoffs.

Interesting irony though? Hughes best 2017 games were versus the Riders. Now he's a Rider. Willis recorded 6 (nearly 25%) of his 22 regular season DTs and 4 (half) of his 8 regular season SKs in only 2 GP against, you guessed it, BC. Now he's a Lion.
Last edited by Hambone on Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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JohnnyMusso
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Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:25 pm

Personally, I think both Bazzie and Roh are gone, especially Bazzie. Roh had a workout or 2 for some NFL teams, but Bazzie I heard nothing about. I think he will sign somewhere else on Feb 13, maybe Montreal.

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Rammer
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Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:50 pm

The positive is the upbeat determination that Willis brings to a Lions DL that needs some attitude. However, if the Lions don't succeed on the scotebiard, he can become a negative conductor during games.

Lions have lost little to acquire him, so as long as he gives the DL the confidence he doesn't lack in, he can't be any worse production wise than the 2017 DL.

One thing though this isn't a Wally hire, and it will be interesting to see how the two work together.
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David
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Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 pm

JohnnyMusso wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:25 pm
Personally, I think both Bazzie and Roh are gone, especially Bazzie. Roh had a workout or 2 for some NFL teams, but Bazzie I heard nothing about. I think he will sign somewhere else on Feb 13, maybe Montreal.
It's possible Roh signs elsewhere, but I think he wants to stay here, all things being equal. He and his wife live here in the off-season, and he works with the "Bystander" program on behalf of the club.
Rammer wrote:One thing though this isn't a Wally hire, and it will be interesting to see how the two work together.


Farhan (per TSN1040 last night) was told by Benevides that he (Benny) was "blown away" by the guy's work ethic and attention to detail. He said (paraphrasing) to forget the Swaggerville persona schtick, the guy is a leader who knows the assignments of every one of the 12 positions on the field. He was blown away by how good he was. :thup:

There's no question that Willis's production slipped a bit in 2017, and he's getting up there. But he will no doubt be re-energized and out to prove doubters wrong.


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

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CardiacKid
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Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:14 pm

David wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 pm
JohnnyMusso wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:25 pm
Personally, I think both Bazzie and Roh are gone, especially Bazzie. Roh had a workout or 2 for some NFL teams, but Bazzie I heard nothing about. I think he will sign somewhere else on Feb 13, maybe Montreal.
It's possible Roh signs elsewhere, but I think he wants to stay here, all things being equal. He and his wife live here in the off-season, and he works with the "Bystander" program on behalf of the club.
Rammer wrote:One thing though this isn't a Wally hire, and it will be interesting to see how the two work together.


Farhan (per TSN1040 last night) was told by Benevides that he (Benny) was "blown away" by the guy's work ethic and attention to detail. He said (paraphrasing) to forget the Swaggerville persona schtick, the guy is a leader who knows the assignments of every one of the 12 positions on the field. He was blown away by how good he was. :thup:

There's no question that Willis's production slipped a bit in 2017, and he's getting up there. But he will no doubt be re-energized and out to prove doubters wrong.


DH :cool:
The guy also did a spot of place kicking and I think punting as well when the Eskimos had their kickers go down in a game (forget who they were playing). If memory serves, he acquitted himself fairly well.
Certainly an odd sight, a guy of his size run up to a ball on the tee and following through.

So assuming he makes the roster, the Lions have an emergency backup to Ty Long all good to go. No need to waste a roster spot on an extraneous kicker :wink:

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Hambone
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Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:03 am

CardiacKid wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:14 pm
David wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 pm
JohnnyMusso wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:25 pm
Personally, I think both Bazzie and Roh are gone, especially Bazzie. Roh had a workout or 2 for some NFL teams, but Bazzie I heard nothing about. I think he will sign somewhere else on Feb 13, maybe Montreal.
It's possible Roh signs elsewhere, but I think he wants to stay here, all things being equal. He and his wife live here in the off-season, and he works with the "Bystander" program on behalf of the club.
Rammer wrote:One thing though this isn't a Wally hire, and it will be interesting to see how the two work together.


Farhan (per TSN1040 last night) was told by Benevides that he (Benny) was "blown away" by the guy's work ethic and attention to detail. He said (paraphrasing) to forget the Swaggerville persona schtick, the guy is a leader who knows the assignments of every one of the 12 positions on the field. He was blown away by how good he was. :thup:

There's no question that Willis's production slipped a bit in 2017, and he's getting up there. But he will no doubt be re-energized and out to prove doubters wrong.


DH :cool:
The guy also did a spot of place kicking and I think punting as well when the Eskimos had their kickers go down in a game (forget who they were playing). If memory serves, he acquitted himself fairly well.
Certainly an odd sight, a guy of his size run up to a ball on the tee and following through.

So assuming he makes the roster, the Lions have an emergency backup to Ty Long all good to go. No need to waste a roster spot on an extraneous kicker :wink:
I can't remember if Willis actually did kick anything. I recall late in the season, perhaps the final game, he was begging Maas to let him but it didn't happen.

EDIT: Willis was indeed credited with 1 kickoff of 43 yards in 2017. No other kicking stats are listed. That KO was in the July game against BC when Whyte got hurt. It's all coming back to me now. Odell was effectively the backup to the emergency kicker. Ryan King was their emergency kicker. Whyte's last kick was a 19 yd FG half way through the 3rd quarter to break a 20-20 tie. Edmonton only had 3 more possessions that game. The first two were long 6 minute drives that ended in TDs. They went for the 2 point convert on both. As the emergency kicker Ryan King handled the KO after the first one, 52 yards, then he proceeded to get hurt himself. Willis would handle the final KO with the Esks then nursing a 37-20 lead with just over 2 minutes left. BC would get a TD to make it 37-26. They tried an onside KO. Edmonton recovered. On their 3rd and final possession after losing Whyte they ran out the clock.
Last edited by Hambone on Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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CardiacKid
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Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:44 am

Here is a video of a heads up play by Willis while in Edmonton...

https://www.esks.com/2015/10/14/odell-w ... king-play/

Essentially a bad snap by Winnipeg and Willis tracked it down and instead of trying to field it, he immediately kicked it forward towards the Winnipeg endzone. It was recovered by the Eskimos.

Not every player knows you can do that in the CFL. Good move by Willis.

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David
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Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:45 pm

CardiacKid wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:44 am
Essentially a bad snap by Winnipeg and Willis tracked it down and instead of trying to field it, he immediately kicked it forward towards the Winnipeg endzone. It was recovered by the Eskimos.

Not every player knows you can do that in the CFL. Good move by Willis.
I didn't even know that you could advance a fumble by kicking it forward. I thought that was illegal?


DH :cool:
Please sell the team, Mr. Braley.

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CardiacKid
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Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:07 pm

David wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:45 pm
CardiacKid wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:44 am
Essentially a bad snap by Winnipeg and Willis tracked it down and instead of trying to field it, he immediately kicked it forward towards the Winnipeg endzone. It was recovered by the Eskimos.

Not every player knows you can do that in the CFL. Good move by Willis.
I didn't even know that you could advance a fumble by kicking it forward. I thought that was illegal?


DH :cool:
James Yurichuk was a master of advancing the ball by kicking it. I remember the Lions getting one or two TDs directly from him not attempting to pick up the ball but simply kicking it forward to where someone could retrieve it.

Edit:
Taken from James Yurichuk's Wikipedia entry.....
"His dribbled ball kick that led to a Lions touchdown in week 6 was considered the turning point of the game and demonstrated his knowledge of Canadian football rules."

And from the Lions website (unfortunately the video mentioned is no longer at the link): https://www.bclions.com/2009/11/25/old- ... led-balls/
"bclions.comTV host Calum MacLeod rounded up Lions receivers O’Neil Wilson and Bret Anderson along with special teams dynamos Jason Arakgi and James Yurichuk to demonstrate a little-used ‘old school’ football skill – the dribbled ball."

B.C.FAN
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Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:47 pm

David wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:45 pm
I didn't even know that you could advance a fumble by kicking it forward. I thought that was illegal?


DH :cool:
That's American football. Anything goes in Canadian football, including dribbled balls, kickbacks, onside punt and field-goal recoveries and drop kicks for field goals. (I think one of the Flutie brothers wanted to try a drop kick when they played in B.C. but I don't recall it ever happening.)

I was taught all of those rules at an early age playing community football, as were my sons. High schools in B.C., unfortunately, play by American rules so many kids grow up without being exposed to the potential of the Canadian kicking game.

Rule 5, of the 2017 CFL Rule Book covers the kicking game, including onside kicks, blocked kicks, drop kicks and dribbled balls.
Article 2 – Drop Kick
A drop kick is made by dropping the ball from the hands and kicking it with the
foot just as it rises from the ground.
Article 5 – Dribbled Ball
A dribbled ball occurs when the ball is kicked while not in possession or control of
a player, i.e. a loose ball following a fumble, a blocked kick, a kickoff or a kick
from scrimmage. Such a dribbled ball may be touched by the kicker or an onside
player without penalty.
2017 CFL Rule Book
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Blitz
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Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:58 am

JohnnyMusso wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:56 pm
I feel this is a good trade for BC and they gave up very little to get him. However, considering he is 33, it is likely for a year or 2. This is more of a Hervey move than a Buono one. Buono tends to cut players when they have a year or 2 left. Clearly, he is on board with this for BC needs experience and a proven pass rusher on there and more leadership.

Now they need to fix the offensive line. So far no new players added on there and need a proven starter or 2 on there. Maybe that will come through free agency.
Normally, I would agree with you that this is a Hervey move, rather than a Buono move, since Buono has tended to cut vet players a year soon rather than a year late.

But these are not 'normal' times in Wally World. He gave up the GM job this season to focus on coaching and cementing his legacy rather than retiring and leaving the game not making the playoffs.

With only one last season to coach our Leos, Wally doesn't care about the future, past this season. Its win now baby. So Wally is much more open about signing an experienced vet for 2018, than he would have been at any other juncture of his career.
"When I went to Catholic high school in Philadelphia, we just had one coach for football and basketball. He took all of us who turned out and had us run through a forest. The ones who ran into the trees were on the football team". (George Raveling)

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