There are a number of different reasons to be optimistic about the BC Lions early into this CFL season, but the number one reason is number fourteen, Travis Lulay.
After the past two seasons ended painfully with shoulder injuries, this season began with a huge question mark over the tenacious ginger with the heart of gold and the shoulder of porcelain.
Can Lulay’s health hold up? The answer so far is yes.
Keep in mind that the Leos are just three games into this 18 game football odyssey, and that tougher games are coming, but Lulay’s stats through the first three games are on par to the MVP season he had in 2011 and the follow up in 2012.
What has to also be looked at in this version of Lulay 2.0 is the smarter, craftier Lulay. The Lions pivot still runs on occasion, as evidenced by his 100 yard plus rushing game last weekend in Regina, but this version of Lulay knows when to walk away and knows when to run (as Kenny Rogers would say).
No longer are we seeing Lulay bury his head into a pile to try and pick up a first down. His slides into second base to pick up key yardage simply put keep him in the game. Better to live and fight another day than to have your best player drop a shoulder to pick up a measly first down in the second quarter.
Whether Lulay picked up these new habits on his own or was coaxed by new Head Coach Jeff Tedford or others is not important. What is important is that this formula stays in place.
There will be times this year when the Leos may struggle. It will be then that we will test whether Lulay 2.0 was just a patch over the old injury problems, or is the real deal.
From what I have seen in the past, and what I am seeing now, I don’t doubt the man. I just hope he keeps thinking with his head and not with his heart.