Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jock Sanders Has a Nice Debut for the B.C. Lions

 Three weeks ago, former West Virginia Mountaineer Jock Sanders was in South Florida, out of football. After getting cut by the Tampa Bay Bucs during the NFL Preseason, Sanders remained in Florida to continue training and trying to work his way back onto an NFL roster. Sanders had a seperation with his agent after his release from the Bucs, so when all of the NFL cuts were handed down, and teams had a flurry of signings to fill holes on their rosters, Sanders was left out in the cold without an agent.
Jock Sanders, left and Bob Smith, right
  The B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League placed Jock Sanders on their negotiation list back in 2007, while Sanders was a member of the Mountaineers. They liked his speed and shiftiness as a reciever and kept an eye on him. When the Lions were decimated by injuries to their starting running back and kick returner, the Lions gave Sanders a call.
  I reported last week that Sanders would start at kick returner for the Lions and also contribute on offense after only being with the team for less than two weeks. Sanders lined up at running back for the Lions which was odd to see with him playing wideout for four years in Morgantown.

  In his first game against Avon Cobourne's Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Sanders touched the ball 20 times for 232 all-purpose yards. Sanders had 4 carries for 18 yards, 2 catches for 18 yards, 6 punt returns for a 4.2 yard average, and 8 kick returns for a 20.8 yard average. The fact that Sanders had 8 kickoff returns should tell you that the Lions gave up a lot of points. They gave up 42. Sanders's Lions scored 10. Avon Cobourne had 100 total yards of offense in the game.
  Sanders's coach, Wally Buono was impressed.
“It would have been nice to see him break something,” Buono said of Sanders. “Like, he was always one guy away. But he did a pretty decent job.”
  Sanders and the Lions play at home on Saturday night against Edmonton at 10 pm ET. Cobourne and the Tiger-Cats play at Lance Frazier's Saskatchewan Roughriders earlier that day at 3 pm ET. Both games will be played on ESPN3.
  With Sanders' performance last week, he was taken off of the practice roster and added to the roster for the rest of the season. However, with the team returning to health, Sanders is not likely to dress for the game on Saturday. Sanders was disappointed, but understanding. He knows he is in the teams long-term plans and will get his chance after he learns more of the playbook.

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