Familar face, different jersey for Lions 0
Tiger-Cats quarterback Henry Burris throws a pass against the Roughriders at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ont., June 29, 2012. (MIKE CASSESE/Reuters)
When the B.C. Lions defence looks across the line of scrimmage Friday, the jersey will look different but they'll be staring into the eyes of a familiar face.
Quarterback Henry Burris, formerly of the Calgary Stampeders, will instead be leading the Hamilton Tiger-Cats offence when they come marching into BC Place.
But the 2010 CFL's Most Outstanding Player, who was traded to Hamilton on January 3, isn't the only key addition to the revamped Ticats, who also feature a new coach in George Cortez and former Saskatchewan Roughriders slotback Andy Fantuz.
While the Leos saw plenty of Burris over the past seven seasons when he was still wearing the red, black and white, it doesn't change how they'll approach him now that he's on a different team.
"He still has that same face, that same look, that same Henry," said defensive back Korey Banks. "I like him as a person, a player, and he's definitely a hard matchup. But we just have to look at what he does good and just take it to him.
"Andy Fantuz, he's like their Nik Lewis in a sense. We have to make it a hard day for him. Same thing goes for Burris, you got to crowd him. Make their best players try to beat us."
The Tiger-Cats have had the Lions' number over the past three years, winning five of the last six regular-season matchups, including two victories in 2011 by a combined score of 81-41. Now, coming off a 43-16 trouncing to the Roughriders in their season opener, Hamilton is expected to be fired up for their visit to Vancouver this week.
"You know exactly one thing, George Cortez is going to have them prepared," said Mike Benevides, who is 1-0 as the new coach of the Lions. "You know that Henry Burris is outstanding at what he does and you know they performed well last week but obviously they want to perform better.
"It's going to be a battle and when you take a look at the expectations, you know they are going to come in here with an explosive offence. They're going to be a tough opponent to deal with and I know George will have them tremendously prepared for this game."