Halfback William Stanback seeking redemption with the Lions

Running back William Stanback views the upcoming Canadian Football League season as a year of redemption.

The 29-year-old American spent the last five seasons with the Montreal Alouettes before being released last week. On Tuesday, the BC Lions signed him to a one-year contract.

“I want to show up on the field and do everything I have to do to be the best I can be,” said the new Lions color-bearer on Wednesday.

“I want to show up on the field with a vengeance mentality and kick everyone’s butt. »

Stanback amassed 800 rushing yards on 147 carries (5.4-yard average) and two touchdowns in 2023, during a season that ended with the Alouettes triumphing in the Gray Cup final.

In 62 career games with the Alouettes, Stanback totaled 3,716 rushing yards on 625 attempts, for an average of 5.9 yards and 11 touchdowns. Stanback also caught 107 passes for 1,058 yards and four majors.

Stanback said he was willing to accept a reduced salary to stay in Montreal, but he says team management never attempted to make a deal.

After the Alouettes won the Gray Cup in November, general manager Danny Maciocia made it clear that one of his three running backs – Stanback, Walter Fletcher or Canadian Jeshrun Antwi – would not be back.

“I already knew I had to take a pay cut, that was obvious. I had no problem with that,” Stanback said.

“I wanted to be treated well, I wanted to be respected and I didn’t want to be looked at like I was just tolerated. I wanted to make sure that wherever I went, I was treated with respect like the veteran that I am. »

Furthermore, Stanback will reunite with ex-Alouette Vernon Adams Jr., which, according to him, will help him adapt to the playing patterns. Adams spent two stays in Montreal, from 2016 to 2017 and from 2018 to 2022 .

“Being back with someone like that, who knows me personally, I feel like it would be a great fit for me,” Stanback said.

The Lions struggled with their rushing offense last year, finishing last in the CFL in yards per game and carries per game.

Taquan Mizzell finished the season with 773 rushing yards, and Adams Jr. followed in second place with 324 yards.

Stanback believes his presence will improve the Lions’ ground game.

“We have to make sure that we can stick with it, and understand that every time there are close games, we have to make sure that we stick to what makes us successful, which is a balanced attack, he said. I think this can allow us to cross the threshold of the Western final. I really believe in it. »

The Lions’ 2023 season ended with a 24-13 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Western Conference final.

British Columbia will be the site of the 111e edition of the Gray Cup in November. This will be the 17e time that Vancouver has hosted the event and the first time since 2014.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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