View Full Version : Lions Loss, Steelers Gain

09-07-2009, 09:47 PM
B.C. Lions that is. How good was Stephan Logan? Ask his former team:

No Logan, giant hole for Lions to fill

June 07, 2009

Mike Beamish
Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER -- Roy Shivers was in the middle of a seven-year career as a running back in the NFL when the rise of trade unionism changed forever the future of football as an industry. It was July 3, 1968. After talks with the owners stalled, the NFL Players Association voted to strike for its first collective bargaining agreement. The bosses promptly locked them out.

"I almost came up here [CFL] when they had the first NFL strike," Shivers said Friday. "B.C. had my rights. They serenaded me for a week. The CFL was paying better money. Then I found out they couldn't block on the punt returns. That screwed the whole deal up."

Shivers eventually returned to B.C. 15 years later as an assistant coach. Now, more than 40 years on after turning down a chance to be the Lions' feature back, he is trying to find one as the team's player personnel director.

On Sunday, five backs Shivers has recruited, plus Ian Smart and junior Andrew Harris, begin the process of determining who will fill the giant hole left by the mighty mouse -- Stefan Logan, now with the Pittsburgh Steelers -- when veterans join the rookies at training camp.

Shivers admits that seven running-back candidates is excessive. Still, he would have brought in three more, if roster limits allowed it.

"We want to take a look at all of them and find out who can play," Shivers says. "I like guys who go from A to Z real quick."

Based on videotape evidence, all of them can. But is there another Stefan Logan in the bunch? It is difficult even to imagine, Shivers says, because lightning seldom strikes twice in successive seasons.

"If Stefan Logan was at this camp, he'd be the incumbent back," Shivers says. "All of these other guys would be competing for No. 2. I don't need to work these guys out. I just look at the tapes. You watch five good plays and you can tell. I really don't know if anybody here will jump out at me. We'll find out real fast."

A certain segment of the Lions coaching staff is high on Damian Sims, a running back from Iowa whose candidacy is being promoted by his uncle, Lions starting halfback Korey Banks. When Banks alerted Shivers to his nephew, Shivers asked for a tape. Later, the personnel man timed Sims at 4.4 for the 40-yard dash in a private workout. It's clear that, once he gets in the clear, Sims will be tough to bring down. And then there's the fact he played in the Big 10, a crucible of college football, against the likes of Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

"So he played in the Big 10. That doesn't mean anything as far as I'm concerned," Shivers says. "It's, 'What can you do at the next level?' Logan played at South Dakota. Division II football. But he's special. I told Wally [Buono] that early in camp last year. He doesn't need blockers. He can outrun seven or eight guys. Korey told me that Sims is just like Logan. He done good in this case."

Sims, 23, is especially anxious to get popped because he hasn't participated in a live scrimmage since the last game of his senior season with the Hawkeyes, in 2007. He spent last year completing a degree at the university, working with a strength and conditioning coach and minding his infant daughter, Khamaria. She and Damian's fiance, Brittanee, live in Atlanta, where the running back worked out with Banks and Dante Marsh before training camp.

"I'm one of those guys who asks a million questions," Sims says. "So, they're always up to answer them. It's definitely like a piece of home having those guys here. I miss my family and my little girl. But I'm trying to make everything better for them by making this team."

Banks, a videotape and a stopwatch got him an invite to Lions camp. Now, Sims will have to bank on something more substantial than family connections to stay.


Or how about this:

Att Yards Avg Receiving KR PR Total

122 889 7.3 477 266 126 1758

Pretty fair 'body of work'.