Campbell, O’Connor Critical of Stampeders After Preseason Game

It’s only the first game of the preseason for the BC Lions, but already, they have a bone to pick with their opponent. Late in their game against the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday afternoon with Kevin Thomson quarterbacking for the Lions, the Stamps sent a blitz, and the play resulted in an injury for Thomson.

Lions’ head coach Rick Campbell took issue with the Stampeders sending a blitz with the game already well in hand, and was frustrated, to say the very least, to see any kind of injury to one of his quarterbacks at this point of the season.

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“They gotta do what they gotta do,” said Campbell. “They zero blitzed multiple times. If they want to do that, I guess more power to them. I think it’s slightly unsafe. They have had nine or 10 more practices than us. It is what it is.”

Rick Campbell, head coach of the BC Lions

Despite being locked into a battle for the backup job, Canadian Michael O’Connor wasn’t too pleased to see Thomson go down late in the game.

“I’m praying that he’s okay,” said O’Connor. “Let’s just say that we won’t forget that. In the fourth quarter of a preseason game sending a blitz… We are competitors at the end of the day, but that will not be forgotten any time soon.”

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O’Connor, who was clearly upset during his postgame press conference, couldn’t say for sure whether he thought the play was dirty or not, but it’s not changing the fact that he’s not happy with the opposition.

“I can’t say, to be honest,” O’Connor said. “It’s football, and they are trying to evaluate their players just like we are. I can’t speak for everybody, but it didn’t sit right with me, let’s just say that.”

Campbell couldn’t provide much of an update on Thomson after the game, but the American quarterback will get some further evaluations before the team has any clear indication.

“We don’t know for sure yet,” he said. “We think he’s going to go to the hospital and get checked out, so it would be inappropriate for me to speculate. He needs to go get checked out, and we’re hoping it’s nothing too serious.”

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It’s safe to say there is some bad blood between these two teams going into the season, even if it is mostly coming from one sideline. The Stampeders and Lions are scheduled to meet three times this season, once in August, and then on back-to-back weekends in September. With the Lions expressing their opinions after this game, those future games could feature some renewed hostilities.


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