Count Bryan Burnham among the veteran minority.
“As much as I love those guys who aren’t here anymore, the goal every season is to win a Grey Cup,” said Burnham, the 29-year-old B.C. Lions’ receiver from Moorestown, N.J.
“We haven’t won a Grey Cup since 2011. We’ve won one playoff game since I’ve been here. Things needed to change and that happened.”
Of the 87 players on the training camp roster on Tuesday, 52 were listed as first-year Leos.
Ed Hervey took the general manager job in November of 2017, replacing Wally Buono in a front-office change that spurred a personnel overhaul on and off the field.
There were more than 50 new additions — including head coach DeVone Claybrooks, who took over from the retired Buono — in the off-season.
Several familiar faces have been jettisoned, including linebacker Solomon Elimimian, an eight-year veteran, and fullback Rolly Lumbala, an 11-year veteran.
Manny Arceneaux? Gone.
“We’re trying to get younger as we move some veterans out of here,” Hervey said. “That’s been a common goal since I’ve become a GM.”
Quarterback Travis Lulay retired in February after 10 years with the Lions and joined the club’s corporate partnerships team.
Burnham, defensive back T.J. Lee, 29, and offensive lineman Hunter Steward, 27, are each in their sixth season with B.C. and tied for the title of longest-tenured Lion.
“Ed came in and he’s putting together what he feels is the best team to get the job done,” Burnham said. “I believe in it, man. This is our third practice out here on the field — and it’s looking good. It’s crisp.”
One Lions’ staffer who has endured the radical changes said camp has a totally different feel this season, a renewed energy sparked by Claybrooks and his coaching stable.
Now it’s all about synchronicity, getting everyone — including the 15 or so expected new starters — on the same page.
“I think we can get it done pretty quick,” Burnham said.
“We’ve got a lot of personalities, but we’ve all got the same goal. With Mike [Reilly] as the leader, we don’t have a choice.
“You follow him or you’re going to get left behind. Everybody understands that and we’re ready to get this thing rolling.”
The Lions are slated to play the hometown Edmonton Eskimos in exhibition action on Sunday.
The Lions continue preparations for the 2019 CFL campaign this week at Hillside Stadium.
Camp will run on Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
On Friday, fans can catch practice from 10 a.m. to 12:20p.m.
The Saturday session will run from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., before the Lions depart for Edmonton.
There is no charge to watch practices.
FanFest will be held from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 1.