Rob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at email@example.com
CFL - Boyd could make the Eskimos a handful to deal with
By Rob Soria
Like most, I was curious as to why the Toronto Argonauts decided to release one of the league's best running backs in Cory Boyd, this past weekend. The situation that awaits him in Edmonton, could be the perfect fit for both Boyd and the Eskimos moving forward.
Edmonton - August 15, 2012 - Like most, I was curious as to why the Toronto Argonauts decided to release one of the league's premier running backs in Cory Boyd, this past weekend. In an eight team league, it's hard to imagine a player of Boyd's skill set not being a good fit anywhere in the Canadian Football League. Though he may have been hard pressed to find a better situation than the one that awaits in Edmonton, after agreeing to sign on with the Green and Gold.
Since joining Toronto in 2010, the twenty-seven year old has put up 3,048 yards (2,497 rushing, 551 receiving) in total offence, while finding the end zone on eighteen occasions in thirty-six games. Those aren't exactly run of the mill numbers in the CFL. You don't find talent like that everyday and as they always say, you never bet against talent.
Since being unceremoniously dumped by the Argos, stories have begun circulating that Boyd may not be worth the headache. Be it comments from a former teammate like Rob Murphy or subtle hints dropped by those currently with the Argonauts organization, many feel the former All-Star won't be missed.
While those rumours undoubtedly cooled interest in Boyd around the league, General Manger Eric Tillman and Esks head coach Kavis Reed seemingly had no issue whatsoever, in taking on a player of Boyd's stature...and who could blame them? After all, Edmonton has become reclamation project central and when you consider the season Jerome Messam put together last year, after being perceived as a problem in B.C., it's hard to argue with their logic.
In what has been a rather inconsistent first third of the season from the Steven Jyles led offence, adding a weapon like Boyd into a backfield that already includes the surprising Hugh Charles and suddenly Edmonton have a rather impressive one-two punch on the ground.
Also, factor in the improved play from Jyles and his receivers in recent weeks and this signing looks better and better. If for whatever reason, the former NFL draft pick isn't a good fit, than they cut him loose and no harm done. However, if he manages to gel with Charles and give the Green and Gold another legitimate threat for the opposition to worry about, suddenly the starting quarterback's job becomes a whole lot easier.
If the Boyd/Charles duo can consistently move the football and simply lighten the load on Jyles, they become a far more difficult offence to play against and should make their defence even better. If they can pound the ball on the ground and keep what is already the league's best D off the field a few extra minutes a night, it would end up paying off huge dividends later in the season.
Like any league, the CFL's eighteen game schedule isn't a sprint but rather a marathon. Obviously, every team wants to be playing their best football heading into the playoffs, having a healthy lineup makes that goal far easier to achieve. As it currently sits, the Eskimos defence sees the field far too often and if they want to keep winning games into October, it is something that will have to change.
With that in mind, if the addition of Cory Boyd does nothing other than lighten the load on his good friend Steven Jyles and the Eskimos defence, that alone could be the difference between Edmonton being looked upon as a contender or pretender, come playoff time.
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