Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole
The Argos released CFL leading rusher Cory Boyd and then only 10 hours later sign a contract with the Eskimos. In my opinion there has been way too much said about Boyd's questionable character which must have driven the Argos to get rid of some dead weight. I'm not sure why there is a tendency to make business transactions personal. I guess it is tough to understand business deals when you are dealing with people.
Cory Boyd was simply not a good fit for the Argos' offence. Boyd is still a talented player, however Edmonton is a much better fit and this move makes everyone better heading into the second half of the season.
Head coach, Scott Milanovich was very transparent this weekend when asked to comment on the move.
"After evaluating our entire football team through the first third of the season, we felt this was one of the changes necessary to move our team forwards."
On the surface, this transaction is confusing simply because Boyd is currently leading the league in rushing yards and has been a consistent 1000-yard rusher every year. Keep in mind that you can be statistically successful, while your team is struggling. Also, the objective of the Argos offense is to score points, not rack up rushing yards.
Currently the Argos lead the league in field goals. This means that they are not finishing drives and scoring touchdowns when given the opportunity.
The bottom line is that the Toronto offense is about Ricky Ray sitting in the pocket, making the right reads to score points throwing the ball 35-40 times a game, and not a run first team that will give Boyd the 20 touches a game that he demands.
Toronto is playing is a very complex offence that requires players to make a number of adjustments during the course of each play. If Ricky Ray and the rest of the offensive unit are not on the same page, then the offence will not work.
The comments made by Argos offensive lineman Rob Murphy on his Twitter account this week described Boyd as, "a fraud who fooled the media for two years" and "good when he was healthy, not a good teammate." Murphy's comments aren't flattering, but probably came from his frustrations playing with Boyd as he had little interest in understanding his blocking assignments. Boyd is a point "A" to "B" back who simply wants to be given the ball and then get out of his way. Boyd is not a back who is comfortable with "if/then" scenarios. He is a player who is not assignment secure but is talented enough to make enough plays that make you keep him on the field.
Unfortunately, when you don't take care of the 'details' you hang your teammates out to dry.
For those of you who remember a linebacker by the name of, KD Williams he was exactly like Cory Boyd. Williams was a linebacker for the Bombers that I played with in the late '90s who had a tremendous knack for the football and had the ability to make amazing defensive plays.
The frustrating part for me as a safety was that Williams was never in the position that he was supposed to be in and although we were constantly hearing his name echoed over the PA for making another amazing play, his lack of discipline constantly placed the rest of his team in a vulnerable position. At the end of the day KD was making a name for himself but we lost games because our defence was not sound.Cerebral player
For their offense Toronto needs to have a versatile back that can quickly read what the defense is doing and make the appropriate decisions on the fly. They also need a versatile back who can get out of the backfield and catch the ball, making people miss in open space. Cory Boyd is not that kind of back. Since his knee injury last season it is very noticeable that he lacks lateral quickness. Boyd is a between-the-tackles back that has tremendous power and explosiveness.Make the trade
For those of you who feel that the Argos should have at least gotten something for Boyd in a trade, I am sure that they exhausted all options, however it is really tough to trade a player who is holds a large contract. You have to hand it to Eric Tillman who was able to come to the conclusion that he would be able to acquire Boyd without trading away any of his own assets. In discussions with the Argos he knew that Boyd was on his way out and he knew that there was no way that they would have a $100,000 player stand on the sideline.
Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed ineffectively skirted around the subject of Edmonton's interest in Boyd. In an attempt to protect the ego of Hugh Charles, Reed stated, "What we can comment on is that he's a very interesting player, and just like every other team we probably will take a look, for us we're very pleased with Hugh Charles."
It was only 10 hours after Boyd's release from the Argos that he signed a contract with the Eskimos. I can guarantee Reed knew that talks were already in the works to bring Boyd to Edmonton when he made his comments to the media.
The bottom line is that Edmonton has one of the worst rushing attacks statistically and desperately needs to improve their offensive productivity to complement their defensive play if they are going to make a push for the Grey Cup this year. Unlike Toronto, the Edmonton's offence will not revolve around their quarterback and an intricate offence.
As much as Boyd may not be a good fit for the Argos, he is a perfect fit for what the Eskimos need in order to improve their offence.
Edmonton needs an offence that will centre around their backfield. Hugh Charles, Calvin McCarty and now Cory Boyd, will be the foundation of the Eskimo offence moving forwards. Similar to when Jerome Messam was the feature power back last year, Edmonton now has a back that can hammer our tough yards on first down in order to place Steven Jyles into second and short situations where he can complete high percentage passes in order to move the chains.
With a solid rushing attack, Edmonton can control the clock and win low scoring games on the backs of the performance of their defence.
This aggressive transaction is a perfect example of what other clubs may need to do in order to establish the team they need in order to be Grey Cup champions this season.
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