CFL - Eskimos must give Messam and Boyd their shot
By Rob Soria
With Hugh Charles unavailable to suit up against the Montreal Alouettes, the question surrounding the Edmonton Eskimos is obvious. Will they still commit to running the football? With both Jerome Messam and Cory Boyd in the mix, one would think so but we shall see come game time.
Edmonton - October 28, 2012 - With Hugh Charles unavailable to suit up against the Montreal Alouettes in today's crucial CFL matchup, the question surrounding the Edmonton Eskimos is obvious. Will they still commit to running the football?
Even with Charles on the sideline, the Green and Gold have two former 1,000 rushers at their disposal, in Jerome Messam and Cory Boyd. It is an option no other CFL club has but one that head coach Kavis Reed seems hesitant to turn to.
Obviously, taking Charles out of the Esks lineup creates a massive hole in their offence but it is not one that they are unable to fill. However, if the plan is to see how far the arm of thirty-nine year old Kerry Joseph can carry them, instead of rushing the ball, it could be a very long afternoon at Molson Stadium.
One would think getting into a shootout with Anthony Calvillo wouldn't be high on Edmonton's do-to-list but not using the ground game, will do exactly that.
While neither Messam or Boyd have done much of anything during their outings in an Eskimos uniform this season, neither has really been given much of an opportunity. To date, the Eskimos leading rusher during 2011 has carried the ball just twenty-six times for 108 yards, in seven appearances and Boyd was given even less of shot, seeing the football just eighteen times, before being released by the Green and Gold on October 11th.
After Charles injured his knee against the B.C. Lions last week, Edmonton decided to turn to Boyd one more time and re-signed the talented running back, just nine days after letting him go. To his credit, the twenty-seven year old has been nothing but the perfect teammate, since being released by the Toronto Argonauts.
As for Messam, he has followed Boyd's lead and has been towing the company line since returning to the Alberta capital. After his breakout campaign in 2011, the All-Canadian tried catching on with the Miami Dolphins but was ultimately cut loose. With Charles carrying the load in the backfield, there was little chance of the Toronto native earning his spot back as the Esks main man...that was until now.
Though both Reed and Marcus Crandell have shown next to no confidence in either Messam or Boyd, the time has come for them to hand over the reigns. After watching Joseph struggle to complete all of six passes against the Lions, the thought of relying solely on the passing game should scare the living daylights out of them.
In order for this team to have any hope of beating the Alouettes, they must abandon this idea that they can simply go out there and out-gun other offences. It isn't going to happen. Sure it could work on occasion but week-in-week-out, they do not have the horses.
Cory Boyd and Jerome Messam have done everything this organization has asked of them but the time has come for them to start contributing on the field. Something I'm guessing both men would love to do but they first must be given the opportunity to contribute. Let us hope today is the day they finally get that chance.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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