CFL - Eskimos drop the ball at QB but get it right in turning to Cory Boyd
By Rob Soria
He has endured being cut not once but twice in the same season and still patiently awaits his opportunity. Apparently good things come to those who wait, as the Edmonton Eskimos have anointed Cory Boyd their starter for the Eastern Semi-Final against his former team, the Toronto Argonauts.
Edmonton - November 10, 2012 - He has been a model citizen since first joining the Green and Gold back on August 12th. He has endured being cut not once but twice in the same season and still patiently awaits his opportunity. Apparently good things come to those who wait, as the Edmonton Eskimos have anointed Cory Boyd their starter for the Eastern Semi-Final against his former team, the Toronto Argonauts.
After a rather impressive performance in the Eskimos season finale, albeit in limited duty, the twenty-seven year old import showed head coach Kavis Reed enough to earn the start in their biggest game of the year. Obviously, Hugh Charles not being fully recovered from a late season knee injury plays a massive role in the decision but it was the right one to make.
Not only has Boyd proven to be an elite running back during his time in the Canadian Football League but the chance for him to stick it to his former squad, has to be something he is looking forward to. While Toronto's Ricky Ray is in a similar situation, there is one huge difference...Ray wasn't simply handed his walking papers and told to leave town.
With Boyd getting the starting nod and Charles expected to return to the lineup as his backup, that means Jerome Messam will be the odd man out come Sunday afternoon. Definitely a tough call for coach Reed but it was the right one to make...unlike his decision on his starting quarterback.
Heading into last week's matchup against the Stampeders, I did not agree with his decision to go with Kerry Joseph instead of Matt Nichols but at least I could understood his rationale. Having the kid come off the bench, if Joseph struggled, gave Edmonton an ace up their sleeve, in the friendly confines of Commonwealth Stadium. That is not the case this week.
After Nichols proved he was more than capable of holding his own, in what was ultimately a nothing game against the Stamps, the idea of using the rookie pivot as a "spark" coming off the bench, makes little sense. If anything, having the veteran waiting in the wings, if Nichols can not get the job done, would seem to make more sense. If things are not going well from an Eskimos standpoint, isn't it a little much to ask your rookie quarterback to bring you back from what would appear to be certain defeat?
For the first time in ages, the Esks offence has looked legit under Nichols and now they decide to turn back to the status quo? Did the last five quarters of football mean absolutely nothing? From a fans standpoint, it has to be frustrating but for the players, it has to be confusing. Nothing like sending a mixed message at crunch time.
At the end of the day, the Eskimos are missing a great opportunity to allow Matt Nichols to gain some invaluable experience, win or lose. On the other hand, giving Cory Boyd a chance to jump start his career and using the CFL playoffs as his platform, is a move that could see Kavis Reed coaching in next weekend's Eastern Final.
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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