Last Sunday afternoon in Edmonton turned out to be another hot day in the City of Champions. Fresh off the team’s most recent win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Eskimos, winners of three of their last four games enjoyed their best offensive performance of the season a couple of days earlier.
Well, a quiet Sunday turned into a boisterous one real fast. Word came out of Toronto that the Argonauts released the CFL’s leading rusher Cory Boyd.
The Eskimos didn’t waste any time. They evaluated the film on Boyd and by Sunday night, general manager Eric Tillman had already reached a verbal agreement with Boyd to become a member of the green and gold.
|Boyd arrives in Edmonton|
|CFL.ca has sideline-to-sideline coverage of Cory Boyd's departure from Toronto and arrival in Edmonton.
» Video: Cory Boyd Addresses Esks Media
» Video: Landry Examines New-Look Argos
» Video: Campbell Analyzes Boyd Signing
» Charles welcomes boyd with open arms
» Kackert ready to take control
» Esks, Boyd agrees to verbal deal
» Off the Boat: Argos release Boyd
» Milanovich looking beyond numbers
»Argos no strangers to mid-season change
» Video: Milanovich Reaction to Boyd
Boyd isn’t coming into the fold to turn around a struggling ground attack. The run game is nowhere near struggling.
While Boyd leads the CFL with 447 rushing yards. Hugh Charles sits fifth in the CFL in rushing with 400 yards. He’s also added 269 yards through the air. Charles is fourth the CFL in yards from scrimmage with 669.
You could make a pretty good argument that the Eskimos don’t need the services of Boyd. Go with the “if it ain’t broke but don’t fix it” mentality. The reality for the Eskimos is they have only two healthy running backs in Charles and Calvin McCarty, who’s now the team’s starting fullback.
They needed to bring in another running back and wouldn’t you know it, the CFL’s leading rusher was available.
Charles says brining Boyd into the fold is a good move and it sounds like he doesn’t feel he’s a threat to his job.
“I mean it leaves me here in the same spot, I didn’t get traded, I’m not going anywhere, I’m still the featured back,” Charles said. “I think it’s good that we add another guy like Cory Boyd because our depth at the running back position is real slim. We have guys going down every week and we need that depth. “
Charles is taking the addition of Boyd extremely well. He doesn’t sound offended or put out. In fact, he was in on the conversations with head coach Kavis Reed and other’s in the Eskimos leadership group discussing whether or not to bring Boyd in. Charles fully endorsed the deal.
It gives the Eskimos a dimension in their offence they enjoyed late last season, having a solid 1-2 punch in the offensive backfield. Charles was used with Jerome Messam and although not much was seen of that look thanks to Charles’ late arrival, and Messam’s knee injury in the playoffs, it was very effective when used. Charles says he’s excited to reclaim that element with Boyd.
“You can call it whatever you want. “Little lightning, big lightning”. “Thunder and Lightning,” Charles said. “I’ve been in this situation before and how ever the coaches want to utilize us, I think it’s going to benefit the offence tremendously. I’m excited to get things going with the new teammate.”
Dave Campbell has been on the Eskimos beat since 2004. He’s entering his seventh season as the Eskimo colour analyst for 630 CHED broadcasts. He also hosts The Points After Show, an openline post-game show. Follow Dave on Twitter @Dave_CHED.