THE EVOLUTION OF ANDRE DURIE
Many Argo fans should already be familiar with 30-year Mississauga native, Andre Durie but for those of you who are not, he is currently the Toronto Argonauts leading receiver following two weeks of play in this 2012 CFL season. Durie has evolved into a major weapon in the Argonauts offense and has gained the confidence of new Head Coach, Scott Milanovich and all-star quarterback, Ricky Ray. Durie has definitely become one of the best playmakers in the CFL and opposing team’s are beginning to focus on finding ways to stop this electrifying Argonauts receiver.
The Argos first laid eyes on Durie at a CFL Evaluation Camp back in March of 2007. The Argonauts signed the undrafted free agent wide receiver/running back on May 10, 2007. Durie dressed in five games for the Argos during his rookie season and recorded 36 yards rushing along with two touchdowns as a backup running back. Since his rookie season Durie has slowly and continuously grown into a larger piece of the Argos offense and in 2011 he had his best statistical season in the CFL. In 2011, Durie entered the season splitting time at both wide receiver and running back. He made use of his elusive speed and good hands to be a dual threat out of the backfield and as a wide receiver. Durie finished 2011 with 54 catches for 665 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Durie spent some time in the backfield but Cory Boyd carried much of the load and Durie was able to only amass 106 yards rushing last season.
Despite the Argos disappointing 6-12 record in 2011, Durie’s incredible play last season was one of the bright spots that gave Argonauts fans a glimmer of hope heading into this 2012 season in which the Argos are prepared to host the 100th Grey Cup this upcoming November. As each year has gone by Durie has continued to evolve into a more prominent offensive weapon for the Argonauts. Heading into this season, following his tremendous 2011 campaign new Head Coach; Scott Milanovich wanted to make Durie a bigger part of the offense by using him in more of a receiver and slotback role. Milanovich’s decision has definitely paid off as Durie currently leads the CFL in YAC (Yards After the Catch) with 140. Durie has 14 catches on the year for 194 yards. He ranks third amongst wide receivers in receiving yards following two weeks of play in this 2012 season. In the Argos week two victory over the Calgary Stampeders, Durie had an incredible 10 catches for 118 yards including a 36-yard reception in the final minute of the game to set up Noel Prefontaine’s game winning field goal. Durie is currently third in the CFL averaging 97.0 yards receiving per game so far this season.
Heading into this week’s matchup against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Durie looks to continue his sensational start to the season against a team that he has had tremendous success against in previous meetings. In the Argos final regular season game last season, Durie had 144 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns against the rival Tiger-Cats at Rogers Centre. Durie will look to continue to evolve and truly develop into one of the best players in the Canadian Football League.
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