I have to say I was as shocked as anyone yesterday when I discovered that Cory Boyd was no longer an Argo. I have considered him one of the league’s best running backs for 2 ½ years now, and it’s been great to have a 1,000 yard rusher once again in double blue.
But his release prompts some thoughts:
• Barker, Milanovich and company are dead serious about improving this team. Many fans and media will criticize this move, and Cory was a fan favourite. Argo coaches and staff are obviously prepared to weather this criticism for what they believe they must do.
• Cory is a bruising NFL style runner who will always pick up an extra couple of yards by moving the pile. However, this year’s offence is different, and Cory was being relied on much more to get the ball through the air. Specifically, he was receiving swing and dump passes that required him to generate yardage by beating the first man. He seemed to struggle with this aspect.
• There have been conflicting reports about what went on in the clubhouse, and we’ll never know all the facts. But clearly there were factions among his teammates that were less than fully supportive. Duane Forde’s comments were most incisive when he argued that if there were clubhouse problems, it simply means that his release will not trigger negative team chemistry.
• Coach Milanovich’s comments left a pretty clear implication that they were not happy with Cory’s performance without the ball – i.e. blocking, extending fakes, route running etc. There is a feeling that Chad does these things better.
• The timing of this departure would lead one to believe that there is a ringer lurking somewhere as a replacement, and we should expect a new announcement soon.
So Cory, thanks for the memories. You brought us lots of thrills, and we were all proud to have you in double blue. But this is professional sports, and players live and die by the same sword. Glad to see you have a new home in Edmonton, and all the best to you.
Meanwhile, to Coach Milanovich and GM Barker, we love the way you have reconstructed this team, and we trust that this move is going to lead to a more productive offence. As fans and supporters, we all need to continue to stand behind you as you make your moves in the future.
Can’t wait for Calgary on Saturday. Go Argos!