Receiver favoured to catch top award

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

Geroy Simon has caught everything thrown his way this season.

So don't be surprised if the sensational B.C. Lions receiver also gets his fingerprints on the CFL's most outstanding player award during Grey Cup week in Winnipeg. His closest competitor is Calgary Stampeders running back Joffrey Reynolds.

Reynolds is the CFL's leading rusher this season, although running backs don't often grab the attention of the voting media.

In the last 15 years, Mike Pringle in 1995 and '98 was the only running back to earn the league's most coveted personal award.

Most years it's a quarterback with his hands on the hardware, although this season it looks like Simon's the go-to guy. He is running away with the receiving race, with his 1,674 yards leaving him almost 500 yards ahead of Milt Stegall, while he's also posted a league-leading 14 TDs.

Stegall, by the way, is the last pass catcher to claim the award in 2002. In fact, six of the last seven recipients have been pivots.

"It's hard to compare a running back to a receiver but he does some outstanding things with the ball," said Reynolds, who goes into today's action with 1,375 yards rushing, 70 more than Winnipeg's Charles Roberts.

"I think Geroy's probably the best yards-after-the-catch guy in the league. He does a lot for his team.

"In my situation, I just try to make the most out of what I get. Of course, I'd like to get the ball more as an offensive player but I think we stack up well."

Simon, an eight-year veteran, has dominated the Lions offensive production this season. His role became especially crucial after slotback Jason Clermont injured his knee in Week 1, forcing him to the sidelines for eight games.

Montreal's Ben Cahoon is the only other CFL receiver whose number is called as often. Simon's stats have the league buzzing about top player honours.

"From what all the media says, that's what I gather," said Simon, who remained in form last week against Calgary with eight catches for 120 yards.

"But it's not really a big incentive for me right now."

Simon is the only Lions receiver among the league's top 15, while Calgary has three in the top dozen. Reynolds, meanwhile, plays a less prominent role in Calgary's balanced attack.

"Playmaking-wise, I think I can be just as explosive as he is," Reynolds said.


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