Boese steals spotlight

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

With John Grace watching from the sidelines Saturday, Joey Boese picked up the torch.

Yesterday, the Calgary Stampeders defensive back picked up the award usually reserved for Grace.

Boese made five tackles and came up with his third interception of the year to be named CFL defensive player of the week, an honour Grace has earned four times this season.

"Finally," Boese said of wrestling the weekly award from his teammate. "What did he win it, four or five times? At the end of the season, he'll be up for defensive player of the year.

"I'm surprised, I'm happy. It's something to build on for the next couple of weeks and end the year on a good note. We're starting to play well as a team now."

Boese wasn't the only Stampeder recognized by the league yesterday.

Running back Joffrey Reynolds picked up offensive player-of-the week honours for his 189-yard performance Saturday.

And defensive lineman Garrett Smith was first runner-up behind Hamilton's Johnny Scott for lineman of the week.

Boese and the rest of the Stamps defensive unit has proven to be much more opportunistic in 2004. With two games remaining, the group has snared 22 interceptions, compared to just nine all of last year.

"I think the scheme is a big part of it," Boese said. "We're playing more zones than we did last year. We played a lot more man-to-man coverage last season.

"This defence is based on guys flying to the ball. When you do that, opportunities to get the football in your hands come about more often than if you were locked up with one guy."

Defensive back Omar Evans, who missed half the season with injuries, credits the coaching staff for the improvement.

"Coach (Denny) Creehan puts us in position to make plays," Evans said. "We study a lot of film and we're well prepared."

Evans grabbed his first pick of the season Saturday on a spectacular diving effort. But he suffered another injury on the play.

"I got myself on the board but I paid the price a little bit," said Evans, who injured his hip and tailbone but added he'll play against B.C. Friday.

"You've got to sell out for the team, that's what it's about. I'd do it again, even knowing the pain that was coming.

"That's the type of player I am and that's what kind of defence we have."


Videos

Photos