Ticats will adjust to new Stamps rushing attack

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:41 PM ET

MONCTON, N.B. -- Upon hearing the Calgary Stampeders were making a switch at running back, Rey Williams was a bit disappointed.

Jon Cornish is in as the starter, while Joffrey Reynolds will be a healthy scratch for the second time in his career when the Stamps take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Touchdown Atlantic.

Williams, the Ticats' middle linebacker, isn't sure that helps him at all.

"I get up to play Joffrey," Williams said. "I probably play better when he's across from me.

"Cornish runs hard as well. We were getting ready for Joffrey, but Cornish has been getting the ball a lot more. Either way, whoever lines up, we will hit them in the mouth."

The Stamps made the move official early Saturday morning, and head coach John Hufnagel announced veteran defensive tackle DeVone Claybrooks will be a healthy scratch as well.

Charleston Hughes returns after missing one game, and the Stamps will start Torrey Davis in Claybrooks' spot and give the veteran a rest.

For the first time in his five-year CFL career, Cornish will be the feature back. He can expect to be on the field about 65 to 70% of the time, but he's not treating this like anything unusual.

"The coaches have prepared me well," said Cornish, who began taking more reps away from Reynolds at the start of the 2010 season.

"They've given me the opportunity to get every third series, and now this makes the transition easier.

"If I was taking all the series, that would be much different."

The Ticats know all about what Cornish can do. On Aug. 6 in Calgary, it was Cornish's 36-yard reception that helped turn the tide in the 32-20 Stampeders victory.

"Cornish has different challenges," said Ticats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille. "He is the guy who gets the big chunks. Joffrey is the guy who can go 10 or 15 but Cornish has the ability to make the big play in the passing game as well as the run game."

It's a complicated turn of the events that led to Reynolds getting scratched, but it basically comes down to return specialist Larry Taylor getting hurt.

With Taylor out with a rib injury suffered Saturday against the B.C. Lions, the Stamps wanted to activate Landan Talley and LaMarcus Coker to provide some special-teams depth.

Reynolds is taking the move well, and Hufnagel said he's 'proud' of the way the veteran has acted, but there's no doubt the six-time 1,000-yard rusher wants back into the lineup as soon as possible.

"I'm day-to-day with frustration," Reynolds said with a little laugh. "I don't want to be a distraction to the team.

"At the end of the day, I do feel I'm the best player in my position. I do feel that way.

"He's the GM and head coach and he makes those decisions. It doesn't matter how I feel. If it's three games and I'm still not playing, then I get frustrated and start talking about it, it's still not going to change anything.

"This is a situation where I will come in, work and try to be the best player I can be."

On Twitter @ianbusby57


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