Stamps prep for familiar foe

Toronto Argonauts' Chad Kackert (left) is hauled down by Calgary Stampeders' Brandon Smith in the...

Toronto Argonauts' Chad Kackert (left) is hauled down by Calgary Stampeders' Brandon Smith in the first half of their CFL football game in Toronto last season. (REUTERS)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:07 PM ET

When searching the memory banks, Juwan Simpson can’t find that image of Chad Kackert on the Calgary Stampeders’ practice field.

Back in 2010, the running back spent a few weeks at McMahon Stadium as a member of the Stamps’ practice roster.

The middle linebacker must not have lined up against him too much. Or maybe Kackert wasn’t that impressive.

When the Toronto Argonauts kick off Saturday against the Stamps, Simpson certainly won’t be forgetting Kackert.

The Argos made ripples around the CFL on Sunday with the sudden release of Cory Boyd, but they have Kackert as the replacement.

Since Kackert joined the Argos to start 2011, he’s made some plays and forced Simpson and others to take notice.

“Chad is a competitor and he’s fast, so he makes you cover him,” Simpson said, adding he’s a much different runner than Boyd.

“I know Cory will make you come to work. He brings his lunch pail to work. I have some respect for him.

“Chad did some great things when he got in last year. He’s capable. We can’t attack this game thinking it’s a drop-off because he’s back there.”

No one would blame the Stampeders if they are jumping with joy not to see Boyd.

But with the two-time 1,000-yard rusher getting picked up by the Edmonton Eskimos on the same day he was released by Toronto, they have some impending battles on deck.

The Argos carry a four-game win streak against the Stamps into Saturday’s game (5 p.m., TSN, QR77), and Boyd has plenty to do with that.

Since only getting 32 yards against Calgary in his CFL debut at the start of 2010, Boyd has run wild on the Stampeders defence.

His rushing totals in the past four meetings are 142, 100, 148 and 141 yards.

“He was probably the only running back who averaged over 100 yards against us,” Stamps cornerback Keon Raymond said.

“I’m happy he’s not playing this week. He’s a load to tackle. Now, we get him three more times this season.”

Like Simpson, Raymond doesn’t remember Kackert’s stint with the Stamps, which GM-head coach John Hufnagel said Thursday ended because of injury.

When Boyd was injured for a handful of games last season, Kackert took over and the Argos still could count on production out of their running back position.

The New Hampshire product even burned the Eskimos for 139 yards on 20 carries and two TDs, although he did have a fumble.

“He’s a lot more elusive than people give him credit for,” Stamps defensive-line coach DeVone Claybrooks said.

“In the Edmonton game last year … he exploded on the scene. He has the capability to gash us.”

Even with the sudden change at running back, the Stamps don’t expect the Argos offence to change much this week.

Hufnagel said they will prepare for the scheme instead.

They don’t have much film on what Scott Milanovich would do with Kackert anyway, as he’s only dressed once this season.

“They will come out with the same offensive plan,” Raymond said. “They will probably do the same as they did with Cory Boyd, but maybe a little less straight-ahead running.

“They might give Ricky (Ray) the chance to pass more, which is what he does well. They will probably give the scat-back a chance to run to the edge or pick up a block.

“Not much will change with them .”

 


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