Messam hangin' in

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:24 PM ET

EDMONTON - Instead of being congratulated for having a career game in Hamilton, Edmonton Eskimos running back Jerome Messam was challenged to do it again, consistently.

And, last week against the Montreal Alouettes, he did. At least, as much as he was able to with limited duty.

Messam was coming off a week where he rushed 15 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns before coming up with 58 yards and a fumble on eight carries.

While it wasn’t quite the 9.3-yard average he had in the win over the Tiger-Cats, his 7.3-yards-per-carry against the league’s top-rushing defence went beyond acceptable for head coach Kavis Reed.

“I think that’s a pretty good average,” Reed said. “We were effective when we ran the ball. We weren’t in a situation where we could totally focus on the run because we were trying to do other things.

“And then when you get behind it’s a lot more difficult to incorporate it.”

But the steps Messam took last Friday were in the right direction.

“Leaps and bounds. Tremendous steps,” Reed said. “The way he ran, the vision he displayed, his protection, he was good.

“The biggest thing is he has to duplicate that again.”

As demanding as Reed is on Messam, it's not totally warranted.

“The young man is poised to do something very special this year and he had a lot of hiccups,” Reed said. “If he didn’t have those hiccups in terms of inconsistency, he would already have 1,000 yards and I believe he will get close to that or even exceed that if he remains as he has the last couple weeks.”

His performance was vastly improved over the four carries for -3 yards he had in his previous game against Montreal.

This Friday in Vancouver, Messam will also look to improve over the one carry for a one-yard loss the last time he faced the B.C. Lions.


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