All eyes on Boyd as former Argo returns to Toronto
By GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency
|Edmonton Eskimos' Cory Boyd during practice at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on August 25, 2012. (PERRY MAH/QMI AGENCY)
TORONTO - If the spotlight wasn't already squarely on Cory Boyd this week leading up to his return to Toronto, he's going to need sunglasses to shield its glare after arriving here Sunday.
The Edmonton Eskimos running back will face the Toronto Argonauts for the first time since being released on Aug. 10, despite having been the league's leading rusher at the time.
Add to that the likely return of reigning CFL most outstanding Canadian Jerome Messam to the Eskimos roster after the 1,000-yard rusher was released by the NFL's Miami Dolphins on Saturday, and Boyd could soon find himself as part of a backfield in commotion.
"Nothing is certain in this league, that's one thing that I've learned," Boyd said. "When you're winning, that kills a lot of the uncertainty of the business.
"All I can do right now is know that I have a game come (Monday), and that I'm going to come out trying to fire on all cylinders and just do what I can do. I can't look over my shoulder and see what Jerome Messam is going to do.
"Jerome is a magnificent player and he's made a name in this league. He tried it out in the NFL and it didn't work, so it would be good to have him back and get a good rotation."
The question remains, just where would Boyd fit in that rotation along with Messam and this year's starter, Hugh Charles?
One thing for certain is where Boyd doesn't belong anymore -- in Toronto.
Argos head coach Scott Milanovich made it clear he has severed all ties there may have been with his former running back, redirecting questions about Boyd to his new head coach, Kavis Reed.
"You'll need to ask Kavis that, I don't coach him anymore," Milanovich said.
But it hasn't been nearly as easy for Boyd to let go of the organization he spent the past two-and-a-half seasons with.
"It's never that easy," Boyd said. "I've put my blood, sweat and tears with this team for many years and they're trying to get on the track of being a Grey Cup-champion-type team.
"I wouldn't expect anything less from coach Scott. He's a great guy, he's up front with you, he'll let you know how he feels. If things aren't settled with him, he definitely has the right to deflect them off. But there are no hard feelings from me with this team."
Of course, it helped being picked up right away by the Eskimos.
"As far as I'm concerned, it was strictly a football move," Boyd said of his release from Toronto. "Those guys felt like they could get better without me.
"It hurts sometimes if you don't know who you are and what you bring to the table. I'm a player, so I'm doing my job the best I can and if someone doesn't believe in you anymore you can't do anything about it. But whenever you get that next chance, you just show them what they're missing."
Milanovich wasn't the only one unwilling to talk about a running back that wasn't currently on his roster.
Reed headed the question off at the pass as soon as Boyd's name was mentioned with Messam's.
"If Jerome comes back, we'll keep all three," Reed said of his potential running-back trio. "So we won't talk about Jerome."