Receiver Cary Koch excited to be in Eskimos lineup

Carey Koch made the team's and his second touchdown reception of the season Thursday against the...

Carey Koch made the team's and his second touchdown reception of the season Thursday against the Blue Bombers in Winnipeg. (Brian Donogh/QMI Agency)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:40 PM ET

EDMONTON - It wasn’t just the best game by an Edmonton Eskimos receiver when Fred Stamps caught nine passes for 204 yards last week.

It was the best receiving performance by any player in the CFL this season, putting him just 71 yards away from his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season.

While Stamps leads the Eskimos with 55 receptions for 929 yards and five touchdown receptions, things didn’t start out that way for the all-star slotback, who played second-fiddle to newcomer Cary Koch when it came to being a favourite target in green and gold.

Currently, Koch has 427 yards and four touchdowns on 27 receptions, to sit as the fourth-ranked receiver on the team behind Stamps, Hugh Charles (513) and Nate Coehoorn (451).

But he was the go-to guy for a Steven Jyles-led offence out of the gates this season.

“Kind of being that guy was good and then being hurt kind of hurt,” said Koch, who missed the past two weeks with a rib injury against the B.C. Lions. “(Not only) me, but the chemistry I thought I’ve built.

“I had a good game against B.C., I think that was one of my best performances as an Eskimo.”

In that outing, he had four receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown — his team-leading fourth of the season, all of which came from Jyles.

It wasn’t until Koch’s absence — and the ascension of Kerry Joseph as the Eskimos new starting quarterback — that Stamps took over the team lead in touchdown catches with one in each of the last two games.

But Koch isn’t keeping score. Not as an individual, anyway.

“It’s been a process, switching the quarterbacks, switching up the offence and stuff,” he said. “But if there’s a point to get on a hot streak, it’s right now.

“It’s good to come back in off a big win like that. I’m just excited to get back in the mix.”

But Joseph said he doesn’t really play favourites when it comes to his receivers.

“The way I look at it on this offence, just be where you’re supposed to be and I’m going to do my best to make sure the ball finds you,” said Joseph. “I try to make sure all my guys are involved in the game without over-riding the offence.

“It’s not going to change.”

Unless the Roughriders have their way and force the Eskimos out of their comfort zone.

“Getting (Koch) back healthy, he’s another playmaker for us,” Joseph said. “Especially after the game Fred had last week, teams are going to try to take him out of the game.

“We have another weapon that can stretch the field.”

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