Esks know job on Cobb

DeAndra Cobb has been named the CFL's top offensive player in two of the four weeks he's started in...

DeAndra Cobb has been named the CFL's top offensive player in two of the four weeks he's started in his meteoric rise to stardom. (Sun Media/Carmine Marinelli)

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

When you hear the story of DeAndra Cobb's improbable rise to respectability, it's amazing enough.

At 28, and two years out of football, Cobb was timed at 4.38 seconds over 40 yards at a Hamilton Tiger-Cats evaluation camp in California.

He started training camp at No. 4 on the running backs depth chart, behind Kenton Keith, Terry Cauley and Tre Smith.

Cobb was pressed into action when all three players ahead of him were forced out of the lineup with injuries, the latter two during the opening week of the CFL season.

Cobb responded with an offensive Player of the Week performance in Week 2 and yesterday was again tabbed for the accolade.

When the Edmonton Eskimos travel to Hamilton for Saturday's game they'll have a first-hand chance to assess for themselves if this guy's for real.

There's some question on the degree of difficulty.

Cobb earned both his honours against B.C. -- a defence that has struggled in the absence of Cam Wake.

The Eskimos managed to keep Avon Cobourne and the Montreal run game at bay last week and will need to bring their 'A' game again.

"My first glimpse of Cobb was last weekend," said Esks defensive lineman Dario Romero, a runner-up for this week's defensive Player of the Week.

"He's a great running back. He's quick. He's got good vision. We know what we're going up against. We're prepared. We feel like we're pretty good at stopping the run.

"He's good. That's all there is to say about that."

Maurice Lloyd and Kai Ellis each made key stuffs on Cobourne last week in the Esks gap-cancellation scheme, but Lloyd cautioned that it's dangerous to get worked up over one player.

"If you concentrate on one player, you mess up what you need to focus on and that's just playing the game," said Lloyd.

"He's a great running back. I ain't taking that from him and I don't take anything away from the offensive linemen, but we don't go out there trying to shut down one player.

"Our run defence has been No. 1 since Day 1, and nothing's going to change, period. We've been stopping the run, making the other team one-dimensional.

"When we stopped Cobourne, that was because everybody played their position. Nobody tried to be a superstar, nobody tried to be no Superman.

"We did what we had to do. Everybody had a gap and everybody had their responsibility."

Many players have started out their CFL careers with a splash and have drawn comparisons to greats in the game. Cobb's speed and his ability to hit holes that seem to not be there adds a different dimension.

"Watching him on film, he's similar (to Cobourne), but a bigger back," said Ellis. "He has great vision. He sees different holes. He gets out pretty quick.

"We're really going to have to focus. We have to make sure we're really in our gaps this time."

Cobb has been named the CFL's top offensive player in two of the four weeks he's started in his meteoric rise to stardom.

If nothing else, he's been a good story so far.


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