Pick your poison

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:47 PM ET

HAMILTON -- You can stop DeAndra' Cobb. Or you can stop Quinton Porter.

Take your pick.

"I don't know how you can stop it," says Porter, the Hamilton quarterback about defences having to cheat and pick their poison.

"If you want to stop Cobb, you won't be able to stop me. If you want to stop me, you won't be able to stop Cobb," he said of the running back who has 325 yards rushing in four games and is projected to end up with 1,381 yards for the season.

Porter leads all CFL quarterbacks with 214 rushing and ranks seventh in the league with the running backs.

"We have our work cut out for us," said Edmonton Eskimos head coach Richie Hall.

"We need to keep him in the pocket and make him be a quarterback. If we can force him to the throw the ball consistently and not use his legs, it's to our advantage."

Traditionally there are two kinds of quarterbacks in the CFL: pocket passers, and scramblers. Seldom do you find one that can do both equally well.

But the Eskimos will face one here today in Porter, a QB who has the fourth-highest pass percentage ratio this year behind Anthony Calvillo, Ricky Ray and Henry Burris.

The 6-foot-5, 228-pound pivot out of Boston College is proving he can beat you with his arm or his feet and is a big reason the normally abysmal Hamilton Tiger-Cats go into tonight's battle with a 3-2 record.

"When you are inexperienced at reading the defence it does help to be able to run the ball," Porter said. "When I don't see things clearly I know I can get the yards."

How close is Porter, right now, to joining Calvillo, Ray and Burris as CFL quarterbacking stars?

"I think he's very close," said head coach Marcel Bellefeuille. "Sometimes you forget he's only started nine games in this league. We're definitely developing him to be a quarterback for the future.

"Last year the thing that impressed me most was his work ethic. He'd be here at 6:30 a.m. watching video and he'd stay late after practice. He had the same kind of mantra as Calvillo in Montreal," added Bellefeuille, the former Alouettes assistant.

"He does throw the ball down the field. And he is an above-average runner."

"I need to keep winning. We need to keep winning," said Porter, a product of Portland, Maine.

His head coach thinks it's a plus that way to have Cobb in his backfield.

"Having a guy like that to run the ball is good for a young quarterback. Having a running back to support your young quarterback takes a lot of pressure off him."

It'll be interesting with Porter having Arland Bruce III in the lineup to work with. The controversial ex-Argo who is an interesting acquisition considering coach Bellefeuille is selling a "we, we, we" theme here and the nine-year veteran receiver has a history of being a "me, me, me" guy.

But there's no disputing the talent and Porter is looking forward to playing pass-and-catch with Bruce until he does his next tribute to a dead rock star and gets penalized, which the head coach suggested yesterday would get him gone from here, too, his rule being have fun but don't take any penalties having fun.

"He's so quick and fast he's in places before other receivers," said Porter of an adjustment he's been working on with Bruce all week.

TERRY.JONES@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos