Rey Williams met Cory Boyd for the first time this off-season, an informal gathering that was cordial and pleasant.
Saturday night, Williams will meet Boyd for the first time on the gridiron, a matchup that promises to be aggressive and acrimonious.
No player is able to transform himself from good guy to downright animal from the moment he crosses the line on the field than Williams, the Ticats first-year middle linebacker who plays on the edge.
No running back invites contact more than Boyd, whose return to the Argos lineup should help Toronto’s passing game, assuming Boyd is able to run effectively.
In the CFL, there aren’t many running backs like Boyd, whose downhill style is in stark contrast to the cut-back styles of so many of the league’s under-sized scat backs.
Given his size, Boyd can’t hide behind the line of scrimmage, but he’s just as quick, more explosive and he’ll take on tacklers.
Rey Williams meet Cory Boyd.
“I just love downhill runners,’’ began Williams, who was salivating at the thought of banging heads with Boyd. “I love them because I can see them. Guys like that aren’t trying to make you miss.
“It’s just mano a mano, me and you in the hole and may the best man win.”
The way the Ticats play defence, a lot of pressure gets applied and Hamilton’s linebackers are often asked to make plays when down linemen are filling their gap responsibilities.
Naturally, Hamilton isn’t about to reveal its game plan, but it goes without saying that stopping Boyd forces quarterback Cleo Lemon to make plays.
“It’s going to be fun,’’ said Williams. “I much prefer playing against backs like Cory. A guy like him, they just man up, make one cut and head north and south.
“That’s football. You get in your gap, he’s going to hit the gap and we’ll see who ends up on top.”
With the 1-5 Argos desperate for a win, Williams knows his opponent will resort to anything.
“I expect them to pull out all the tricks,’’ he said. “Regardless of how they do it, they’re trying to get a win. Trick plays, pulling everything out of the hat, it’s up to us to be sound and play our style of football.”