Argos' Boyd gets the job done

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:43 PM ET

MONTREAL — As he ponders the question of who will be his starting quarterback, Argonauts head coach Jim Barker has a definitive answer at running back.

A shrewd move during training camp paid off in a large way on Saturday, as running back Cory Boyd, who was not cut despite suffering a concussion in the early days of camp, sliced through the Alouettes defence.

Boyd carried the ball 15 times for 147 yards, averaging 9.8 yards a rush, and had one touchdown in the Argos’ final pre-season tilt.

“Before the game, I broke down in tears,” Boyd said in a cramped Argos locker room at Molson Stadium. “From what I have been through in the past two years and what God has brought me through, to be at this point, on a team that cherishes its players and you’re not just a number, it feels good.”

In 2008, Boyd was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the seventh round of the NFL draft. But there were some off-field issues, and he was released. Boyd was picked up by the Denver Broncos, but was let go in March of 2009 and did not play football last year.

It’s clear the layoff did not hurt him.

Against primarily the Alouettes’ starters in the first half, Boyd had six carries for 63 yards.

He did not let up in the final 30 minutes, adding a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Boyd also had two catches for 24 yards.

“Cory Boyd was just what I was hoping he would be,” Barker said. “He is a big physical running back and he is able to see creases. He gave us the big back we needed and he caught the ball well. I was very happy with him.”

The Argos gave several men a shot in camp after Jamal Robertson, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2009, signed with the B.C. Lions.

Boyd stayed in town as he recovered from the head shot, and got to know his teammates.

The offensive line, which protected well on Saturday, also gave the 6-foot-1, 214-pound Boyd some clear lanes.

“He has similarities to Joe Smith, who I played with in B.C.,” Argos offensive tackle Rob Murphy said.

“He runs upright, but he is running down hill.

“Toward the latter half of the season, that will just wear on defences.

“It’s good that we have big break between now and July 1 (the season opener). We can get in and get a feeling of what his running style is and how we block.”

The Argos’ running game as a whole was better than it was in the first game of the pre-season against Hamilton.

Quarterback Cleo Lemon scampered 45 yards on five carries, and all told, the Argos had 200 yards on the ground.

“Coach said he wanted to establish a run game today,” Boyd said.

“I was grateful for the blocking. I told our O-line the whole game, give me a crease and I will make you look good. And with our receivers blocking down field, it was a phenomenal thing.”


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