Again Boyd wouldn’t play.
“No, not really,” he said. “We both are key components in our offence but we have to go out there and play. Anything more than that, I will leave to the media and fans."
By the second go-around for this line of questioning, Boyd made sure he left little doubt where his priorities lay.
Asked about his goals for the coming year, Boyd replied: “Grey Cup.”
“Grey Cup,” Boyd said.
“Grey Cup,” Boyd said again.
Does a rushing title matter?
“Grey Cup,” he said one last time.
The questions then became less Boyd-specific and more Argos-in-general, but he wasn’t quite finished with the Reid-vs.-Boyd queries.
“You finished second to Reid in the rushing title last year, Cory. Do you have something to prove this year?"
Boyd didn’t even flinch.
“I never have anything to prove to anyone,” he said. “I prove things to myself. God gave me a talent and an ability to go out here and play and what I bring to my team is something special. What (Reid) brings to his team is something special. There’s really no difference between us. We are both blessed with a talent that we can go out there and make things happen. God bless him on everything he has accomplished so far and everything he will accomplish in the future.”
It wasn’t the answer his questioners were hoping for, but it’s the only one Boyd could give because it’s the only one he knows.
He’s not out there trying to be better than anyone else. He wants to live up only to his own expectations. And to hear him tell it, those are higher than any that anybody else could put on him.
The fact that Reid beat him for the rushing title a year ago by running for 37 more yards than he did (in three more games) isn’t something that Boyd will let define him or even colour his opinion of the Blue Bombers running back.
You can’t blame the Winnipeg media for trying to create a Boyd-Reid rivalry. Quite often, those are the most colourful stories. Boyd, though, doesn’t play that game.
For him, it’s not about how many yards he can rack up or how many rushing titles he can win. He just wants to win championships and he believes, despite what any of the naysayers believe, that the Argos are capable of doing that his year and that’s his priority.
Boyd was asked specifically how he had changed from this year to last and the gist of his answer can be summed up in one word: Confidence.
“Spiritually, I am more confident in myself,” Boyd said. “I am more confident in the teammates around me. I am more confident in the fact that we are a good team. There is no second-guessing.
“I have more confidence in my quarterback. I have confidence that everything will play out just the way it needs to play out. I just need to go out there and be the best I can.”
Boyd had some ups and down last year and he overcame them. For a while, he was just too hard on himself when things didn’t go the way he wanted them to go. Now he doesn’t have to be hard on himself because he’s confident he can be the back he needs to be to give his team the best chance it has to win.
And, unlike a year ago, he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone.
“I made my statement last year already,” he said. “People know that it’s going to be difficult to tackle me, but now I’ve got them thinking. It’s not so much me thinking. I was thinking too much last year and then, when I got tired of thinking, I just wanted to run people over. Now I let my instincts kick in. I’m more confident in my body and the speed that I have. There really isn’t going to be a big change. It’s not playing cautious but playing with more awareness of what I need to do, when to get down and when to fight for extra yardage.”
And when to refuse to play the games other people want you to play. Boyd aced that little test on Thursday.