For some reason, an imagined rivalry pitting Cory Boyd and Fred Reid became a topic of conversation on the eve of a game.
It was a storyline that had no basis in fact, but one created by the media looking for a story.
It’s as if Boyd and Reid, or any other marquee running back on any given week in the CFL, go toe to toe in a game.
Players judge themselves against their peers and Boyd would have won the league’s rushing title had he decided not to rest with the playoffs looming last fall.
But now that Boyd won’t be playing in the return game, perhaps more will focus on Reid, whose as good as any in the CFL.
Boyd, to the uninitiated, is a straight-up runner who takes on all defenders, trying to run through them or around them.
Reid’s a scat back, a player who can hide behind the line of scrimmage, which Boyd can’t.
In the wide open CFL, scat backs are more common because of their ability to change direction on a dime and make plays in the open field when matched up against linebackers.
Argos starting safety Willie Pile calls Reid Winnipeg’s "motor."
Next to the starting quarterback, the second most important position is at running back because no other player, outside of the quarterback, touches the ball as often.
In their first meeting, the Argos held Reid to an average of 3.3 yards.
But to hear Pile tell it, the Argos have to be much more efficient in containing Reid.
“Stats don’t tell you the real story," began Pile. “As far as we were concerned we never did accomplish our goal with Fred Reid.
“To say we kept him in check isn’t true because he was effective at getting the runs he needed to get. He was effective in moving the ball and allowing their offence to stay on the field.
“As we move forward, we have to improve in getting an offence off the field in a timely fashion.”
Reid would produce Winnipeg’s only touchdown in the Bombers’ 22-16 win, a game that saw the visitors yield only 109 net yards of rushing.
What wasn’t easily noted in the stats line were the hard runs produced by Reid that kept possessions alive.
Add in the Argos’ penchant for turning the ball over and Winnipeg held the advantage in time of possession by more than seven minutes.
The way Argos defensive lineman Ronald Flemons sees it, too many defenders are more pre-occupied in one of those wow-factor hits rather than simply wrap up and tackle Reid.
“Fred Reid is a shifty guy," Flemons said. “He’s a guy you must wrap up, but guys try to make that woo hit on him and you can’t do that.
“The key is to limit his yards. To do that, you have to play team defence by running to the ball and wrapping him up. That’s been our problem in the past with him when we did allow large runs. We didn’t wrap him up and he made us miss tackles.”