Boyd bounced by Argos

The Argos released the CFL's leading rusher Cory Boyd on Sunday. (MARK O'NEILL/QMI Agency file...

The Argos released the CFL's leading rusher Cory Boyd on Sunday. (MARK O'NEILL/QMI Agency file photo)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:46 PM ET

TORONTO - He went into the Argonauts’ off-week the leading rusher in the CFL.

He comes out of it, for the time being, without a team to call his own.

Cory Boyd is no longer an Argonaut. The Double Blue released the man who has been their feature back for the better part of the past two years in favour of Chad Kackert.

Head coach Scott Milanovich informed Boyd of the decision around noon on Sunday. About two hours later the head coach met with the media, and in an effort not to kick a man when he is down, talked in generalities for the most part as to the reasons why the Scullers made such a bold move.

Reading between the lines, Boyd is no longer an Argo because, while he’s an above-average running back when the ball is in his hands, he’s a liability when he does not have the ball.

Milanovich did not say that. Having been cut himself during his pro career, the head coach knows better than most how it feels to be told you are no longer wanted and chose his words carefully when asked why Boyd was deemed expendable.

“There’s a multitude of reasons,” Milanovich began. “Offensively we need to get better in a number of areas. With regards to Cory, it’s unfortunate with the timing and certainly no one is blaming Cory for the way we played offensively last week. It’s just with Chad and some of the others we may be bringing in, we just feel we have an opportunity to get better there.”

Boyd is a bruising back, a guy who will get you yards after first contact. A guy who will push the pile. He is not a speed demon, but the Argos aren’t necessarily looking for that in their ideal tailback either.

“It doesn’t have to be a small guy that is quick,” Milanovich said when asked if Boyd was just the wrong fit for this offence. “The offence takes a running back that plays well without the ball. That means a number of things. It’s protection and flying around making blocks when you are not primary. There are a number of reasons that we have not performed as well as we would have liked in the past six quarters, but as a staff and with (GM Jim Barker’s) input we just felt this was a move we needed to make right now.”

Milanovich knows that cutting the league’s leading rusher is not necessarily the best way to endear himself to the Boatmen faithful, many of whom will probably be shaking their head over a move like this in mid-season. But Milanovich also knows doing what is right for the team and doing what is popular are often two very different animals.

“Numbers are going to mislead you from time to time,” he said.

“Cory certainly did a lot of good things this year and you can argue the fact that he is leading the league in rushing, but there is more to playing tailback than the numbers. There were a lot of times when Cory did very well and there are some areas that we feel we need to improve on.”

But that was as far as Milanovich would go in explaining why the move as made.

“I’m not here to step on Cory on his way out,” he said. “ I have a lot of respect for Cory and I’m very thankful for the way he conducted himself. You can read between the lines. The bottom line is we needed to get some more production there. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen — but we are moving ahead and Chad will have a great opportunity to do that and we’ll see what he can do with his opportunity.”

Milanovich made it very clear that he does not hold Boyd responsible for the Argos’ inconsistent offence. In fact he doesn’t even view the running-back situation as the No. 1 area of the offence that needs fixing. It just happened to be the one he and his staff addressed first.

“I told Cory we are not blaming him,” Milanovich said. “There are a number of issues offensively that need to be addressed and this is just one of them. There will probably be more moves down the road as we continue to try to find the right mix.

“We need to get tougher offensively. We need to get more physical and that may be the No. 1 thing that we need to address as a unit. Today was Cory and Chad and we will see how it goes down the line for everybody else.”

Milanovich said the team has at least one other running back on the way into town this week. His identity will be revealed once he gets here, but for now he’s comfortable going with Kackert as his lead back.

“Going into Calgary, Chad will be the starter,” he said. “There will be someone brought in — at least one — that we will get back to later in the week.”

As it stands now, it’s Kackert’s job to lose. An injury to Kackert in the short term would likely land Andre Durie back at his old position in the backfield — but only as a temporary measure.

Milanovich is quite happy with what Durie is doing in that hybrid slotback/tailback position. He thinks it would be asking a lot of Durie to go back to every-down running back after the work that he has put in as a receiver.

The other curious aspect to this development is that the Argos could have perhaps turned Boyd into another asset via the trade route. Milanovich admitted that route was addressed but deferred to Barker on the specifics. Barker was not available for comment Sunday.

Milanovich though sounded awfully confident that he had not seen the last of Boyd.

Not only does he expect to see Boyd in the CFL again, he expects to see him again this season.

Ex-Argo call Boyd 'a fraud'

At least one ex-Argo didn’t sound all that surprised by Sunday’s release of Cory Boyd.

“My thoughts on Cory Boyd?,” former Argo tackle Rob Murphy tweeted.

“He was a fraud who fooled the media for 2yrs. Good player when healthy but not a good teammate. Media just ate it up.”

Murphy, or @BigMurph56 as per his twitter handle, spent a big chunk of his two seasons run blocking for Boyd before retiring this past off-season.

And while it may sound harsh over 140 characters, what Murphy tweeted isn’t necessarily that different from what head coach Scott Milanovich seemed to be suggesting during his press conference Sunday afternoon.

Milanovich hinted broadly that Boyd was in fact one of those players who gave it all when his number was called — but might not necessarily do the things necessary to help his teammates shine when he didn’t have the rock in his hands.

 


Videos

Photos