Monday, 23 January 2012
Could The Alouettes Consider Signing Joffrey Reynolds?
With the Calgary Stampeders officially releasing running back Joffrey Reynolds, that’s another member of the ’08 Grey Cup team to be given their walking papers.
With all due respect to Reynolds, and he might even admit to this, but the writing was on the wall with the ascension of his protégé, Jon Cornish, who had a fabulous season. Even when Cornish took over the starting role, he always had high praise for his predecessor.
Could there be value for a team to sign one of the best running backs in the last six years? I believe so, and beyond the on-field production that he would provide, it would be his leadership skills to help mentor the next generation of ball carriers.
Where could he end up? I think the B.C. Lions might make a play because recently retired coach Wally Buono who is now focused his duties as general manager has a soft spot for ex-Stampeder players who have been ousted by the club. He did bring in the likes of Kelvin Anderson and Antonio Warren at the end of their careers. With the recent retirement of Jamal Robertson they will need to fill that leadership void.
Could the Alouettes be interested? From their history, I think they learned their lesson with former Alouette great, Mike Pringle that you cannot hold onto a player far too long, especially if he does not fit into the long term plans.
In recent time, during the mid-2000s, the Alouettes brought in run producers from Autry Denson, Robert Edwards and Jarrett Payton, who were instrumental during their times in the ground game for the team.
I think if Reynolds is signed by the Alouettes, he could become the short yardage goal line horse for them. One play that sticks out from the 2011 season was against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Labour Day weekend. Had they converted from the one-yard line prior to halftime. The Alouettes would have had the momentum heading into the second half. However, they went on to lose to their division rival. If Reynolds had been in that critical situation, it could have been potentially different.
If age will be an issue since Reynolds will turn 33 years old. Let’s not forget the Alouettes did sign former Green Bay Packers player, 34 year old Ahman Green, who was released on the eve of training camp. So this should not be used against Reynolds in assessing his worth.
For his career, he has gained 9,213 yards, 53 touchdowns, and accumulated 226 receptions for 2,036 yards and eight touchdowns. For a player at his position to take such a taxing to his body, these numbers could very well catapult him into future CFL hall of fame discussions.
Furthermore, to go back to Marc Trestman’s days as the Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator, he used many stout running backs during their run to the 2002 Super Bowl. They had a cast of characters such as Tyrone Wheatley and Zack Crockett, who came in for the short yardage plays, and they were rarely stopped.
In Montreal, he has Brandon Whitaker as the Alouettes version of Charlie Garner, and Dahrran Diedrick playing the role of Zack Crockett. Now he needs his Tyrone Wheatley, which could very well be Reynolds.
Remember in the CFL, given how the passing game has become more revolutionized, there are not many running backs that will carry the football 20-plus times. But in the case of a short yardage situation, Reynolds could very well be an unstoppable force.
In this line of profession, players will always need to re-invent themselves to stay above water. Reynolds has been a class act throughout his time with the Stampeders.
If he is given an opportunity to latch on with another team, he could write another chapter to his illustrious career.
If I were to gauge the interest of where Reynolds could end up, the defending Grey Cup champion Lions could make an offer. But some teams might wait for free agency to end before making any pitch to Reynolds.
But if Jim Popp and management believe they need another runner to gain those tough yards in between the tackles, then he could very fit the portfolio of what they’re looking for. They do not need to look very far in the 2011 season to count the number of losses where they were not able to convert in short yardage situations.
As Reynolds closes the Stampeders phase, if offered a contract, he could potentially look forward to penning another few more pages to his fantastic career.
You can follow me on Twitter @MoeKhan19
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