EDMONTON — The big story at Eskimos practice heading into their Eastern Semi-Final clash with the Toronto Argonauts revolves around the quarterback position.
Who is it going to be?
Will it be the veteran field general Kerry Joseph? Or the up-and-coming Matt Nichols?
It’s a topic that simply will not go away.
The 2012 Eastern Semi-Final matchup is set as the Toronto Argonauts host the Edmonton Eskimos. Here is everything you need to know ahead of Sunday’s game.
However, while fans and media alike sit on every last word of Esks Head Coach Kavis Reed, hoping to receive any sort of indication as to who will be under centre on Sunday in Southern Ontario, one man sits in his stall quietly, appearing focused, calm and reluctant to buy into any of the ‘controversy’ that surrounds him.
That man is Fred Stamps
In a season in which the Edmonton offence has had difficulties discovering its identity, Stamps, now in his sixth season with the Green and Gold, seemingly had no problem at all.
Statistically speaking, Stamps cruised through the 2012 campaign, racking up 1,310 yards and a career-best nine touchdowns on just 70 receptions.
His yards total ranked him second among all receivers – just 18 behind league-leader Chad Owens.
The New Orleans native also enjoyed a sparkling month of October, hauling in 24 receptions for 585 receiving yards and five touchdowns. His efforts earned him Offensive Player of the Month honours.
So while the rest of the world focuses on who will be throwing the ball during the Eastern Semi-Final, Stamps is simply worried about catching it.
“It really doesn’t matter, both of our quarterbacks have been playing some pretty good football,” said Stamps when asked who he would rather have at QB this weekend.
“We just have to go out there and make plays and hopefully have fun – that’s what the playoffs are all about,” he added.
Unwilling to get into the discussion about who should be under centre this weekend, Stamps instead offered praise to both of his pivots, stressing that it doesn’t matter if it’s Nichols or Joseph throwing the passes, only that the offence moves forward as a unit – together.
“They’re both similar, I can’t pick and choose right now because they’re both playing well,” he said.
“I’m just happy we’re in the playoffs,” Stamps said. “We just got a little better chemistry with our quarterbacks. Kerry and Matt, they just gave me opportunities.”
Looking at the numbers, however, it’s fair to assume Stamps would much rather have Nichols heaving him passes downfield.
In his last two games, with Nichols on the giving end, Stamps has registered 280 yards and three touchdowns.
However, it should also be pointed out that Stamps’ biggest game of the year, a nine-reception, 204-yard performance against the Tiger-Cats in Week 15 arrived with Joseph behind centre.
Needless to say, that regardless of who Reed selects as his starting passer, Stamps will be there, ready and willing to catch absolutely everything and anything they throw his way.