Avon Cobourne has gone through a lot in his six years in the CFL.
On the plus side, the man known as ‘deuces’ in Steeltown because of his jersey number 22, has one Grey Cup MVP, two Grey Cup wins and four Grey Cup appearances to his credit.
However, Cobourne isn’t focused on personal accolades anymore.
|By the Numbers: Cobourne & Walker|
Rather, the 33-year-old is simply focused on getting his team back in the win column.
Their most recent loss, a 34-12 defeat at the hands of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, was essentially a microcosm of their entire season in one game.
Heading into the final 15 minutes at Canad Inns Stadium last Friday night, the score was 16-12 in favour of the Bombers. With the game still well within reach, the Blue and Gold went on to score 18-straight points in the deciding quarter to pull away with the victory.
Is there a trend developing?
In the fourth quarter of their last six losses, the Ticats have been outscored by a whopping 98-40 margin.
However, while it might be hindering Hamilton’s improvement as a club, Cobourne doesn’t see it as something that can’t be corrected.
“It’s just us not making plays [at crucial times],” Cobourne stated. “We’re in position, but we miss a block, drop a pass, run the wrong way here or don’t make the right cut there and we’re in a down and distance where we’re behind the chains. And it hurts us.”
Like the savvy veteran he is, Cobourne recognizes how his current team differs from the championship clubs he has been a part of in the past.
“It’s totally different, personnel is different,” he said. “There are a lot of younger guys here. It’s hard to put that in perspective – my championship teams everybody was older and had years in the league.”
“That’s the only problem when you have those young guys is they don’t always get it as fast as you want them to. We have guys here that can make the plays, but it’s about when is that light going to come on [for the younger players].”
Coubourne has been sharing his knowledge and experiences in the Canadian game with Ticat newcomers in hopes of speeding up their development.
“We have a lot of young guys here and we expect them to make a lot of plays,” Cobourne said. “Maybe they need to hear it from another perspective and I try to be that liaison from the coach. If I understand something better than the other players do, I try to help them understand it in layman’s terms.”
Over the past three games Cobourne has been Hamilton’s most consistent offensive player producing 110 yards or more from scrimmage each time out, including two 100-yard rushing performances.
Unfortunately for Cobourne starter Chevon Walker seems to be recovered from a lower body injury that has sidelined him since Labour Day and it looks like he might make his return to the lineup on Friday against Montreal. Walker’s return very well could lead to Cobourne being relegated to watching in street clothes once again.
However, head coach George Cortez has hinted at a plan to utilize both backs in his offensive game plan.
“It would be great to have the ability to have two fresh backs in the game,” Cobourne said.