October 3, 2017

Landry’s 5 takeaways from Week 15

The Canadian Press Photo

Hello, Calgary Stampeders. First team in CFL history to win at least twelve games in six consecutive seasons? Clinched a home playoff game before September was out? You guys are the CFL equivalent of Matthew McConaughey in that car commercial of his, the one where he looks in the rear view mirror and sees himself in the backseat all smilin’ and lovin’ life and bein’ smooth and all. At the wheel and in control but also sittin’ back and enjoying the luxury of the ride.

Alright, alright, alright … here are this week’s takeaways.

ENOUGH DEBATING, DARVIN ADAMS IS AN ELITE RECEIVER

At the beginning of the season, I was asked if I thought Darvin Adams was an elite receiver and my answer ended up being of the “no, but…” variety.

No, I didn’t believe he could be termed an elite receiver simply because his occasional lightning bolt of brilliance was overwhelmed by his inactivity in 2016. Not his fault, that. Last season, Adams suffered a broken collarbone after a jack-rabbit start, and he missed ten games. So a full body of work was not displayed.

Despite his good numbers, I argued, we needed to see him sustain it for a full season before we could make the determination that he was an “elite” receiver as opposed to a very good one with potential. Personally, I’ve now seen enough, y’all. Adams’ one-handed snag for a touchdown against Edmonton was standout, even in this season of spectacular snags. During the off-season, Adams was determined to increase his upper body strength, certain that it would help take him to the next level. It has.

If you get more than four or five names down your list of elite receivers before you get to Adams, well, I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Is Darvin Adams now an elite receiver? The “no, but…” has been obliterated. He’s here.

THE NEXT GUY IN LINE MIGHT BE IN TORONTO

If Adams has arrived, DeVier Posey may be the guy who is now standing near the doorway, waiting to be waved into the exclusive Elite Receivers’ Club (Those guys should have jackets, just like the Saturday Night Live Five-Timers Club).

After suffering through some drops early in the season, Posey is emerging as the ultra-important alternative target to the big guy, S.J. Green. A second threat is absolutely imperative in any receiving corps; we all know that. Posey’s dominant, late-game performance in Toronto’s bounce-back win in Hamilton should have the doormen at the club taking notice and thinking he might just have the goods to get the nod.

 

It wasn’t his reception on 3rd-and-seventeen in the dying moments that was the head-turner, although a drop there would’ve scuttled Toronto’s rally. His come-backer in overtime was clutch receivership (is that a football word? It is now) but even it wasn’t his best. The diving reception on a Ricky Ray prayer to tie it with seconds left in the fourth quarter was the real gem.

We’ve seen more spectacular looking catches during this season, but not by much. And can you say that there has been a more spectacular grab coming at as critical a moment as that?

CHRIS JONES CAN RELY ON CHRIS JONES

With the Saskatchewan Roughriders trailing Ottawa by a score of 17-nothing, late in the third quarter, who was head coach Chris Jones gonna turn to?

Why, returner Chris Jones, of course. Chris Jones did not disappoint Chris Jones, ripping off a 97-yard punt return for a touchdown, and the kindling of a Roughriders’ comeback was ignited. With Chris Jones cannon-balling into a CFL pool already filled with explosive returners, Chris Jones now knows for certain that Chris Jones is someone that Chris Jones can count on to provide a big, special moment when Chris Jones and the rest of the Saskatchewan Roughriders – including Chris Jones – really need one.

I hope Chris Jones gave Chris Jones one of the game balls after that one and I hope that Chris Jones then thanked Chris Jones for the opportunity.

NOTE: It has now been confirmed that this is the Chris Jonesiest takeaway in the history of this takeaways column. I’d like to acknowledge and thank Chris Jones and Chris Jones for their contributions.

SO… THAT CALGARY TEAM HAS GOT SOME DEPTH…

You kidding me? THAT’S your back-up for Jerome Messam? Your BACK-UP?

Your INEXPERIENCED, FIRST TIME STARTING BACK-UP?

Running back Terry Williams is a phenomenal student and Messam is a fab teacher. Or so it would seem. Williams, the first year tailback out of Kutztown University in New Jersey, ran for 156 yards and three touchdowns on sixteen carries as the Stampeders romped over Montreal.

Apparently, Messam went to Williams’ house the day before the game to make sure the new guy was clear on all his assignments.

“I think I did a pretty good job but I’ll wait ’til I see the tape,”

Williams told reporters after the game. I’ve seen the tape, Terry. Yeah, you did a pretty good job. A pretty good job in the way that Michelangelo did a pretty good job with the Sistine Chapel.

So, that’s about it for raving about Calgary’s roster depth. Nothing else to see… hang on a sec. Premier returner Roy Finch went down with and injury and 22-year-old Tunde Adeleke  brought a punt back 51 yards for a touchdown, the second return major of his rookie season. And another crooked McConaughey-like smile creases the faces of Stampeders’ fans everywhere.

WE SHOULD BE PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO DYLAN WYNN

Argos rookie defensive lineman Dylan Wynn has had some pretty big moments in 2017. He had a few more during Week 15 and his consistent play should by now have more than a few considering him as a strong candidate for Rookie Of The Year in the East.

During Saturday night’s win in Hamilton, the 24-year-old native of Concord, California, came up with three tackles and two sacks, ramping up his physicality as the fourth quarter churned on and Toronto was in desperate need of big plays. His second sack of the game came with the Ticats facing second and 11 from their own 8-yard line, with less than two minutes to go and the Argos trailing by eight points.

Wynn has 28 tackles and 6 sacks from the interior line position and he wasn’t even a starter until Week 4, when pressed into that role after the Argonauts had suffered a slew of D-Line injuries. He’s been solid almost all of the time, except for the times when he’s been superb.

AND FINALLY…

Justin Medlock will be fine. Just a slight adjustment in his programming, is all. Some kinda software virus or something. Maybe they can de-bug his hard drive. Then he’ll be right back to his usual, automated self.