Speed was on full display for all CFL fans to enjoy in Week 2 of the 2014 season.
What had me thinking about this was the 108-yard interception return by newcomer Antwaun Molden. Truth be known, it was his first interception in his first start of his CFL career that peaked my interest. Initially, Molden was beat on a climb route by Brett Swain, the first year receiver for the Riders. That's when we were introduced to Antwuan's explosiveness and speed. He got on his horse and tracked down Swain to make a spectacular interception. Without his make-up speed, Saskatchewan's offence is in the endzone, and at that time of the game, Molden's show of speed could very well have changed the complexion of the contest.
Later on, with the Riders' offense on the move, Molden was at it again. This time, he broke on a ball that Darian Durant should have never thrown, and this is coming from a guy who threw 211 picks, so I should know. Can't fault Durant, that happens. In this case, it was more about great anticipation and break on the ball timed perfectly. Then it was off to the races with Durant trying his best to maintain his angle, eventually making the speedy linebacker to ever so slightly alter his course to the endzone. Talk about changing the complexion of a game; Molden's incredible performance was a 14-point swing at the very least. I guess former CFL receiver Jason Armstead was right when he had tattooed SPEED on one calf and KILLS on the other.
Molden was not the only player on the weekend displaying the ability to run fast. We saw a glimpse of what RB/REC Anthony Coombs brings to the table; raw-fluid speed. I'm extremely disappointed to hear that Andre Durie is out with a broken collarbone for 6-8 weeks, but this Coombs kid is going to be fun to watch in his absence!
Chad Owens was doing his thing whenever he touched the ball for the Argonauts. He is not only loaded with speed but tremendous quickness to boot; so dangerous and difficult to contend with. He put up phenomenal numbers that others only dream about but with Owens, it's become the norm. There's nothing normal about it, it's special to be able to watch this guy play the sport of football. I enjoy everything about this guy's approach, as should all CFL fans, young and old! The young ones can aspire to be like Chad and the older ones, like myself, can only dream about it.
Taj Smith, the speedy wide receiver for Saskatchewan, got in behind the Argo defence for a touchdown with his speed, and was quickly tracked down by Molden, who showed his wheels once again. He walked down Smith and showcased what kind of speed he brings to the table. Now I know Smith will probably say he was shutting it down before he reached the endzone and that's why Molden walked him. I say to that, never let up and it won't appear that way and he was walking the speedy receiver down anyway.
Friday Night Football made its 2014 debut this past Friday, and Gord Miller and myself witnessed speed by last year's defensive player of the year, Chip Cox, on one of the coolest plays you will ever see. Scott Paxson, a second-year player from Penn State, picked off Kevin Glenn and instinctively optioned the ball over to No. 11 himself and it was a walk-in touchdown by one of the fastest in the league. Heads-up play, filled with athleticism from both defenders.
When you were watching the RedBlacks take on the Bombers, I know y'all had to see the speed of what could be the fastest player in the CFL, Chevon Walker. Although he did not break off a long one, you still witnessed brilliant speed on his 29-yarder.
On the same play, watch the man responsible for Walker and you will see one of the most promising players in the CFL in Ian Wild. The second year linebacker has speed himself as he had to go fetch Walker and help usher him out of bounds in a hurry. Of course, Wild had fear as a motivator because Walker had leveraged him out of the backfield and like I said, Wild was in a trail position, but not for long.
I know about fear and running fast. I ran for 5,031 yards in my time and most of those yards, I was running scared because at least one, maybe two or three big-bad dudes with bad intentions were coming and coming fast. Fear will make you run really fast and for me, speed varied depending on who was chasing me! Sometimes I was my 4.57 self and other times I was 4.1, like Raghib "Rocket" Ismail, who was the fastest of them all... or was that Marcus Grant or Waddell Smith???
So all this talk about speed, the speed that we witness, week in and week out in the CFL, where did you see speed this past week in the CFL? Who's the fastest today and who's the fastest of all time? Debate amongst yourselves!!!