I’m glad the Bombers’ voters did the right thing and nominated Brady O for MOP. Because he IS their MOP…not the MVP, mind, positional considerations mean that the QB is nearly always the MVP, as the offense runs through them, so their competence matters the most. But of the Bombers’ players, Oliveira has been by far the most outstanding this season.
I just hope that the divisional and national voters see it that way. The arguments that the RB is only as good as his team’s offensive line fall incredibly flat for me. This is because it’s a team game, so you can make the same arguments regarding the quarterback, for example. For the Bombers in particular, Zach Collaros is equally helped by the competence of the O-line, and he also depends on the quality of his receivers.* Sure, overall, the QB is the more “important” player - more of the outcome of a game depends on him - but that shouldn’t prejudice us against viewing another player on a team as more outstanding.
Brady has just put together the second-best season EVER for a Canadian running back (based on how many rushing yards he achieved). He leads the league in total rushing TDs (9 rushing, tied for the lead with Crum in Ottawa), and is no slouch when being used as a receiver either (having 4 TDs - his total of 13 TDs leads the league as well, a full 3 TDs more than Ouellette in 2nd place). His breakout season is the one of the main reasons why the Bombers find themselves on top of the West, largely because he is capable of prolonging offensive possession when Winnipeg is leading at the end of the game, keeping the other team’s defense on the field by creating an extended drive that takes a lot of time off the clock (as it keeps moving after a running play) while not risking INTs.
Not a single team has successfully slowed him down for long, proving to the world that the Bombers were absolutely right when they let Andrew Harris walk (rather than offering him an insulting amount of money to stay, they told him the truth - they wanted to move on - and I think that is respectable). Brady was ready to take on this job full-time, and sure, he learned a lot from Harris, but he also has his own way of instantiating the RB position that has proven incredibly effective. Moreover, when he doesn’t have the ball, Brady himself helps out really well at ensuring that Zach has enough time to make a play, despite his smaller size (for a football player).
*As an aside, the Bombers’ O-line has gotten worse this year, which has resulted in Zach Collaros getting sacked more often than in the past (he has also taken a small step backwards in terms of his own abilities). But despite this, Oliveira has put together his best season thus far (a full 50% better than last year), which suggests to me that Brady himself is mostly responsible for his accomplishments this season. Moreover, this is just his second season as the Bombers’ starting RB…something tells me he’s just getting started.