I don’t really care if we have the leading rusher as long as we get production out of the RB spot. In 2022, MTL had Antwi and Fletcher combining for over 1000 yards on the ground. Toronto and Saskatchewan also had production by committee.
If you want to talk rushing depth, I think the Als are near the top, with Fletcher and Antwi joined by a healthy, slimmed-down Stanback with a chip on his shoulder.
If Brady Oliveira can play the whole 2023 season the way he played the last 2/3 of 2022 you’ll see him pretty high up the list too.
First six games 3,2 yd/carry.
Last 12 games 5,75 yd/carry.
West Final 6,5 yd/carry.
Grey Cup 535 yd.carry.
1000 yards is basically what the league’s leading rusher ended up with last year. I"m fine with it. Especially since the touches remained the same.
I’d love for Stanback to get 1000 on his own. Don’t get wrong. But in Montreal we are very much about doing it by committee. Stanback is the tank. Fletcher is the slashing scatback. Antwi can do a bit of everything. And with our receiving corps young and unproven, I expect us to rely heavily on the ground game.
Montreal finished 6th overall for rushing yards (combined) and 8th in the number of rushing attempts in 2022. They need a strategy to keep Stanback healthy and a back more dynamic than Fletcher. Antwi is good but his running style is punishing. Combined with Stanback I think he is the better choice of backs.
Winnipeg on the other hand ran the ball the most and were 2nd overall in yards gained, but their average gain was 5th overall, 0.1 yard ahead of Montreal.
But Stanback was the main RB before he got injured and there was no big platoon system before. We’ll see if Fletcher or Antwi - who both got work with Stanback out - get much work (i’ll bet yes for the former and no for the latter) this season in an opportunity to pound a strong diverse run game - which BTW I’d love to see - from several CFL teams.
If you think Fletcher isn’t dynamic, with all due respect, you weren’t watching the games. He’s a great Avon Cobourne type back, can make straight ahead or east-west and is excellent catching passes out of the backfiefld.
I agree that we need to run the ball more. But I’m pretty sure we will, given that our receivers are largely unproven.
I know he was an Edmonton player. But he’s come into his own in Montreal. With a 5.72 yard average and 486 rushing yards, he definitely had plenty of touches for more than two or three yards. Combine with 29 catches for 353 yards and a 12.2-yard average and you’ve got a multidimensional running back. I’m pretty sure the team is going to use a lot of two-back sets with Stanback and Fletcher.