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BARNES: Tre Ford has followers of the Edmonton Elks puffed up

Edmonton Elks quarterback Tre Ford reaches his trademark private numbers each week by deploying a ability set that treasured few athletes within the CFL can match.

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Relying in your tolerance for hyperbole, you is perhaps satisfied that quarterback Tre Ford is singlehandedly saving the Edmonton Elks’ season.

Or the franchise itself.

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The postulation turns into simpler to justify each time the child steps on a Canadian Soccer League discipline the place his freakish athleticism makes the argument stick. Actually, the extra you see him dominate, frustrate and confuse opposing defences, the extra you understand there may be primarily a template for each Ford efficiency — about 175 passing yards and one TD; about 80 dashing yards and one other TD — and the Elks are in a position to help that constant output with sufficient manufacturing from their defence and particular groups to win extra usually than they lose.

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Contemporary off an important 36-27 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina on Friday, the Elks are 4-2 this yr with Ford as their starter, nonetheless 0-8 with everyone else named Cornelius and Doege.

Ford reaches his trademark private numbers each week by deploying a ability set that treasured few athletes within the CFL can match, and never a lot of them are quarterbacks. There’s formidable straight-line velocity and the flexibility to achieve the sting. There’s an elusiveness to his scrambling capability that largely stretches logic and infrequently defies the legal guidelines of physics and gravity. He can throw the lengthy ball with accuracy. He can put a cross the place he wants it whereas on the run and infrequently whereas contorting himself. There’s a aggressive want that merely can’t be taught and may really require mitigation lest he put himself in too many harmful conditions; pure management traits which have translated seamlessly from U Sports activities to the professionals in a digital blink of an eye fixed; and a excessive soccer IQ that helps Ford take in the nuances of the skilled recreation whereas dodging bullets each week.

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And positively, he isn’t really performing this resurrection alone. Although he might at some point discover a option to throw lengthy completions to himself, up to now he nonetheless requires the participation of teammates. Certainly, the Elks’ offensive line has been successful extra wars within the trenches, their receivers are making him look good when the ball isn’t thrown completely and operating again Kevin Brown has change into an absolute beast, hitting the 1,000-yard mark on Friday, with 4 extra video games to play.

There’s additionally little question that the continued information switch from the likes of offensive co-ordinator Jarious Jackson and clutch receiver Eugene Lewis is dashing up Ford’s command of the huddle and his confidence behind centre.

Now, in case your tolerance for hyperbole is especially acute, you received’t have batted an eye fixed on Friday when TSN analyst Glen Suitor mentioned Ford’s efficiency has primarily shortened the Elks’ rebuild by as many as two years. Once more, it’s a seemingly outrageous line of pondering, coming because it does simply six video games into his tenure as a starter. However that’s the sort of perception Ford has impressed even in eager observers of the sport. Each day out, he does one thing that makes you discover and it’s nearly not possible to not mission how impactful he’s going to be as he grows into his position.

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On Friday, there have been a few defining moments. On the Elks’ ninth possession, Ford scrambled to flee the clutches of Riders’ defensive lineman Lake Korte-Moore and tossed a 30-yard TD cross to Lewis that tied the sport. On their subsequent possession, Ford legged it in untouched from 10 yards out for the successful factors.

He has a eager sense of the second, and the larger the higher.

Had the Elks not accomplished the comeback from a deficit that reached 10 factors early within the first half, their West Division playoff aspirations would have been useless and buried, mathematically out of attain. As an alternative, they will nonetheless entertain ideas of catching the 6-7 Riders, although they might must string collectively wins in opposition to B.C., Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg to get it accomplished. That’s a tall order, particularly because the Riders have a neater path to the post-season with Ottawa, B.C., Hamilton, Calgary and Toronto on their docket. There additionally stays an avenue for the Elks out east, offered they win extra video games than the Ticats, who entered play Saturday with a 5-7 file.

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Nevertheless it performs out, by serving to to rekindle playoff hopes at the least for now, Ford additionally has had an impression on attendance at Commonwealth Stadium. Whereas the Taylor Swift ticket giveaway actually contributed to a crowd depend of 32,000 and alter when Calgary visited final week, and the climate was fabulous, the actual fact is the Elks have given followers a cause to indicate up once more and Ford has been the main catalyst.

Can he really save the 2023 season? The franchise? Chris Jones’ trio of job titles?

At this level, relying in your tolerance for hyperbole, something is feasible.

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