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. PETERSBURG, Fla.Stereotypes dont change easily, but the perception of Canadian running backs being suited only to secondary roles is being shattered these days in the CFL. Its been over 20 years since a Canadian led the CFL in rushing, long enough that the player who did that (Orville Lee) now has a son in the game (Jamall Lee). And even the 1,000-yard barrier, no great feat when were talking about an 18-game season, hasnt been crossed by a Canadian since Sean Millington did it 11 seasons ago. But this past week, the CFL witnessed something that may never have happened in the very long and distinguished history of the three-down game, or at least in a very long time: three teams – the B.C. Lions, Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders – all started Canadians as their primary ball carriers. Consider the performances this week of the Lions Harris, the Eskimos Messam and the Stampders Cornish. They put up a combined total of 279 yards along the ground while hauling in passes for another 147. Thats 426 yards of offence from three Canadian running backs. While there are no stats kept on such a thing, its easy to believe no homegrown trio has ever put up those kinds of numbers during a single week of play. Theres no tokenism at work here, no coach trying to make a statement about the ability of Canadians and no political points being scored anywhere. What were seeing is a transformation at the running back position, based on proven ability and results. Debates about Canadian running backs dont quite ignite as much emotion as those about homegrown quarterbacks, but they arent all that far behind. And with so many great athletes playing the position in the United States, its been easy for teams to simply mine the available talent to fill a backfield need. There have, of course, always been Canadian running backs in the game, most of which fit a particular style of play. They were usually big, not particularly fast, asked to do a lot of blocking, and called upon either in short-yardage situations or in instances where giving them the ball represented an element of surprise. But Canadian running backs as primary ball carriers, who could demonstrate the ability to not only get tough yards but break away into open field with game changing plays, have been rarities indeed. Considering that Cornish, at age 26, is the oldest of the three, there is plenty of reason to see we may be entering a golden age for the Canadian running back. The fact these players have all received opportunities to start in the CFL shows that perceptions have changed. But all the opportunity in the world doesnt mean much if players cant take advantage of it. These three are all doing so. Now, some other thoughts on Week 14 in the CFL and a look ahead to Week 15. --- Another uninspiring performance by the Toronto Argonauts in their loss to Hamilton means that only a mathematical possibility separates the Argos and their third non-playoff season in four years. But none has been as disappointing as this one, given Torontos 9-9 record a year ago and playoff win over Hamilton that marched the Argos to within one game of the Grey Cup. The bottom line is that the Argos in two seasons under Jim Barker have failed to develop a passing game, ranking at the very bottom of the league in that category throughout his tenure. In fact, the 2011 Argonauts are averaging 13 fewer passing yards per game than Toronto did in 2009 under former coach Bart Andrus. Barker recently suggested the team plans to sign quarterback Steven Jyles to an extension beyond this season, which may turn out to be a good idea. However, given Jyles limited playing time this season, and his mixed performance in Winnipeg last season, there are no guarantees hes the answer. But two years in, and with no other experienced quarterbacks on the roster, does Barker really have much choice? -- There was mixed reaction Monday to the CFLs decision to fire side judge Rick Berezowski following his pass interference call on Montreal defensive back Greg Laybourn in the dying seconds of the the Alouettes win over Winnipeg on Friday night. To most eyes, including those of CFL director of officiating Tom Higgins, the call was incorrect, given that Winnipeg receiver Greg Carr seemed to quit on the play and appeared to be the one who initiated the engagement with Laybourn. In addition, the ball was thrown to a spot in the endzone where it seemed unlikely Carr could have made a play on it, even if he and Laybourn had not become entangled. Still, the actual firing of a game official in mid-season is rare. While some are praising the league for holding its officials to high standard of accountability and deciding that a blown call at such a crucial juncture of a game should cost someone a job, others see it as an over-reaction that might make officials hesitant to drop a flag in the future if they think it might cost them their jobs. Who is right? It depends really on the circumstance surrounding this specific incident and its aftermath. It is believed by some who were at the game in Winnipeg that other game officials tried to convince Berezowski to pick up his flag and let the play stand. Also, it would be also interesting to know how Berezowski defended his call upon review by the league and whether he stuck to his guns. If Berezowski believes the call was correct, then he is essentially saying he would make the same call again. And in that case, with director of officiating Tom Higgins calling it a "terrible call", the league would have no choice but to dismiss him. -- As officiating continues to be a topic of concern among players and coaches in the CFL, there are those who would like to see the league recruit andd train experienced officials from the United States, rather than going with all-Canadian crews.dddddddddddd Its interesting to note that every job in the CFL is shared by Canadians and Americans except game officials. There have been or are American owners, American team presidents, American general managers, American coaches and players. Even the finalist for the Commissioners job five years ago was an American. And the leagues director of officiating, Tom Higgins? American. And yet the area of CFL football that continues to draw the most criticism is the one that is all-Canadian. -- The Hamilton defence that surrendered only 12 points on four field goals to Toronto on Saturday had surrendered 36, 38 and 43 points in its previous three games. -- The B.C. Lions, who started the season 1-6, not only are one win away from having the CFLs best record, they also have the leagues only six-game win streak of the season and have its best points for-and-against margin. -- Not a great Argo debut for Prechae Rodriguez, who had two catches for three yards against the Tiger-Cats. -- Toronto receiver Jeremaine Copeland was on TSN Radio Monday night expressing dismay at the lack of balls thrown his direction and the Argos run-pass balance, which he apparently believes is too heavily tilted towards the run game. -- Have to give the Winnipeg Blue Bombers credit for not limiting quarterback Alex Brink to a conservative playbook Friday night against Montreal. Brink, who began the season as the Bombers third stringer and had just one previous CFL start on his resume, chucked the ball down the field from start to finish, completing 25 of 40 passes for 326 yards. -- Saskatchewan fans just got over one Andy Fantuz watch, soon theyll be able to start another. As the Riders fade out of the West Division playoff race, the biggest question in Regina will soon be whether the team can convince Fantuz to stick around. The first question will be whether the 27-year-old has the NFL out of his system, or whether hell head to free agency in search of another shot down south (players must now become CFL free agents if they want to try the NFL, due to the leagues elimination of the NFL option-year window). If not, there is always the lure of Southern Ontario, where the Chatham, Ont. native would have the opportunity to play before friends and family. Saskatchewan has always been a comfortable place for Fantuz but will it seem so appealing with the Roughriders no longer a winning franchise? -- Between the Blue Bombers being stopped from the one-yard line twice to end their game against Montreal, and the B.C. Lions being stopped three times from the one early in their game later than night against Edmonton, CFL offences rode an 0-for-5 string trying to score from the one-yard line on Friday night. -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders have put up just eight points during their past two games, while suffering one-sides losses to B.C. and Calgary. The biggest stat that jumps out in those games is that Roughrider running backs have combined for just 65 yards, or less than 10 yards per quarter over that span. -- There was plenty of eye-rolling when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers signed quarterback Michael Bishop last week, marking the third time the former Argo starting quarterback has been lured out of retirement, the second time this season, and the second time in three years by the Bombers. But Bishop has many of the things which teams in a quarterback pinch are seeking: hes popular with teammates, knowledgeable about the CFL game, and willing to fill a role, be it for a week or several months. There arent that many quarterbacks who can fulfill all of those wishes. And while his performances havent been great, they havent been all bad either. The problem is his worst games have come in must-win situations for the teams for which he has been playing: the 2007 Eastern Final (Toronto), the 2008 Western Semifinal (Saskatchewan), the 2009 regular season finale (Winnipeg). -- It may not have affected the quality on the field yet, but many CFL general managers continue to bemoan how much tougher it is to recruit players since the league did away with the NFL option-year window. -- After looking as though he might run away with Outstanding Rookie honours, Hamilton receiver Chris Williams has been held to just five catches for 49 yards the past two weeks. -- Calgary quarterback Henry Burris threw a season-low 19 pass attempts in his teams 40-3 win over Saskatchewan on Saturday. -- 2013 will almost surely represent the third and final Grey Cup game played at Reginas Mosaic Stadium, with efforts continuing to secure funding for a new facility. The Roughriders are expected to make an announcement on Oct. 13th. -- Hamilton running back Terry Grant has demonstrated in his first two games why head coach Marcel Bellefeuille was so anxious to get him some playing time. Grant, who played beside Mark Ingram in the backfield at the University of Alabama where he rushed for 1,167 yards and 12 touchdowns in college, made an impressive season debut a week ago at Touchdown Atlantic, then backed that up by breaking an 89-yard run for a touchdown against the Argos, finishing with 115 yards on 10 carries. Hamilton head coach Marcel Bellefeuille has been seeking more speed for his offence and made the decision to move Marcus Thigpen from running back to receiver, a move that has yielded results at both ends. -- Brandon Whitaker leads the CFL in rushing with 981 and leads all running backs in receptions with 497 yards. Its time he got serious consideration as the leagues outstanding player, especially given the praise the Als heap his way as a blocker protecting Anthony Calvillo. ' ' '