Kory Sheets on pace to shatter history thanks to some help from his friends

Offensive line leading the way for Sheets
Reported by Joel Gasson
Change text size: + -

Kory Sheets is already making history but a much bigger CFL record is also in his sights.

The Roughriders running back rushed for 178 yards against the Toronto Argonauts last week. On Monday the CFL's stats guru Steve Daniel broke down the numbers on the league's web site and revealed Sheets is on pace to not only set but potentially shatter the all-time record for rushing yards in a season and yards from scrimmage in a season.

If that's not enough, Sheets has set an unofficial record by rushing for the most yards ever through three games. That's the entire league history, including when running backs back used to run the footbal upwards of 70 times a game back in the 1950's. So far this year the average is about 37 running plays a game.

While Sheets deserves a lot of praise for putting it all together he's been getting a lot of help from his friends too.

"It's good. As a whole offensive unit it's something we can pride ourselves on," said offensive lineman Brendan LaBatte.

The Riders' veteran offensive line has been flexing their muscles this year, bulldozing every defensive line in their way so far. So what has been their key to success?

"I think we're just fitting up good on the double teams," said LaBatte. "We've got good communication. Everybody can tell by the time we get to the line what the call is going to be."

LaBatte adds that they've been able to adapt to everything thrown their way so far, even when the defense shuffles around just before the snap.

Offensive coordinator George Cortez hasn't been afraid to add some extra support when needed with the double tight end set, especially in the second half when the Riders have gone really run-heavy to try and protect the lead.

"Puts them in a look where they're not so prone to blitzing and sending the house," said LaBatte. "It tames them down a bit."

Among the players that have stepped into that role is offensive lineman Dan Clark, who's had to switch his number to 77 to be eligible to do so. LaBatte admits they've given Clark a little bit of ribbing over it.

"We like to give him a little bit of a hard time that he looks good in space," joked LaBatte. "But he's done a real nice job of adapting to that position."

The start to the season that Sheets is having is not only good for the offense but the defense loves it too, especially when he's making big runs on second down late in the game.

"The last couple of games I think we might have been out a total of 4-6 plays on defense," said linebacker Rey Williams. "It gives us some rest on defense and it wears their defense down."

It's rest that Williams thinks will pay off big-time down the road.

"I feel fresh, pretty much everyone on the defense feels fresh," said Williams. " I've played against teams that run have run the ball against us, I know how it wears a team down especially week after week after week."

When all is said and done Sheets may or may not re-write the record book but if the run game remains a priority for the team going forward odds are it will mean good things for the offense and the defense.