All is right again in the Bombers’ backfield from a coaching perspective.
Buck Pierce will return to the QB meeting room as the team’s quarterbacks coach, and, as originally reported by TSN’s Gary Lawless, the team has officially named Avon Cobourne running backs coach. Cobourne, of course, is a former All-Star running back in the CFL, spending five years with the Alouettes, winning two Grey Cups, and another two years with the Tiger-Cats. His finest season, in 2009, saw him rush for 1,214 yards and 13 TDs – both career highs – on route to a 15-3 record and Grey Cup championship.
The 38-year-old spent the last two years as the same positional coach with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Under Cobourne, the Riders had the league’s most lethal rushing attack in both seasons – although Cornish rushing for 1,000 yards in nine games in 2014 may beg to differ – with several different rushers. Jerome Messam had his best season as a professional in 2015 under Cobourne – his 2011 numbers would’ve been squashed last season had he received more carries – and Anthony Allen earned himself a contract with the BC Lions.
It’ll be exciting to watch Cobourne work with Andrew Harris, as the two have some things in common. Cobourne, like Harris, was an emotional player and also a threat as a receiver. They’re both extremely smart rushers and are known for their football IQ.
Cobourne’s biggest task is to groom a couple of young, Canadian running backs into legitimate backups with the Bombers going national at the positions. The Bombers already have 2014 second-round draft pick Pascal Lochard, who they recently signed in free agency from British-Columbia, and will likely add another in the draft.
Seeing how successful Avon Cobourne was as a player and as a coach with the Roughriders, there’s no reason not to believe that he’s the right guy for the job.