The Maurice Lloyd Factor

The above video shows the best and worst of the Eskimos Maurice Lloyd. When he’s out on the football field making plays and delivering big hits, he is undoubtedly one of the best linebackers currently patrolling a CFL defence. After the whistle is when Lloyd seems to almost get in the way of his own success, never shying away from a microphone and always willing to speak his mind. It’s speaking his mind and not being shy that seems be getting him into a little bit of hot water with other players, and folks in other organizations are starting to take notice.

During the bye week there was quite a bit of discussion about a comment made by a local media scribe about Lloyd being a cancer in  the Eskimos dressing room due not to his play on the field, but his words after the whistle had blown. While those words may seem a little harsh and over the top, a recent interview by Rod Pedersen on his blog with Wes Cates regarding Lloyd shed some light on what could still be a cause for concern by the Esks faithful.

Courtesy Rod Pedersen’s blog (http://rodpedersen.blogspot.com/2010/08/wes-talks-about-mo.html)

Rider tailback Wes Cates spoke Wednesday about lining up against Eskimos middle linebacker Maurice Lloyd on Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium.

CATES: It’s always fun playing against Mo. He’s always been a talker, I like that, and I think every defense needs someone who runs their mouth. Obviously he’s been doing too much of it lately but that’s neither here nor there. I enjoy playing against him, I enjoyed playing with him. Mo’s a competitor and he always shows up to play so it should be fun.

ME: Mo’s been called a “cancer”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t he a leader on defense on that 2007 Grey Cup team?

CATES: I always appreciated Mo. A guy that talks, well there’s going to be times that people want him to shut-up. You know you need vocal leaders and guys that jaw a little bit and get guys going. I guess maybe he’s over-stepped his bounds a little bit, but whatever. He’s been cool with me, so whatever.

The above, if true, creates a little bit of dilemma for the Esks as Lloyd is arguably the team’s defensive leader. That being said, a leader who is perhaps alienating the rest of the locker room cannot lead the team because no one will follow him. The best result for everyone would probably be for Lloyd to no longer be the quote machine for the Esks. Everyone can respect what he brings on the field and if he continues to be one of the Esks best defensive players, the players he needs to lead should fall in line.

Regardless of what has been said over the past couple of weeks, Lloyd will play a big part in the fortunes of the Esks this Saturday when they square off against the Riders. For some reason, playing against his former team brings out the best in the Esks middle linebacker as he has collected 19 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble in four games. He’s hoping that Lloyd does exactly what he said he needs to do this weekend. No more talking, just play some football.

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