Toronto Argonauts

 

 

 

 

 John Avery - Running Back -2004-07- Mississippi

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John Avery was a first round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 1998 NFL Draft 29th overall out of Ole Miss. The versatile Avery had great speed and acceleration as an undersized back. The Virginia native enjoyed a great rookie season with a Miami rookie record for combined yards with1,655.

 

After being traded to Denver in 1999 Avery was lost in the NFL shuffle and in 2001 found himself playing in the XFL with the Chicago Rage. Avery would dominate in the 1 and only year of the leagues existence leading the circuit in rushing with 800 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns on the ground 297 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns in only 8 games. When the XFL folded Avery had a tryout with the Dallas Cowboys but was cut. From here the fast talking Avery looked north.

 

In 2002 John Avery joined the Edmonton Eskimos he spent the first part of the season mainly backing up starter Ronald Williams in the Eskimo backfield. When Williams was injured Avery got starter carries and exploded onto the CFL scene with one of the greatest seasons of the decade. Despite not playing the full season as a starter Avery had 1,448 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns (9 rushing, 2 receiving) with an incredible 6.3 yard per carry average. He was a threat every time he touched the football as Edmonton went all the way to the Grey Cup. After losing the Grey Cup to Montreal 25-16 John took 1 more crack at the National Football League and made the roster of the Minnesota Vikings in 2003. Avery would have a touchdown with Minnesota in week #1. It would be the highlight of his return as a knee injury would end his season and ultimately his NFL career.

 

It was with big fanfare that Avery signed a 4 year contract with the Toronto Argonauts in 2004. Judging on his prior season in the CFL it was assumed that Avery would continue his dominance with the Argonauts. The lingering effects of his knee injury with Minnesota hampered his efforts and he finished the season with 974 yards rushing and 4 rushing touchdowns it was a disappointing year personally but for the team it was a great success culminating in a Grey Cup championship.

 

Year 2 was meant to be better for John in Toronto but more injuries hampered his totals and added frustration. A lively character with the media in what he hoped would be a big bounce back season in 2006 Toronto signed suspended NFL back Ricky Williams. Avery did his best in the uncomfortable situation but his frustration was evident as his play was limited until Williams got hurt. Avery saw limited success.

 

In his final season with Toronto injuries limited Avery to just 5 games. The Virginia native was never able to duplicate his terrific totals from 2002 with Edmonton. A talented back and a character off the field Avery was ultimately a disappointment as an Argonaut.

 

 

-- statistics --

 

 

John Avery       Ole Miss
  Rushing      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
2002 Edm 229 1,448 6.3 61 9
2003   Played in NFL        
2004 Tor 202 974 4.8 74 4
2005 Tor 109 526 4.8 26 2
2006 Tor 82 432 5.3 23 2
2007 Tor 75 327 4.4 22 3
Total 5 697 3,707 5.3 74 20

 

  Receiving      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
2002 Edm 45 387 8.6 31 2
2003            
2004 Tor 48 364 7.6 27 1
2005 Tor 36 393 10.9 46 3
2006 Tor 8 41 5.1 17 0
2007 Tor 7 66 9.4 18 0
Total 5 144 1,251 8.7 46 4

 

    Punt Return  
Yr Team No Yds Avg Lg TD
2002 Edm 6 34 5.7 13 0
2003            
2004 Tor 0 0 0.0 0 0
2005 Tor 0 0 0.0 0 0
2006 Tor 0 0 0.0 0 0
2007 Tor 0 0 0.0 0 0
Total 5 6 34 5.7 13

0

 

 

 

Kick Return

 

Yr

Team

No

Yds

Avg

Lg

TD

2002

Edm

34

861

25.3

75

0

2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004

Tor

4

77

19.3

29

0

2005

Tor

2

42

21.0

28

0

2006

Tor

0

0

0.0

0

0

2007

Tor

0

0

0.0

0

0

Total

5

40

980

24.5

75

0

 

-- NFL --

 

 

  Rushing      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1998 Mia 143 503 3.5 44 2
1999 Mia 0 0 0.0 0 0
Den 5 21 4.2 11 0
2003 Minn 1 0 0.0 0 0
Total 3 149 524 3.5 60 2

 

  Receiving      
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1998 Mia 10 67 6.7 19 1
1999 Mia 0 0 0.0 0 0
Den 4 24 6.0 11 0
2003 Minn 2 24 12.0 13 1
Total 3 16 115 7.2 37 2

 

    Kick Returns  
Yr Team No Yds Avg Lg TD
1998 Mia 43 1,085 25.2 55 0
1999 Mia 2 55 27.5 25 0
Den 7 137 19.6 33 0
2003 Minn 16 346 21.6 48 0
Total 3 68 1,623 23.9 55 0

 

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