Riders’ Gainey: Argos QB Ray ‘doesn’t have the arm that he used to’

Ryan McKenna, Canadian Press

Ed Gainey still can’t shake a moment from the Toronto Argonauts’ winning touchdown drive during last year’s East Division final.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive back remembers teammate Willie Jefferson getting his hand on a Ricky Ray pass and tipping it, giving Gainey a chance for an interception.

The potential pick didn’t work out, and Toronto beat the Riders 25-21 before going on to win the Grey Cup the following week against Calgary.

“It’s just one of those things where you feel like you left the play out there and hopefully it won’t happen again,” Gainey said ahead of Friday’s season-opening rematch against Toronto.

“We just looking to move forward and build off of last season.”

Gainey said that last year’s East final comes up every now and again in meetings, although the team is trying to leave that game behind them.

“We made it know that they beat us last year and they got that ring,” he said. “We’re chasing what they have.”

Saskatchewan enters Week 1 with general manager/head coach Chris Jones having yet named a starting quarterback.

Zach Collaros, who was acquired by the Riders in January from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, is No. 1 on the team’s depth chart, although Jones said that it didn’t mean he would start against Toronto.

Collaros has competed with Canadian Brandon Bridge throughout training camp and pre-season for the starting job. Bridge, from Brampton, Ont., combined with Kevin Glenn to lead Saskatchewan into the playoffs in 2017.

Although Jones wouldn’t name the starter, he joked that Collaros would play on the defensive line.

“They (Collaros and Bridge) know what the roles are and they know exactly how things are going to work out,” Jones said. “We know for sure that both of them are very good football players so we look forward to seeing them go perform tomorrow night.”

The Roughriders will have different receiving core than last season after cutting veterans Rob Bagg, Bakari Grant and Chad Owens last Sunday.

Duron Carter and Naaman Roosevelt remain solid options, with Carter wracking up 73 receptions for 1,043 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season with Saskatchewan last year. Roosevelt also had eight TDs and 1,035 receiving yards.

Collaros said that with the recent cuts, it allows for younger players such as Caleb Holley, who is in his third CFL season, to step up.

“It’s kind of a luxury when you have a veteran group, but at the same time, those guys are getting an opportunity and they’re going to make the most of it,” Collaros said.

Argonauts coach Marc Trestman said that his team has great respect for both Collaros and Bridge. He said that both QBs have good arm strength and can run well.

“We’re prepared for both guys,” Trestman said. “Both are exceptional. I don’t think they lose anything with either quarterback playing.”

Argos veteran quarterback Ray is entering his 16th season. He didn’t play in Toronto’s two pre-season games.

Ray, 38, said that he’s still nervous and excited to start the season like every other year.

“You kind of have those butterflies and wanting to perform well,” Ray said. “I’m sure I’ll be sitting in the locker-room tomorrow having those same feelings that I’ve had throughout every game of my career.”

Gainey feels as though Saskatchewan has a more solid defence than last season and that it will be a difference this year.

As for Ray, Gainey said that he’s a savvy player, but believes that the Roughriders can stop him.

“He doesn’t have the arm that he used to have so we’re going to try to play top-down and come down and rally up and make tackles,” Gainey said.

TORONTO (0-0) AT SASKATCHEWAN (0-0)

Friday, Mosaic Stadium

DEFENDING CHAMPS – The Argonauts are aiming to replicate what they did last November when they beat Saskatchewan in the East Division final. Toronto went on to beat the Stampeders for its CFL-best 17th Grey Cup in franchise history.

QUARTERBACK QUESTIONS – Collaros and Bridge both saw limited against last Friday against Calgary, while Ray’s durability has been an issue in past seasons.

RUNNING GAME – Two of the CFL’s biggest running backs go head-to-head with Saskatchewan’s Jerome Messam taking on James Wilder Jr. Jones said that it will be a `”blue collar night” for his defence against Wilder.

OUT WITH THE OLD – The Roughriders will have some fresh targets for their quarterback to throw to. Although they still have Carter and Roosevelt, they cut veterans Rob Bagg, Bakari Grant and Chad Owens.

PRE-SEASON WOES – Saskatchewan struggled in its two pre-season games that included losses against Edmonton and Calgary. The Roughriders scored just 12 points in each of those two games.

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33 Comments on Riders’ Gainey: Argos QB Ray ‘doesn’t have the arm that he used to’

  1. Although I’m a Rider fan – the last 3 threads have been about the Green and White.

    I am also a fan of the CFL in general, and last I checked – the season begins in just iver 3 hours With Edmonton visiting Winnipeg.

    Wouldn’t mind reading about tonight’s dust up. Good luck to both teams, very much looking forward to the game.

    • This is a fan people can appreciate. Someone who also doesn’t make it all about their team, and shows interests in another. I agree with you, where they should put up other threads.

      • True Green // June 14, 2018 at 6:34 pm // Reply

        I totally agree! As a huge Riders fan I am an even bigger CFL fan. I can’t say that I watch every game but I don’t miss too many. The non-story articles get a little old and 3DN is missing a good opportunity to drum up some hits on tonight game.

        I can’t wait to se what the Bombers can do without Nichols.

    • Me too Yup. I’m a CFL fan. Should be a few stories on tonight’s game. I’m excited for it and it’s the media’s job to promote this as well. Let’s go 3down.
      Game 1, Winnipeg, Edmonton. Get your wings, nachos, beer and paper towel ready.

      • Paper towel? Not all of us make that kind of money, I just use my shirt.

        • Haha…well played Nathan

        • I knew I saw you last year at Boston Pizza. You’re the guy. You burned your belly with hot cheese after you wiped up the spilled drink with your Hannah Montana shirt. Thanks for letting me rub your belly for luck. We won that game.

    • It is strange as usually Hodge for Winnipeg or someone to cover to Toronto would write something.

    • Great comment Yup. 100% agree. We should get a burger sometime. Lol

  2. Gainey best keep his yap shut, lest he get burned again by Ray & the Argos. Some guys just never learn to zip it…..

    • He certainly gave Ray the respect he deserves. Not sure how he does it – but Ray has to be the most composed QB when under pressure.

  3. Ridersrule // June 14, 2018 at 5:39 pm // Reply

    Jones didn’t mean collaros was going to play on the defensive line it was a joke. He said Zach will play on the line meaning zach Evans

  4. Grey Cupper // June 14, 2018 at 5:53 pm // Reply

    Does Gainey mean the arm that has the Grey Cup ring on it? Wow. Leave it alone. When Gainey is mentioned in the same sentence as “future hall of famer”, then he can have something to say. Until then, show some respect. The Argos won that game by not giving up, plain and simple.

  5. Oh boy Eddie……

  6. Jack in Hamilton // June 14, 2018 at 6:08 pm // Reply

    Lol top 3 stories on this site are Riders related & they aren’t playing tonight. Lol. Can definitely tell who butters the bread.

  7. Bestcflfan // June 14, 2018 at 6:10 pm // Reply

    Riders played some really great, entertaining games that they lost last year. A nail-biter in Ottawa during the season and then the very exciting east final. I’m sorry they didn’t make it but one team has to lose every game and they put on a great show and have nothing to be ashamed of.

    And Gainey had a HOF season

  8. Well I hope this does not back fire Wray will life up the rider for huge yards better back up his mouthpiece

  9. Season start tonight and no mention of tonight’s game…….weeeeeeeeak!

  10. wow – calling out a 4 time grey cup winner and future HOFer….. that always works out for you.

  11. Hard to take a guy with ZERO (0) championships seriously when he’s trying to call out s guy who’s got FOUR (4) rings.

    This is why Ed Gainey has been a career loser.

  12. Stick to hockey gainey

  13. Gainey: Please don’t tell me that is your most painful memory of an Eastern Final.

    * cough * 2015 * cough *

    Signed, every Tiger-Cats fan (and Greg Ellingson)

    • Agree. But I must admit that was the best Laurel and Hardy imitation, with fellow choker Davis, that I’ve ever seen. Comical. But then so was the Gascon-Nadon “Look ma, no hands” imitation. We’ll put all 3 of them up on the TC “Wall of Shame”.

  14. wow, sure some butthurt snowflakes here, crying that Gainey dared to comment. Would you lil girls rather there be no stories at all? Cry babies

  15. Bahahaha….that 2015 EDF was an all time classic!

    Eddy Gainey lying flat on his face while Ellingson goes 93yds for the game winning TD.

    • Don’t you ever stop? Seriously. So by the way, how’s your 100 year old QB doing? Hope he’s got an ample supply of Geritol this season!

      • If Ray is 100 years old now, how old was he is 1999? Doesn’t everything revolve around 1999 in Hamilton?

  16. ‘…top-down, come down, rally up’? Hey, that might just work (or not).

  17. And I remember watching Gainey play in Hamilton, he NEVER could cover anyone with quality.

    He should be criticizing another player…that’s rich..

  18. The comment Gainey made wasn’t even bad. He was giving props to Ray for still being great without the arm strength.

  19. Gainy’s not lying, but the fact remains Ray beat his sorry ass in the East final and then my Stamps (sigh) and has another ring to show for his efforts. Gainey has some showy stats from last year and a big mouth. I’m pretty sure Ray’s happy with his end of that deal.

  20. Sure looked like Gainey was right. RR looked horrible. Especially his throws. They all looked like a PeeWee QB was chucking the ball. So those of you who read the title and not the story. Gaines was not disrespectful to Ray. He simply stated fact. RR doesn’t have the arm he did earlier in his career. The title was click bait.

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