Ray of optimism as one-time Super Bowl champ finding his CFL groove with Argos

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Shane Ray reached a private milestone final Saturday in Ottawa when the Argos eked out a three-point victory over the lowly Redlbacks.


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He really completed a sport.

For Ray, who hasn’t been capable of shake freed from the harm bug since becoming a member of the Argos within the low season, it was a significant breakthrough for a participant the group believes could be a difference-maker.

Staying wholesome has been a difficulty, but it surely wasn’t final week when Ray started to impose his will at rush finish within the second half.

It was an encouraging signal for Ray, whose presence will probably be required this Friday night time when the Ticats come to city in what would be the sport of the yr within the CFL.

At stake will probably be first place within the East and a bye into the divisional last for the Argos if they’ll proceed their house win streak.

Each groups must be sound alongside the road of scrimmage, which is the place Friday’s sport will probably be received.


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On paper, the Ticats have the extra dominant defensive entrance 4, a gaggle that may strain the backfield and cease the run.

Hamilton’s D-line has been rather more constant than Toronto’s, given the fixed change the Argos have needed to undergo this season due to accidents.

Ray began the yr, solely to get harm within the season opener at Calgary. When he returned a month later, additionally towards the Redblacks, Ray would as soon as once more succumb to an harm that stored him out one other month.

“It felt nice,’’ stated Ray of ending Saturday’s sport in Ottawa, a 23-20 Argos win
And it ought to solely get higher for the 6-foot-3, 245-pounder who spent 4 seasons (2015-18) with the NFL’s Denver Broncos and has a Tremendous Bowl ring. The 28-year-old is fast off the ball and athletic.


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An engaged and wholesome Ray makes the Argos higher, a group that must be at its finest this week towards a Ticats squad that has received three straight.

“He hasn’t been capable of make it by means of the primary half the entire yr,’’ stated head coach Ryan Dinwiddie of Ray, one in all Toronto’s finest gamers when camp broke. “We’re trying ahead to him impacting the sport this week.”

So much was anticipated of the Argos’ line of defense when the season started. On paper, it regarded as if the unit would function the group’s spine.

The most important disappointment has been extremely touted free-agent signing Charleston Hughes, the CFL’s energetic chief in sacks who has recorded solely two as an Argo.

A detailed second could be Ray, however solely as a result of he hasn’t been capable of keep wholesome.


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First-year lineman Shawn Oakman has been the unit’s finest whereas veteran Cordarro Legislation is rising, having performed his most interesting sport as an Argo in Ottawa.

On Ottawa’s last drive, Legislation recorded two sacks, together with a compelled fumble that sealed Toronto’s win. He completed with a season-high 5 tackles and a go breakup in his fourth sport as an Argo.

The stakes will probably be excessive on Friday, the competitors even larger, the form of backdrop

Ray has been ready for years to expertise. Huge-times video games aren’t international to him, however this will probably be his first within the CFL.

The important thing for any sport is preparation, stated Ray.

“No matter my rush plan is, I’ve to ensure I’m ready heading into the sport,’’ he stated. “That week of preparation permits me to chill out when the sport comes and simply circulate with the sport.


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“I’m going to strategy this week like I did final week, work on my sport, work on the sport plan with my coaches and play soccer. I’ll be able to go.”

He’ll get his first have a look at Ticats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who started the yr by throwing 4 interceptions in back-to-back street losses to Winnipeg and Saskatchewan.

Masoli will not be the identical quarterback who missed many of the 2019 season with a knee harm. He’s making higher reads, getting the ball out of his fingers in a well timed method and making performs together with his toes to maneuver the chains.

The emergence of operating again Don Jackson has given the offence one other dimension, a participant able to producing explosive performs and an added receiving choice.

A lot will rely upon how the Argos line of defense can management the road of scrimmage. However the way in which the Argos have been yielding yards alongside the bottom, Ray received’t be stunned if Hamilton tries to ascertain the run.


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The Ticats ought to really feel at house in Toronto with so many followers of the membership anticipated to be in attendance.

“Guys really feel actually good right here,’’ stated Ray when requested concerning the Argos’ unbeaten house file. “I feel guys admire the group noise.”

Ray is aware of what will probably be on the road.

“You have a look at the top of the schedule and the place we’re in, it is a sport you don’t take calmly,’’ he stated. “Our preparation will probably be all about all in, 100%, be able to play in an enormous sport. Huge-time gamers make big-time performs and we bought to get this.”


Hughes was as soon as a big-time participant, however his season in Toronto has been nothing wanting underwhelming. However the group has been higher off with out him and it appears Hughes once more received’t be within the lineup on Friday.

Kony Ealy, who has been nursing a groin harm, ought to make his return to a line that can be anticipated to have Fabion Foote again following a knee setback.

Jonathan Zamora, who was plucked off Calgary’s apply roster final week solely to be moved to the one-game injured listing, seems poised to make his debut alongside the offensive line.



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