Claybrooks: Ray comes to play

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:52 PM ET

Before DeVone Claybrooks even played Ricky Ray, he heard about the Edmonton Eskimos quarterback and his ability to stay cool under pressure.

Then Ray exceeded the former Montreal Alouettes defensive tackle’s expectations.

In Claybrooks’ first CFL season, he and then teammate Dario Romero (who’s now with Edmonton) broke through the Eskimos offensive line and crushed Ray, dropping about 600 lb. on him.

But that didn’t rattle the Eskimos pivot.

“Blood was coming out of his mouth,” said Claybrooks, who will suit up for his second game with the Calgary Stampeders Monday when they host the Eskimos.

“We thought he was done. He just got back up and went calmly to the huddle.

“All we could is say to each other is ‘He came to play.’ He will take your best shot and keep on coming and that is discouraging. We have to keep coming and keep coming against him.”

When the Stamps faced the Eskimos Aug. 13 at Commonwealth Stadium, they managed just one sack of Ray.

Without pressure, the Eskimos pivot was able to go 28-of-37 passing for 342 yards and three touchdowns.

The worst example was in the final minute, when the Stamps couldn’t get to Ray with a six-man rush.

After that game, the Stamps went out and brought Claybrooks and former Eskimos defensive lineman Jim Davis, who spent last season in Edmonton.

A year on Ray’s side gives Davis a good perspective of the QB, but he didn’t see him off his game much unless there is pressure every play.

“He’s just a cool guy. He doesn’t panic too much,” said Davis, who would make his Stamps debut if he plays Monday.

“The main thing is getting constant pressure. You can hit him once in a while but it doesn’t throw him off.

“You have to constantly be in his face and that’s the best thing you can do. He’s played in a few of these battles. It’s our job to throw him off. That team feeds off him.”


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