Ray 'one of us' says Hervey

GERRY PRINCE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos brass was all smiles after sewing up quarterback Ricky Ray for three seasons plus an option for a fourth yesterday.

Members of the Green and Gold were equally happy with the signing.

"Ricky is one of us, he's truly an Eskimo," smiled wide receiver Ed Hervey, on hand for the announcement. "It's all the positives you can go with for this signing.

"When he left for the (New York) Jets (following the 2003 season) he received all of our blessings. We knew it was an opportunity he had to take.

"We all knew that if he were ever to come back to the CFL, Edmonton would be his first choice."

Jason Tucker was one of Ray's favourite targets during Edmonton's Grey Cup win over the Montreal Alouettes in 2003 and the game's MVP.

Tucker was also on the receiving end of several tosses from Ray during the former snack truck driver's rookie CFL campaign in '02.

"He's a good quarterback to have, me and him connected up in the Grey Cup," Tucker said. "It's going to be interesting with all the good quarterbacks we've got now."

With Ray, incumbent starter Jason Maas and former CFL most outstanding player award winner Khari Jones under contract, Edmonton has a formidable 1-2-3 punch when it comes to experienced pivots.

Offensive lineman Kevin Lefsrud joined the Esks from Montreal in time for the '03 Cup march.

Lefsrud remains impressed with Ray's ability to remain cool under pressure.

"(Ray's) got that 'it'," the lineman offered. "Maas is a helluva quarterback. It's going to be nice to have both of them.

"I've never played with Khari and he's a different style of quarterback altogether. Having those three guys would be pretty special."


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