Ray gets team nomination

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:24 AM ET

There weren't looks of shock or amazement on anybody's face in the Edmonton Eskimo locker room.

When Ricky Ray was named the team's nominee as most outstanding player yesterday for the CFL awards, nobody was surprised.

But Ray would be surprised if he won the league award during Grey Cup week.

"I wouldn't imagine I would win it this year," said Ray in his typical quiet, calm tone.

Although Ray is the league's second-leading passer, Damon Allen is receiving plenty of support for the award. Passing for over 5,000 yards for the first time in his career, the 42-year-old wonder led the Argos to first place in the East Division.

Montreal's Anthony Calvillo - the CFL's leading passer - is also being touted.

But Eskimo receiver Ed Hervey believes Ray should - at the very least - be the West nominee for the outstanding player trophy when the Football Reporters of Canada finish the next round of voting.

"I don't see anyone in the West that could easily compare," remarked Hervey. "The only one closest to him is (Saskatchewan's) Corey Holmes."

Ray has put up big numbers this year - a career high 5,282 yards and team record 455 completions - even though his protection wasn't excellent earlier in the year.

"He was just airing it out," said head coach Danny Maciocia. "The hits he took, week in and week out, were just ridiculous.

"But he never said a word. He came to work and worked hard."

Ray needs just 12 completions Sunday to top Doug Flutie's CFL record for most completions in a single season.


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