WINNIPEG -– Ricky Ray is wired for sound.
The newly introduced quarterback headsets brought into the CFL this year were put to their first real test by the Edmonton Eskimos last Saturday.
Facing the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a sold-out Mosaic Stadium can sometimes sound like you’re wearing a watermelon for earmuffs, but according to the Eskimos quarterback, the wired helmet offered somewhat of an advantage.
“It was pretty good,” said Ricky Ray. “There was one series where it just went out so we had to signal for quite some time. They gave me Jason Maas’s battery or something in there and then it started working again.”
Technical difficulties aside, the miked-up helmet did what it was supposed to.
“It was working really good,” Ray said. “We had a delay of game penalty when I tried to make a check at the line of scrimmage and it was just so loud it was hard to do it. And I think we had an offside penalty where we were trying to do the silent count that got us, but for the most part, I thought we handled it pretty good.”
It turns out the headset, which connects the quarterback to the offensive co-ordinator and other coaches, isn’t a magic bullet to overcome a noisy crowd.
“Not necessarily in loud situations, we signaled before and with signaling, it doesn’t matter how loud it is, but it does help you get in and out of the huddle a little bit quicker, so in a loud situation you can get up there and have a little more time before you snap the ball,” Ray said.