Target practice for Ray

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Ricky Ray has been spending as much time trying to remember the names of his new receivers as he has studying the playbook.

The Edmonton Eskimos quarterback has plenty of new targets this season as the club made a number of changes on offence.

“The advantage the new receivers have, is that it’s a new offence, so everybody is learning, veterans and rookies alike,” said Ray. “It’s not like they’re coming in to try and make a team where the vets all know what they’re doing.

“They have the advantage of coming out here, show us what they have and earn some spots. There are a few guys that are standing out and doing a good job.”

Andrew Nowacki and Fred Stamps and the recently re-signed Jason Barnes are the returning receivers on the Eskimos roster. They’ll be counted on to lead an otherwise very inexperienced group.

“So far everything is going real well, the young guys are picking things up very fast,” said Stamps. “We have a lot of speed out there. All we have to do now is consistently catch the ball and we should be good.”

Among those standing out so far in training camp is Brandon James, who was brought in as a kick returner, but is getting a high number of reps as a slotback.

The Eskimos are also looking for big things from Oklahoma State product Adarius Bowman and Marcus Henry.

“I know we’re going to have to lead by example,” Stamps said. “I’m not a big rah-rah guy, I’ll leave that up to Wack (Nowacki), I’m just going to try and lead by example.”

Despite the changes, Stamps believes the Eskimos have the personnel in place to have a strong season.

“There’s a championship atmosphere around here,” Stamps said. “Coach Kavis (Reed) he comes in every day with a different speech and he says things that stick to you and make you want to play football.

“To me that goes a long way to have somebody that’s been there and has won Grey Cups. That’s where we want to be.”

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