Esks' QB confident

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:03 AM ET

EDMONTON - Ricky Ray is 3-0-0 so far in 2011.

That’s not a typing mistake.

It’s three wins, no losses and an equally important zero interceptions.

His six unhampered touchdowns compare to last year’s one touchdown and two interceptions at this point in the schedule, which contributed to the 0-3 start the Eskimos had in 2010.

“I feel this year I can be smart with the football,” said Ray, who threw for 249 of his 320 yards in the first half of Saturday’s 33-17 win over the B.C. Lions.

“I feel like I don’t have to go out there and force the issue.

“We’re playing with a lead every game and I’ve got a lot of playmakers, so I feel like I can be smart with the football.”

Offensive co-ordinator Marcus Crandell doesn’t dispute the intelligence Ray has displayed on the field.

“He’s always calculated. This league, the way it’s designed with the motions, there’s always different ways of setting things up,” said Crandell.

“Ricky’s done an awesome job of not forcing things that aren’t there.

“We try to get certain things set up and that’s where we get the result of only one turnover in two games.

“He’s done an outstanding job of that.”

And it’s not just the quarterback. The only giveaway the Eskimos have so far this season was a wet ball that Ray fumbled in Week 2 against Hamilton.

Everyone else has been clean so far, while the defence has earned eight takeaways from the opposition.

“We’re protecting the football. We’re not turning the ball over,” said head coach Kavis Reed.

“We’re being very smart with the ball, we’re making plays when they’re available to us and the guys are protecting very well.

“I’m very pleased with the efficiency that we’ve displayed so far.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

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