Esks get monthly accolades

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:47 AM ET

EDMONTON - As if their 5-0 record wasn’t enough to distinguish the Edmonton Eskimos as having the top offence in the league.

But just in case it wasn’t, quarterback Ricky Ray and running back Jerome Messam earned two of the league’s three monthly awards on Wednesday.

“It’s nice. Man, I don’t even remember the last time I was player of the week,” said Ray, the CFL’s offensive player for July.

For the record, Ray was named offensive player of the week four times in 2008, with his last honour coming in an East Division semifinal crossover win against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

But he made his point, it’s been a while.

“It just shows that we’re playing pretty good offensively,” said Ray, who leads the passing pack with a quarterback rating of 118.1, ahead of Anthony Calvillo’s 103.6 efficiency. “I’ve got a lot of guys around me that can make a lot of plays for me and make me look good out there.

“Whenever the offence plays well as a unit, guys get recognized. That’s just a byproduct of good play out there.”

Ray’s 10 touchdowns to one interception is the best ratio in the league, compared to five TDs and five picks at this time last season.

“Just more patience this year, just trying not to go out there and force the issue too much,” Ray said of his play in 2011. “Just trying to spread the ball around and make good decisions and give our team a successful chance instead of going out there and trying to make every play on every down.”

In the Eskimos’ running-back-by-committee approach to the season, Messam has stood out with 274 yards on 55 carries to sit fourth overall.

“The first month’s been a pretty smooth adjustment,” said Messam, who is making the most of his second chance in the league after being suspended by the B.C. Lions in the pre-season. “I feel like the guys welcomed me and it’s just been good all around.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

Twitter@SunModdejonge


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