In the midst of a four-game winning streak that has his team comfortably atop the CFL's East division, Argos quarterback Ricky Ray says he thinks this year's squad may be better than Toronto's Grey Cup winning team of 2012.
Speaking on TSN Drive Monday night, Ray said the offence in particular has benefited from being in year two of head coach Scott Milanovich's system.
“I think right now we're playing really good football,” Ray said. “Offensively, we have a lot of returners from last year's team and I think we're playing at a better level than we did last year.
“I think this year being more comfortable with the offensive system, with the guys around me and the coaches being comfortable with who I am, knowing what my strengths and weaknesses are.”
The comfort Ray has developed is due in part to leading an offence that has three former quarterbacks on the coaching staff in Milanovich, Jason Maas and offensive coordinator Marcus Brady.
“His personality is really similar to mine,” Ray said of Brady. “He's pretty calm and collected and throughout the course of the week he has that quiet confidence and game day he puts together a good game.”
Although the Argos are already four points clear of second in the East, Ray said the coaching staff is keeping the team on an even-keel, realizing the season still has yet to reach its midway point.
Despite facing a rash of injuries on offence which included the losses of receiver Dontrelle Inman and running back Chad Kackert, the team hasn't missed a beat with the likes of John Chiles, Jason Barnes, Curtis Steele and Zach Collaros stepping in to more than fill the void.
“We've had great depth not only at the quarterback position, running back position and the receiver position,” Ray said, indicating that GM Jim Barker and the rest of the coaching staff have done a tremendous job ensuring the team has had quality backups ready to step right in and contribute. “We've had injuries at all three and the guys that have come in to fill those spots have done great.”
With a remarkable 14-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio to go along with a 133 QB rating, Ray said he's delivering the ball on target without a second thought.
“Right now, when we're playing good, it just feels like I'm just going through my reads like I normally do and when I see it I'm just letting it go and just having complete confidence that it's the right move and it's working out.
“It just seems like whatever you look at, you're seeing the right thing. There's no hesitation. When you're feeling confident as an athlete it just feels like you're trusting what you see and its working out.
Toronto will put its winning streak on the line in a Grey Cup rematch Friday night on TSN 1050 with the Stampeders, who will arrive at the Rogers Centre tied with the Argos for the league's second best record.
“They're doing a lot of the same things that they did last year…They're a good football team, they've beaten some good teams and we've got to be ready to go this week.”