While there’s been a lot of questions around who the Roughriders will start at quarterback, there is only one answer to that question in Toronto.
It’s Ricky Ray.
The 38-year-old pivot is entering his 16th CFL season and his seventh at the helm of the Toronto Argonauts.
Roughriders head coach Chris Jones is much more open about his admiration for Ray and his skills as a quarterback than he is about who he’s starting on his own squad.
“That’s the thing, (Ricky Ray is) very efficient with the football … He’s going to throw the football where his guys can catch it, he’s going to manage it, he’s not going to take sacks, he’s going to get the ball out of his hands. He’s top-three to ever play in this league for a reason: he does things the right way.”
As for the Roughriders, the choice is Brandon Bridge or Zach Collaros and there have been a couple clues along the way.
First, in open practices this week it was Collaros that has been working with the other known offensive starters such as Naaman Roosevelt, Duron Carter and Brendon LaBatte.
Second, Collaros is listed as the starting quarterback on the depth chart.
Third, Collaros’ demeanour during his last media availability before Friday’s game was lighter than it was earlier in the week.
Monday when Collaros and Bridge spoke with the media, Collaros appeared more rigid. He repeated answers about starting that he had given for weeks previous at training camp.
Thursday afternoon Collaros spoke more openly and even joked with the assembled media about his dislike of dry ice machines when running out of a tunnel and on to the field.
“I’m always kind of scared running through that. I’ve seen too many of the cheerleaders getting run over, or selfishly, I don’t want to trip over a cord. That’d be awful. That’d be a TSN blooper forever, right?” he said with a chuckle.
Not the looseness you would expect from someone sitting on the bench for their upcoming game.
So while Chris Jones’ said “we’ll see, we’ll see” when asked if Collaros will start, the signs seem to point towards the 29-year-old from Ohio over the 26-year-old from Toronto.
But Chris Jones is right: “We’ll see” at the 7 p.m. kick off.
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