Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CFL Quarterbacks on the Move as Ray, Burris Move East to Calvillo Territory

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CFL Quarterbacks on the Move as Ray, Burris Move East to Calvillo Territory

Article excerpt

Ray, Burris moves mark CFL quarterback scene

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Ricky Ray in Toronto, Henry Burris in Hamilton and Steven Jyles starting in Edmonton.

There was no shortage of CFL quarterbacks on the move this off-season. That should make for a tight race in the East Division and plenty of debate in the West, at least outside of British Columbia where incumbent Travis Lulay is coming off winning a Grey Cup and outstanding player award.

Anthony Calvillo, who turns 40 on Aug. 23, is back for at least one more campaign in Montreal. Buck Pierce and Darian Durant return as starters in Winnipeg and Saskatchewan, respectively, while Drew Tate begins his first full season as the No. 1 quarterback in Calgary.

Ray began his CFL career with Edmonton in 2002 and led the club to two Grey Cup titles before the Eskimos' stunning decision to trade him to Toronto on Dec. 12 for Jyles, kicker Grant Shaw and a 2012 draft pick.

Adding a veteran quarterback who has long been one of the CFL's best pure passers should drastically improve a Toronto team looking to contend for a spot in the 100th Grey Cup game, which will be played at Rogers Centre on Nov. 25. Ray was third in the league last year with 4,594 yards through the air.

The 32-year-old Ray will face a difficult challenge right off the bat as Toronto kicks off the 2012 season in Edmonton on Saturday night.

"You're going to look at them as another team, a team that you're not worried about other than going in there and getting a win,'' Ray said of facing the Eskimos. ''That's what is tough about this league, especially now with players moving around.

''You get so comfortable being on one team and a year later you're on a different team. You just have to be able to wipe that out of your memory and be in the present.''

Ray had some of his most memorable moments in Grey Cup clashes against Calvillo and the Alouettes. Now they will be in the same division.

Time might be ticking on Calvillo but the 19-year CFL veteran isn't showing any signs of slowing down.

He led the league last year with 404 completions and 5,251 passing yards, while finishing tied with Lulay with 32 TD passes. He also had eight interceptions, lowest among the league's starters.

Some thought Calvillo would retire this off-season after surpassing Damon Allen as pro football's all-time passing leader (73,412 yards) and becoming the CFL leader in completions (5,444) and TDs (418) in 2011.

But the Los Angeles native sees no reason to quit when he can still play at a high level.

''I was actually more concerned when I turned 30,'' he said. ''But now that I'm going to be 40, it's not a big issue to me because I don't feel that I'm turning 40.

''I'm still a little kid in my mind, playing this great game of football. And I have great people in my corner who take care of me and tell me what to do in terms of nutrition and workouts. …

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