Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quarterback Ricky Ray Back to Lead Reigning Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Quarterback Ricky Ray Back to Lead Reigning Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts

Article excerpt

Defending Grey Cup champ Argos start fresh

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TORONTO - The Toronto Argonauts enter the 2018 Canadian Football League season as the defending champions. Just don't mention it to head coach Marc Trestman.

"Our team can't go back-to-back, it's impossible," Trestman said Tuesday. "Our organization can but our team can't. Our players know that. It's impossible to go back-to-back because we're a different team with different players and different coaches.

"So we start new."

The Argonauts have done some tinkering to their roster but the team will still have a familiar feel with veteran quarterback Ricky Ray leading the way. After two injury-plagued seasons, Ray cleared the 5,000-yard passing plateau last year to lead Toronto to a 9-9 record, an East Division crown and post-season success.

The likely backup will be James Franklin, who was acquired from Edmonton in December and later signed a two-year extension. Trestman made it quite clear who the No. 1 pivot would be.

"Ricky Ray is the quarterback here and he's going to play every down as long as we can play him," Trestman said on a conference call. "There's no other way of saying it."

Ray was the East Division nominee as outstanding player in 2017. After leading his team to a Grey Cup win, the 38-year-old decided last February to return for a 16th CFL season.

He'll have Anthony Calvillo guiding him on the sidelines this season as the team's quarterbacks coach. Calvillo, who retired in 2014 as pro football's all-time passing leader, won the Grey Cup on two occasions over five years while playing for Trestman with the Alouettes.

Trestman said the offensive playbook he uses in Toronto is very similar to the one he used in Montreal.

"The plays we run are the same plays Anthony Calvillo ran for five years," he said. "There's going to be nuances, schemes and structure that might change slightly but that's what happens every year. …

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