Ricky Ray smoothly passes 60,000

Ricky Ray makes playing quarterback look smooth throwing catchable balls with anticipation that drop into receiver hands.

It took Ray 215 starts to reach 60,000. Anthony Calvillo, the CFL’s all-time leading passer, had 209 starts to reach the same milestone, Henry Burrs 220 and Damon Allen 255. That makes Ray the second-fastest quarterback to do it behind Calvillo.

“Ricky sets the example for anybody who wants to watch, how he takes care of himself, how he prepares, the detail which with he works, the emotional intelligence he has: he never being too high or too low,” Argos head coach Marc Trestman said.

“I look at Rick and I just can’t believe I’ve had the privilege to coach him. Him and A.C. [Anthony Calivillo] are so similar in their preparation. Everybody comes to our building every day with hope. He gives us hope because we know he’s going to be ready to play at a high level.”

Ray’s effortless delivery has made him one of the elite passers since he entered the league. The veteran amassed 40,531 of his over 60,000 passing yards in nine seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos and just under 20,000 in six with the double blue.

“I love playing this game to play with him. To get him a milestone is nice, but we gotta get him another ring,” offensive lineman Chris Van Zeyl, who has been in Toronto since Ray got to the Argos, said. “I’ve won a Grey Cup with him. I know he’s battled through countless injuries. I would break a leg and play with it just to stay in front of him.”

Classic would be the best way to describe Ray’s performance in getting over 60,000. He utilized the width and length of the Canadian field, attacking many different areas while completing passes to seven different Argos. Toronto has played 16 games so far in 2017 and on 12 occasions, including a 423-yard effort on Saturday, Ray has recorded 300-yard passing games, which sets a new franchise record and ties a personal single-season career high.

Game on the line, Ray delivered. Taking the ball with 5:35 left in the fourth, leading an eight-play game-winning touchdown drive that covered 78 yards and took over three-and-a-half minutes off the clock. The key play coming with the 37-year-old on the run, rolling to his right and hitting Jimmy Ralph for a 40-yard gain. Ray went 3-for-3 and netted 72 passing yards on the go-ahead series.

Vintage Ray.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.