Blitz wrote:I'd have made this trade if I was Tillman. They get a younger mobile quarterback with upside and sure they are taking a chance but they also have not got it done with Ray for a few seasons now. They really need a kicker and the guy they are getting is going to be very good for a long time. They get a high Canadian draft choice and Tillman knows that you build a winner through the draft and they get some SMS cap room.
" is mostly wishing and hoping right now. IMO he is not the key to this trade. Shaw was found unreliable in his first kick at it in Toronto, not proven at this point. A high first round pick is always nice to have, but the bits and pieces Edmonton gets do not amount to much IMO. The adage goes: the winner of a trade is the team that gets the best player. Yes the Eskimos are taking a chance
, a huge, unnecessary, poor odds, gamble. The dice are cast.
I'm not sure you are so vehemently opposoed to this trade WCJ. Ricky Ray has some great stats but he also has some weaknesses. Heck, for all the talk about his ability in the playoffs it was Jason Maas who knocked us out of the 2005 Grey Cup game when he came in to replace a struggling Ricky Ray. Its not as if Ricky Ray has been leading Edmonton to the Grey Cup in recent seasons. Edmonton really was hurt by Prefontaine's kicking this season. Tillman has turned Edmonton around big time and I would have preferred to have Ricky Ray in Edmonton next season and this trade not happen, in terms of what is best for our B.C. Lions.
Well, Blitz, you and I have seen many, many football issues the same way.
But, not this time. As I've said a number of times, many fans are left cold by Ricky Ray. Tillman obviously sees it that way too. In the biggest game in the CFL, the Grey Cup, RR has had ice water in his veins, twice. He has shot lights out. He has tops, second or third best passing stats in CFL history, all time. IMO he is mobile. He calms his team down. He inspires his receivers.
But none of that will make some fans like his style, or his achievements. What really sells me is more of an intuitive, hunch kind of thing. It reminds me of a debate former great NFL running backs were having about who was the best ever. Was it Jim Brown? Walter Payton? Et cetera. Finally O.J. Simpson said: "It was Sayers. Gale Sayers. All you had to do was watch him play. And you knew."
So my judgment about Ricky Ray goes beyond his phenomenal
stats. I think he is the best touch passer in league history. And IMO he can throw deep too. Corners especially. But also posts. And not only that, but if you don't spy him, he can eat up major yardage scrambling. As a GM, Tillman will have to catch lightning in a bottle to replace all that he brings to a team. He could radically transform the Argos' offence. IMO Barker and Milanovich are right to be excited about their prospects. He is an aircraft carrier, the second best QB in the league, after Travis Lulay. Build a team around him, and you have a contender for the Cup.
Of course Barker needs an experienced quarterback to get Toronto out of the cellar but Edmonton is trying to take the next step and obviously they think they can do that with a more mobile quarterback. Ray got sacked the most number of time in the league last season and he's a dump off quarterback when he's under pressure who doesn't put fear into opposing defenses.
IMO Edmonton's best chance to take the next step
was to build around Ricky Ray, not to jettison him for inadequate compensation. Ray getting sacked
was certainly not his fault. And he is much, much more than a dump off quarterback
. And IMO he does put fear
into opposing DCs. If a DC does not game plan well against him, he can light up their defence.
We know what Edmonton gets in the deal: Jyles, something of a known commodity (six years in the CFL, age 29, on his fifth team, Edmonton twice), not guaranteed to be starter. An unproven kicker, who was subbed out for part of the year. And a high draft pick, that could be boom or bust. To me, that is inadequate return on the trade, for a rare level, Hall of Fame quarterback, at 32 years of age, who has almost always avoided injury, who inspires receivers, inspires a new GM (Barker) and a new coach (Milanovich), and probably inspired Kavis Reed as well, along with all those Edmonton receivers.
The deal is done. It's obvious I feel Tillman sold the farm to a city slicker. But it was Tillman's own decision process that allowed it to happen. For one of the few times, Tillman outsmarted himself, and the persistent Barker was very, very happy to keep pushing until it was done. At this time, IMO it is a steal for the Argos. They get the Lamborghini. The Schmos get spare parts, some wishes and hopes.
Kent Austin, when asked to evalutate Ricky Ray, said: "How much time do you have? He's mature. He's composed. He really understands what it takes to win. He understands defences. He understands the offence they're running against the defences they play. He makes great decisions. He's accurate. He's tough. He's durable. He doesn't get hurt. He's got a knack to get out of trouble. He can break tackles. He's stronger than he looks. Is that enough for you?"
What Austin didn't mention, since he wasn't trying to be comprehensive, was what I mentioned about inspiring his receivers, and what I said about throwing for longer yardage. I would suggest that Ricky Ray is very, very good at longer corner routes and deep posts. There is much video evidence of it.
Just IMO, of course ...