Super Bowl champion Shane Ray embracing fresh start with the Argonauts

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Shane Ray is making the most of his opportunity when many thought all doors leading back to the gridiron had been shut.


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Ray, a fast and physical rush end who is known for getting into the backfield and attacking quarterbacks, is making hay at the Argonauts training camp in Guelph.

He hasn’t really been afforded a legitimate shot to prove himself since a wrist injury he suffered in 2017 while in the NFL, a setback that went from a six-week process to 14 weeks.

It effectively rendered his arm useless, the main reason why the league virtually turned its back on him.

Ray is still only 28 years old and owns a Super Bowl ring he earned with the Denver Broncos. Coincidentally, the team Denver beat in that big game to conclude the 2016 season was the Carolina Panthers, whose defence that year  featured Kony Ealy. Ealy and Ray were collegiate teammates at Missouri, and now they’ve been reunited as members of the Argos.


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The two also played with Michael Sam at Missouri, an openly gay player who ended up in Montreal following an ill-fated time down south.

Overcoming adversity has become part of Ray’s DNA.

He came across during a Zoom call on Thursday as genuinely grateful for being back on the field and doing what he loves most.

Ray is humble and has quickly asserted himself on an Argos defence that rookie head coach Ryan Dinwiddie says is ‘’stacked.’’

For his part, Ray is taking everything in stride, the pace of play, the one yard off the line of scrimmage, the many nuances to the CFL and that feeling one gets when lining up against an offensive lineman.

Ray’s work ethic and attitude have been applauded by coaches, qualities that CFL teams don’t also associate when someone with an NFL pedigree takes the plunge into three-down football.


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“I came out ready to work every day,’’ said Ray, who added that he is mentally and physically in tip-top condition. “I think it’s just paying off in my performance.”

In Denver, when Ray suited up, the Broncos had Von Miller wreaking havoc on opposing offences.

As an Argo, should he make the squad, Ray will have Charleston Hughes, an elite CFL rush end and noted QB predator, lining up with him.


One gets a sense that the Argos are growing concerned over the availability of former NFL receiver Martavis Bryant, a no-show at camp because of a passport issue.

For the purposes of retaining his CFL rights, the Argos placed Bryant on the suspended list.

But whether he shows up in Guelph any time soon is anyone’s guess.


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A lot was made of Bryant’s off-season signing, along with that of another former NFLer in running back Karlos Williams, who has since retired.

“We’ve had some contact,’’ said Dinwiddie. “But we’re starting to get a little impatient with the thing.

“We need to get him up here now to have him make an impact on the team. The ball is in his court. He’s got to get his passport sorted away and we’ll see how that’s going to play out.”


Terrell Sinkfield is back at an Argos camp after he first surfaced in three-down football in 2014, the year he played for head coach Scott Milanovich.

Sinkfield was quite explosive, but maturity was an issue and it forced the Argos to release him.

He hooked up with the Ticats and played in the 2014 Grey Cup.


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Sinkfield has been part of six NFL teams, three CFL teams and even played for the Alliance of American Football before re-signing with the Argos.

He’s 30 years old and can line up at receiver, as a defensive back or be used in the return game.

For fans of a certain vintage, Sinkfield is a taller version of Earl Winfield.

“He’s a special player,’’ said Dinwiddie of Sinkfield. “Right now, we have him at Z receiver (field side).

“He’s a guy where we have to get him some touches … People kind of forgot about him when he went to the NFL.”

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It’s never a good thing when a head coach says he has two starting quarterbacks capable of competing for the role of starter.

he meant it or whether he wanted to keep all options open by promoting a competitive environment, Dinwiddie uttered those ominous words.


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He also doesn’t want Nick Arbuckle to take anything for granted, even though the Argos did commit to the career part-time starter financially.

Either way, the biggest area of concern with this Argos team is at quarterback.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson, who joined the Argos in 2017, is far more experienced, but has never played in Dinwiddie’s offence, a luxury Arbuckle has from his days in Calgary.

For MBT, Dinwiddie is his third head coach in Toronto, Jarious Jackson his third offensive co-ordinator.

When he joined the Argos in 2017, there was a defined starter in Ricky Ray.The franchise then made James Franklin the starter not on merit but based on the price it paid.

MBT is working on his footwork and the timing of his footwork with his eyes at this year’s camp.

“We’ll see when the lights are on,’’ said Dinwiddie of who will emerge as the No. 1 quarterback. “Both guys are doing well. They welcome the competition and they’ve been working well together.

“We’ll see how that’s (starting role) going to play out at the end of camp.”

Former Alouette Antonio Pipkin is the third QB at camp with CFL experience and reportedly is also faring well with the coaches working on his mechanics.

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