THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO -- He may be a rookie head coach but Scott Milanovich knows better than to put too much stock into the CFL pre-season.
Toronto won both of its exhibition games under Milanovich, on the Argonauts' sidelines after five seasons as an assistant with the Montreal Alouettes.
But those victories mean nothing to Milanovich heading into the 2012 regular season. He's not worried about the pre-season struggles of new quarterback Ricky Ray either.
WATCH: Jordan Younger Mic'd Up
Toronto Argonauts safety Jordan Younger was Mic'd Up during Argos training camp as he went through drills and gave some advice to his teammates.
Toronto made the biggest move of the CFL off-season, acquiring Ray on Dec. 12 from Edmonton following nine seasons and two Grey Cup victories with the Eskimos.
Ray's adjustment to his new surroundings has been slow. The six-foot-two, 205-pound Californian finished a combined 8-of-15 passing for 99 yards and two interceptions in the two exhibition games.
But Milanovich, a former CFL and NFL quarterback, isn't concerned about Ray, who has surpassed 4,500 yards passing six times in his CFL career and sports a sparkling 66.8 per cent career completion average.
In fact, Milanovich says there's plenty he can do to make life easier for Ray.
"I need to do a better job of getting him out of the gate faster and getting more comfortable with the things he likes to do,'' Milanovich said. "Some of the pre-season was to try and find out if Ricky was comfortable with these new plays that he hasn't run.
"It's a work in progress. It's never just a quarterback and when Ricky plays well it's never going to be just the quarterback. He's going to be fine.''
Like Ray, Milanovich has won in the CFL, having earned two Grey Cup rings while Montreal's offensive coordinator. He replaces Jim Barker, the CFL's coach of the year in 2010 who is now the full-time GM after Toronto finished last in the East Division last year with a 6-12 record, missing the playoffs for the third time in four years.
However, Ray and Milanovich are both shouldering heavier expectations than merely getting Toronto back into playoff contention.
This marks the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup, with the historic game to be held Nov. 25 at Rogers Centre. While there's no denying the game will be a sellout, having Toronto field a legitimate contender would only serve to fuel Grey Cup fever in a market that's hardly been flushed in CFL excitement in recent years.
However Milanovich isn't feeling any extra pressure to win a Grey Cup on home soil.
"My answer to that question, because I know I'm going to get it every single day, is going to be boring and the same: We would want to win, and win the Grey Cup, no matter where it was,'' Milanovich said. ``And so to me, it really doesn't put any more pressure on us.
"It's always the goal for every team in this league.''
Ray will make his Argos debut in familiar territory as Toronto kicks off the 2012 season in Edmonton. But Ray won't return to Commonwealth Stadium fuelled by vengeance.
"There are a lot of memories I have in Edmonton and it meant a lot to me in my career to play there for nine years,'' he said. "Why would I want to win this game more than another one?
"This is my new team now. All that matters is what's happening with the Argos.''
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|