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Esks4ever
07-09-2004, 07:47 AM
Is he the next Ricky Ray?

GERRY PRINCE, EDMONTON SUN


VANCOUVER -- Super Dave is out and Casey's at the bat. And barring a miraculous recovery by veteran quarterback Dave Dickenson, the B.C. Lions fortunes will remain in the capable hands of Casey Printers until late next month.

Dickenson underwent surgery to repair a meniscal tear and re-trim some cartilage in his left knee Tuesday. It was Dickenson's third operation on the same knee since Dec. 3.

With B.C. getting the bye in the CFL schedule next week, Printers is guaranteed to make a minimum of seven starts before Dickenson is good to go.

That run begins with tonight's Western Division tilt versus the 0-3-0 defending Grey Cup-champion Edmonton Eskimos at B.C. Place Stadium.

THRUST INTO THE SPOTLIGHT

Now that Printers has been thrust into the spotlight, it's a scenario not all that different from the one that saw Ricky Ray step up after Esks starter Jason Maas was knocked out of action four weeks into the 2002 campaign.

The 23-year-old is elated to be mentioned in the same sentence as Ray.

"Ricky Ray is one of the best quarterbacks that I've seen play," said Printers, the CFL's most efficient passer until he threw a couple of picks in B.C.'s 42-29 loss to Saskatchewan last week. "I'm flattered by that, but I haven't done the things that he's done.

"He's won games and he, ultimately, won a championship. Until I win a championship, I'm not going to be as good as Ricky Ray."

Tonight marks Printers's first regular-season start.

He came off the bench in each of B.C.'s first three games and was good on 48 of 73 pass attempts for 838 yards and a half-dozen touchdowns.

The six-foot-two, 208-pound Printers also possesses good speed and has rushed the ball 16 times for 78 yards and a pair of majors.

Unlike the Ray scenario, Dickenson is earning significantly more money than Maas was when he went down. Flip-flopping Ray for Maas wasn't a big deal.

If the planets were to align for Printers and he began to put up Ray-like numbers, Lions head coach Wally Buono could be on the horns of a dilemma.

Parking a guy who's reportedly earning $350,000-plus a season in favour of Printers might not be an altogether popular decision given the money they've sunk into Dickenson.

"I don't know what I'd do, you'd have to look at history," replied Buono, when pitched the Printers-goes-wild scenario and asked to gaze into his crystal ball.

"There's no quarterback controversy here. I think at that time in Edmonton there was a quarterback awareness of who was going to be their guy.

"The thing about Casey is that he's handled things very well. This is another episode, another chapter. He's handled it as well as he can."

The earliest Printers could entertain a shot at the NFL is after the 2005 season. When the lanky Texan signed with B.C. last year, he did so for three years plus a club option for a fourth.

Putting up impressive numbers after assuming the starting duties one season then coming out gangbusters the next is the template that put Ray on the road to the NFL.

With the 1-2-0 Lions looking to even their seasonal record with a victory tonight, Printers didn't want to go there.

"I'm not even going to talk about that, I'm focused right now on the Edmonton Eskimos and trying to beat those guys," he said when the subject of the NFL was broached.

NO QUALMS ABOUT PRINTERS

Long on ability but short on experience, the Lions receiving corps has no qualms about Printers running the offence during Dickenson's absence.

B.C. wideout Geroy Simon was on the receiving end of a 79-yard bomb that exploded for six points and was the difference in the game when the Esks and Lions clashed at Commonwealth Stadium two weeks ago.

"We're going to run the same offence and we plan on executing the same way," Simon said. "We don't have as much experience as if Dave was starting, but we have a guy who has a lot of confidence.

"He's a young guy. He can throw it and he can run it. And he's exciting. He adds to our offence and gives us another running threat and another big play capability.

"(Losing Dickenson) is a huge blow to us, don't get me wrong. Dave is the leader of our team and a veteran guy. So, we lose a lot when we lose him but we have another guy in there who's a good backup and he can get the job done."

Esks4ever
07-09-2004, 07:52 AM
Until Pinters proves something, I won't even compare him to Ray.

MEEZY
07-09-2004, 08:17 AM
Same here.

Opus
07-09-2004, 08:18 AM
I think he's already proved as much as Ricky at the same point in their CFL career, if he can sustain his level of play now that he is starting is the true test if he is for real. I somewhat expect that he'll struggle a little in his first start (hopefully), but he should learn and improve. B.C is extremely fortunate that this kid has stepped up and played at the level he has thus far.

Esks4ever
07-09-2004, 10:23 AM
I think he's already proved as much as Ricky at the same point in their CFL career, if he can sustain his level of play now that he is starting is the true test if he is for real. I somewhat expect that he'll struggle a little in his first start (hopefully), but he should learn and improve. B.C is extremely fortunate that this kid has stepped up and played at the level he has thus far.


almost as much, execpt Printers hasn't started.. and proved he can be a starter.

Opus
07-09-2004, 11:25 AM
right.......I'm saying that when Ricky was at this stage (just coming in for Maas), I'd say the comparrisons are legit, we won't know however until this kid starts and continues to start......

Angelus
07-09-2004, 02:04 PM
Ray also had so many qualities that made him a great QB for the Edmonton Eskimos that I just don't see in Casey Printers.
Printers hasn't even started a game yet, give him a chance.