Back-to-back losses hardly qualify as a crisis, at least not in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ quarters.
So quizzed today about Friday’s CFL game against the Montreal Alouettes at Investors Group Field, the Bombers sure sound like it’s just business as usual.
"This idea of must-win is ludicrous," said Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea, his team 5-3 after the recent defeats.
"Every game counts the same in the 18 games," piped in Winnipeg quarterback Drew Willy.
The arrival of the 1-6 Alouettes, who have lost five straight games beginning with their Week 3 home-field loss in the last minute to the Blue Bombers, does not complicate the picture in any way, according to the Bombers.
"Just as I don’t look at games in a row for us, I don’t look at games in a row for our opponent," O’Shea said today. "I know that the last game they played they lost by five points (to Saskatchewan) and their defence looked very good and they held a good team down.
"I know the last time we played we won by one point in the last minute of the game. We can’t afford to take any team lightly.
"I don’t think these guys look at records. We don’t talk like that."
Montreal will be without quarterback Troy Smith, who’s been placed on the six-game injured list.
In his place Friday night is likely to be former Bombers quarterback Alex Brink, making his second straight start for the Als.
O’Shea said his defence should be ready for a opposing quarterback ready to do anything it takes to impress and to win, and that includes making plays with his hands and his feet.
And of course, that Montreal will try to run the ball, as Saskatchewan and Toronto did against Winnipeg in the two most recent games.
"You look at what our defence has given up in the last couple of games and obviously part of their gameplan will be run the ball on us," O’Shea said. "That’s not rocket science."
Friday will be the annual Purolator Tackle Hunger game in Winnipeg. Bombers fans are being asked to bring a non-perishable food item or make a cash donation at the gates of Investors Group Field, which will be donated to the Winnipeg Harvest.
Photo opportunities will be available with the Grey Cup on Friday for those who make a donation. The Bombers are also offering coupons for discounts on the new Signature Look jerseys for those who donate.
Purolator is also promising to continue to donate food for every quarterback sack. The Bombers have run up a 7,500-pound tally for Winnipeg Harvest so far this season.