Paul Wiecek

  • Speed, talent, size... but mojo?

    NASHVILLE — The Winnipeg Jets are not as good as they thought they were. And they’re not as bad as you fear they might be. Somewhere in between those two extremes — the wide gulf between a high-flying Jets team that went 7-3-1 in October and had the whole league taking notice and the 1-4-1 Jets team this month that has the whole league scratching its head — is where this 2015-16 team actually is at the moment.
  • Bombers troika better get better

    Yeah, so now what? With the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' 2015 CFL season now mercifully behind us -- the Bombers finished at 5-13 with a 21-11 loss to the Toronto Argonauts in their final regular-season game Friday at Rogers Centre -- the big question now is where does this team go from here?
  • Bombers Notebook: Looking back on calls made on Friday

    OTTAWA — So why, in a league in which the defence has to line up one yard away from the ball on the line of scrimmage, would you ever hand off three yards deep in your backfield on a 3rd and 1? Because, says Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea, it was the right thing to do at the time -- even if the result proved to be a disaster. “Why didn’t we hand it off? Because it was a full yard and that’s what Cameron Marshall is here for,” O’Shea said here Friday night following his team’s 27-24 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks,
  • Lessons for the Blue Bombers from the Ottawa Redblacks

    OTTAWA — So here’s an interesting question: How come an Ottawa Redblacks franchise that didn’t even exist two years ago is a bona fide Grey Cup contender at 8-6 while the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are still, well, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers? If there is any conclusion to be drawn from what has occurred in the nation’s capital over 18 months, it’s that it doesn’t take long to build a serious contender in the CFL — if you know what you’re doing.
  • Bombers are misguided for chasing pricey Muamba

    Saddled with a 4-9 record, it goes without saying the Winnipeg Blue Bombers need help. They need a better running game. They need more consistent place-kicking. They need a better pass rush and a better run defence. And, good Lord, do they ever need a better offensive line — still.
  • Bombers Notebook: Takeaways from Friday's loss to the Stampeders

    While all the attention in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ 25-23 loss to the Calgary Stampeders at Investors Group Field Friday has been on the CFL’s admission Saturday its officials blew a key illegal procedure call late in the game that cost the Bombers a critical first down, the Bombers made no shortage of mistakes of their own in the loss. That begins with head coach Mike O’Shea’s failure to challenge a 47-yard catch by Stamps receiver Eric Rogers midway through the fourth quarter that set up a Calgary field goal that ultimately proved to be the game-winner.
  • Bombers a lost cause

    You know how when a person goes missing and they don’t turn up for awhile, there always comes a point when the authorities announce the search is now a recovery mission? Well, you cannot help but wonder if we’re not getting very near that point with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, that moment in time when we give up all hope wondering whether the Bombers can turn this season around and instead start wondering about 2016 and who on this team should stay and who needs to go.
  • Blue Bombers' defence finally shows up, providing edge over Alouettes

    The final statistics weren’t flattering — 395 net yards surrendered, including 317 through the air by a quarterback making his second pro start — but history will record the much-maligned Winnipeg Blue Bombers defence made big plays when they were needed most and was instrumental in grinding out a gritty 25-23 win Friday over the Montreal Alouettes at Investors Group Field. A pair of first-half interceptions were critical. The first, by linebacker Chris Randle, snuffed out the Als’ opening drive of the game on the Bombers eight-yard line. And the second, by cornerback Johnny Adams, was returned to the Montreal end zone for Winnipeg’s first touchdown of the night.
  • Blue Bombers' Friday night victory over Alouettes was a total team effort

    Everyone who predicted the Winnipeg Blue Bombers wouldn’t score an offensive touchdown Friday night and yet still beat the Montreal Alouettes at Investors Group Field, raise your hands. Anyone? Bueller?
  • Dude, where’s your defence?

    The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have more problems than the uncertain health of their starting quarterback. While all the attention for the next little while is going to be on the status of Drew Willy, who took a hellacious headshot Thursday night in a 52-26 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Investors Group Field, the first two games of the 2015 CFL season have exposed other shortcomings that need to be rectified pronto or it won’t matter who the starting QB is.
  • Camp is a canvas

    He was listed at 6-3, 230 pounds back in the days he was one of the most feared middle linebackers in the CFL. Even today, he looks like the kind of man who could kick your butt up and down the block without so much as spilling his beer.
  • Creating a finely tuned team more art than science for a football coach

    He was listed at 6-3, 230 pounds back in the days he was one of the most feared middle linebackers in the CFL. Even today, he looks like the kind of man who could kick your butt up and down the block without so much as spilling his beer.
  • Race for the ages

    It’s annually among the 10 most-watched sporting events on TV in the United States — and the best attended outside of NASCAR, drawing over 165,000 spectators to Churchill Downs. But for the first time in memory, the Kentucky Derby will not be the most anticipated sporting event on this first Saturday of May.
  • Pick 3: Blue in position to solidify future in draft

    The future of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers came into a little sharper focus on Friday with the release of the CFL Scouting Bureau’s final rankings for next month’s CFL draft. The Bombers have three selections in the Top 15 of this year’s draft — including the second overall — and their selections next month could be pivotal for the future of the team, shaping the franchise for years to come if Bombers GM Kyle Walters and his staff choose wisely from a draft class considered exceptionally deep.
  • Why no new deal for Willy?

    BRADENTON, Fla. -- Drew Willy tied the knot with his girlfriend earlier this month, but he's being decidedly less committed with his employer, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The team's starting quarterback said Tuesday morning there has been no progress in his discussions with the Bombers on a contract extension and neither party is yet ready to head to the altar.
  • Quicker, cleaner CFL

    The game will be faster, and there's going to be a whole lot less clutching and grabbing. But concerns that a series of rule changes for the upcoming 2015 CFL season are going to lead to a track meet in which offensive scoring soars are overblown, says the Winnipeg man in charge of enforcing those changes.
  • Jacobs crew: historic greatness

    CALGARY -- They're 9-0 this morning and have played just 82 ends in those nine games at this Brier, which is testimony all by itself to how dominant they've been. But if you want the full picture of just how completely Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs has dominated the other 11 teams in the field at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier, take a bite out of this:
  • The whack heard 'round the Brier

    CALGARY -- Let's get something straight right off the top -- this was not Bobby Clarke on Valeri Kharlamov. No bone was broken, no flesh was torn, no ankles were hobbled.
  • New guard has oddly familiar look to it

    BRANDON -- It felt all last week at the Manitoba men's curling championship as though a changing of the guard was in the making. But what few were predicting was that when the king -- aka Jeff Stoughton -- stepped down from his throne Sunday -- it was going to be Reid Carruthers who took the chair.
  • CFL flying high again

    A record-setting television deal. Labour peace for at least four more years.
  • Jones makes it look easy

    WINKLER -- Kelly Wiwcharuk got a new hairdo out of the deal. And some technical advice on her curling delivery from one of the best in the business. So yes, there was some good that came out of the 10-1 throttling Snow Lake's Wiwcharuk suffered Thursday morning at the hands of a little curling outfit known as the Jennifer Jones foursome.
  • Bombers truly an enigma

    Years from now, when people reflect on the enigma that was the 2014 Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the biggest mystery won't be why this team missed the playoffs, but rather how they missed the playoffs. The why is simple -- rookie quarterback; shallow pool of Canadian talent; an offensive line that was lousy in 2013 and somehow got worse this year.
  • Bombers don't stand a chance

    Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once infamously said: "You go to war with the army you have -- not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." The problem for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this season -- and it was never more evident than in a 33-23 loss to the Calgary Stampeders at Investors Group Field Saturday night -- is the army they built for the 2014 season is hopelessly ill-equipped to battle the actual opponents they are facing on a week-to-week basis.
  • The decline of the tough guy

    Unemployed NHL tough guy Krys Barch fondly recalls a few seasons ago when he was considered essential to the Dallas Stars, especially against a fighting team like the Boston Bruins.  
  • Gut-check time for Bombers

    VANCOUVER -- His team had just lost their third straight, fifth in their last six and, oh yeah, their starting quarterback. And so there was no point, really, in beating around the bush with the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers late Saturday night. Because amid all the chaff of a once promising season now gone horribly wrong, the only question for the leader of this engimatic Winnipeg Blue Bombers team following a 26-9 loss to the B.C. Lions that still mattered was this:


Are you going to have a Grey Cup party at home?

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