Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

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Mike O'Shea

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Mike O'Shea

CULTURE CLUB

HAMILTON -- New Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea is getting plenty of credit for the team's 4-1 start.

He's not interested.

On Wednesday, chatting with reporters ahead of tonight's road game against the Tiger-Cats, it was clear O'Shea would rather have a root canal than talk about his impact.

"Undeserved," he said, abruptly cutting off a question about the praise he's been getting for the team's turnaround. "We've got a good group of players. We've got good leadership at the top from Wade (Miller, CEO) and Kyle (Walters, GM) and a great coaching staff that's got great buy-in from the guys.

"Down from there at the root of it all are the players we have in the locker-room that easily buy in and have obviously done what the coaches are putting in front of them.

"Those aren't my systems. I've hired co-ordinators to do their jobs, to fill in the gaps I have. The guys I've hired are the ones that are driving this. Culture is very important but ultimately it comes from the players."

Whoever's responsible, things have changed dramatically internally, defensive tackle Bryan Turner said.

"The bar's been raised because so many guys are doing better," Turner said. "You're just trying to keep up with the next guy. This is a totally different atmosphere. We don't really have any cancers, nobody bringing the team down."

 

NO WORRIES

HAMILTON head coach and GM Kent Austin wore a happy face on Wednesday, saying his team was coping just fine with its temporary home at Ron Joyce Stadium at McMaster University. Home game No. 2 is there tonight against Winnipeg.

"We're comfortable there," Austin said. "We practise there every day. I think the environment there was actually a little better than we anticipated. I think there's a little more of a comfort level, just familiarity."

 

OLD FRIENDS

TIGER-CATS defensive back Brandon Stewart spent five years in Winnipeg before signing here as a free agent in the off-season.

He's looking forward to seeing and chatting with many friends on the field tonight, including during the game.

"For sure," said Stewart smiling. "It's an old team. We're going to chirp. We do every week, no matter who the opponent is. For sure there will be a little chirping going on."

 

CLEANING UP

THE Bombers are improving in one subtle category heading into Week 6 and now they are ranked No. 1 in the CFL for taking the fewest penalties.

With just eight and five infractions against in the last two weeks, Winnipeg now average's a league-best 9.4 penalties against per game.

The Cats are ninth and last at 13.8 per game.

 

-- Tim Campbell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 31, 2014 D3

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