Blue Bomber Report Record: 7–11–0

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Mike O'Shea

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Mike O'Shea

TRENDSETTING

Mike O'Shea issued a mea culpa on Thursday.

He hasn't done a whole lot wrong in his rookie season as Winnipeg's head coach but has determined he should have thrown the challenge flag when receiver Aaron Kelly was prematurely bullied away from a ball in a loss a week ago Tuesday in Toronto.

Noting he has had two challenges go his way this season -- among the 14 successful overturn requests in 42 attempts by coaches this CFL season -- he said: "No. I missed one against Toronto. I should have thrown the flag in the Toronto game and it probably cost us points that I missed it."

That one hurt even more because later in that same game in Toronto, the Argos did successfully challenge a call and kept the ball against the Bombers.

Still, O'Shea said Thursday that there's still not enough of a sample size to determine any trends in the CFL.

"I don't think I've given it enough time yet despite the sample size to really make a determination," he said. "I'll tell you I was not in favour of it.

"We'll have to see at the end of the year, re-evaluate that."

But he said he is starting to get a feel for what to do.

"What it's done for me is I've got to trust my gut a little more and rely on a player to tell me what he thinks if I don't get a clear enough replay and I've got to pay more attention, a lot closer attention, to the actual play," he said.

Winnipeg corner Chris Randle said he's had no complaint so far how the league's video-replay personnel in the command centre have dealt with the calls.

"They're just doing their job," Randle said. "From my standpoint, it's tough as a defender to play the rules that they need us to play by but we have to do it.

"So we have to make those adjustments.

"Not too many pass-interference calls have been overturned. We haven't been that affected. But the fact it went against us in a crucial moment, we'll just let that one go and learn from it."

 

ON THE MEND

Montreal receiver Chad Johnson, who has been out of the lineup with a concussion, has been cleared to practise next week, Als head coach Tom Higgins said Thursday.

Johnson has four catches for 78 yards and one touchdown this season. The 36-year-old spent 11 seasons in the NFL before signing with the Als in April.

 

TACKLE HUNGER

Tonight 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.

 

-- Tim Campbell

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2014 C11

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