With the final practice of training camp out of the way on Thursday, head coach Mike O’Shea wasn’t exactly looking forward to what would come next.
The Bombers were set to make their final cuts this morning, as they wrestle their active roster down to 46.
"It’s not fun," O’Shea said, noting this is the first season he’s handled those meetings directly. "It’s a part of the process from my standpoint, but from a player’s standpoint it obviously can be devastating. You have to handle it professionally but it’s still part of you that you understand what they’re feeling."
So far, O’Shea said, all the Bombers cuts this season have been very professional, though he knows there may be times emotions run hot. "I haven’t had that yet, but I’ve heard stories," he said.
The Bombers plan to have their depth chart sorted out by Sunday.
Camp ran well...
Overall, training camp "went well," O’Shea said, though the new Bombers regime didn’t quite check off every to-do item on their list.
"We still need to finalize a couple details on special teams, and I think we need to hone a couple packages on offence," he said. "We ended up cutting a few days in training camp, and all of those days have installation packages attached to them. Everything’s extremely planned out."
To be clear, he added, those cancelled days were just minor hiccups. "We’re in good shape. It will all get done, that’s not a problem."
... Injuries ran amok
It will be interesting to see what the Bombers do with their running backs, after injuries battered the legs they brought into camp.
Indeed, as of Thursday tailback Nic Grigsby was the only American still standing at that position, with Paris Cotton and Will Ford still out at least another week.
They also have Canadian tailback Carl Volny, who has been bruised, too — hence, why the Bombers scooped up another American running back, rookie Kyle Bolton, on Wednesday.
"In order to even have a practice, we needed to bring people in," O’Shea said.
Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean Grigsby will be the starter on day one, the coach cautioned.
"He took reps today, that’s for sure," O’Shea said. I think he still looks to me like he’s banged up a little bit, and he’s gutting it out, and I like to see that. We’ll figure out the roster more by Sunday, and we will put the best team out there that gives us the best chance against Toronto."
Wild about yoga
A day after his head coach proclaimed him the club’s new unofficial director of yoga, Bombers linebacker Ian Wild was asked how practising the ancient discipline has made him better at tearing the heads off running backs.
"My dad introduced it to me in high school and I’ve been doing it for the past five years pretty consistently. It’s something that makes me fresh and flexible and it helps prevent injury," said Wild.
"It definitely helps. It’s a good off-day workout. It definitely gets you sweating and it keeps you loose and it helps you avoid pulling any muscles and things like that."
Stung by a string of muscle pulls that have put players on the injured list during training camp, O’Shea revealed Wednesday he asked Wild to lead the team in some post-practice stretching exercises this season.
"I just tell them to take five minutes and take it serious," said Wild. "It will help you and the team in the long run. It will definitely prevent injury and if it keeps guys on the field, it will help our team."