Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

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O'Shea defends strategy after Bombers vs. Roughriders game

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Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back Troy Stoudermire dives for a touchdown on a Saskatchewan Roughriders kick return during the 3rd quarter of CFL action in Regina, Sask., Aug. 31, 2014.

LIAM RICHARDS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Enlarge Image

Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive back Troy Stoudermire dives for a touchdown on a Saskatchewan Roughriders kick return during the 3rd quarter of CFL action in Regina, Sask., Aug. 31, 2014.

He’s heard all the discussion and second-guessing about his decision last Sunday to kick a late-game field goal on third-and-one at the Saskatchewan 34-yard-line.

The points put the Blue Bombers ahead 30-28 and that, above all, was the biggest factor for unapologetic head coach Mike O’Shea.

"Take the lead," O’Shea said, asked again today about the situation that eventually didn’t pay off when the Roughriders marched down the field for the winning major in a 35-30 CFL win. "Let the defence go out there and stop them and win the game.

"It depends on the day, in terms of the wind, what I saw from Lirim (Hajrullahu, the kicker) in warm-up. It’s taking in a global picture of the game, what’s gone on and from my standpoint, taking in information and hopefully having a good gut feel for what the answer is."

O’Shea defended the decision after Sunday’s game and didn’t yield an inch on it today.

He also said today the choice was no comment whatsoever on his faith in gaining the yard for a first down in order to keep the ball.

"That really didn’t enter into it," the coach said. "I wasn’t not confident about getting the yard. I thought the prudent thing to do was kick the field goal and take the lead. There’s a little more urgency when a team’s behind. I know there was time on the clock but there’s more urgency to make plays whereas if something untoward happens and we don’t get the yard, and I’m sure we could have, then their mindset is just go into this run mode and try to run the clock out."

Did O’Shea think about getting a touchdown in that situation?

"I weighed that out," he said.

Any regrets now? "No. Every decision like that is going to be dependent completely on that game. You just don’t repeat that decision. You repeat that process of making that decision and see how that comes out in each individual game.

"Every game’s going to be different."

O’Shea also said today he didn’t mind the after-the-fact discussion, about town, about the league, about his choice.

"That’s good," he said. "Creates a buzz. No real reaction. The information in the discussion only helps me get better. Maybe there’s something I didn’t think of. That’s quite possible. But given those sets of circumstances again, I’d kick the field goal. You’re in a position to take the lead with under four minutes. That’s long enough to stop them and get the ball and go score again."

The Bombers and Riders meet again this Sunday, this time in Winnipeg.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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