VANCOUVER -- Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea says he liked what his team’s 23-6 victory over the B.C. Lions here at BC Place Friday night said about the character of his team.
"It just reinforced the idea that these guys will keep on grinding and grinding and grinding," said O’Shea.
The Bombers were trounced 26-3 at home by the Edmonton Eskimos just one week earlier and O’Shea said he admired the resilience his team showed in bouncing back so quickly with a tough win on the road.
"They moved on fairly quickly from the loss. They took it for what it was, which was one loss. It wasn’t a ‘Here we go again’ type of thing. We got our butts kicked, we licked our wounds and we moved on. And that’s a good thing for football players and pro athletes in general.
"It’s a good thing being able to shrug something off, fix it and keep going. So yeah, I’m proud of the guys."
Here’s some more of O’Shea’s thoughts after Friday’s game:
--On the performance of a Bombers defence that forced four BC turnovers and held CFL leading rusher Andrew Harris to just 38 yards on the ground:
"They got after it tonight. They went after the ball hard tonight, they tackled well, they got after the quarterback -- they did a lot of things really well. And as they watch the film, they’ll be disappointed because I would think they’re going to be believe they probably could have had a couple more interceptions...
"Just looking at them on the bench, you just saw it in their eyes -- they were very business like. They know what they can do and they take a lot of pride in their work. They’re fun to be around."
--On whether there was any hesitation to allow rookie Bombers kicker Lirim Hajrullahu to attempt a 51-yard field goal -- the longest kick of his pro career and 2 yards longer than Hajrullahu had made successfully in university:
"Not on Lirim’s part. He was standing right beside me with the tee, shaking it in my face. I thought about it a little too long, honestly. I made a note to myself -- don’t take too long. If you’re going to show confidence in them, have a decision made ahead of time. You don’t want it to affect their demeanour heading out there. You want to give them confidence."
--On the red-zone performance of his offence on a night they scored just 1 TD and settled for 5 field goals:
"You can choose to look at it negatively and say we’re not getting into the endzone and you have to turn 3’s into 7’s. But I look at it as all points are good points and it’s still momentum. We had very good drives and we ended with points.
"Does everyone want 7’s? Absolutely. But I’m not going to change the mindset of the team and say that we need to score touchdowns."
--On the continuing struggle of his team’s running game on a night tailback Nic Grigsby had 15 carries for just 19 yards:
"If you’re losing a bunch of yards, it’s not Nic Grigsby -- we have to look at the line blocking. But sure, we want to run the ball better. But we came to BC and won. And that’s a tough place to win. However it looks on the stats sheet -- let’s take it for what it is, we won. It’s a tough place."