HEAD-on was how the Winnipeg Blue Bombers addressed one of their shortcomings in last Thursday's 36-28 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks.
Winnipeg was flagged for 12 penalties in Week 2, costing 120 yards.
Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea had it high on the agenda of Sunday's team meeting when the club reassembled after two days off.
"At the start of the meeting, we showed them the 12 penalties," O'Shea said "As a team, we looked at it and I did pretty well all the talking, I guess, which is not a good thing. You'd like them to be talking more about it.
"Six were pre-snap or post-play that we need to fix. The other six, a couple of them can be easily fixed also, and some are just football, holding, (pass interference), you don't want them but it happens."
Unnecessary-roughness and objectionable-conduct penalties -- the Bombers had four of those out of the 12 -- are easy places to start.
"After the whistle goes, yeah," O'Shea agreed. "But I'll say this, when I go back to the film, as they say about any play or at the end of any game, it's never as good or bad as you think. When I looked at some of the penalties, I still talk to the guy but you realize when you see it, 'Is that really a penalty?' I don't know. So I would say this, it wasn't as bad as I thought."
In the moments following Thursday's come-from-behind victory, the penalties were one of the subjects that put a sour look on the coach's face.
It was clear O'Shea didn't want to make Thursday's flags a black-and-white issue, but you could tell he was making an effort to defend his players without incurring a sanction from the CFL for criticizing officiating.
Here was an exchange on the matter of Louie Richardson's taunting penalty (objectionable conduct) in the second quarter, the question coming from CJOB's Bob Irving.
"I thought it might have been inconsistent," O'Shea responded. "I don't know how far I'm allowed to go with that. Got any money, Bob? Can I retract that?"
Cotton, Suber to practise
SUNDAY'S injury update went like this:
- Left guard Chris Greaves will miss a few weeks with a knee injury.
- Receiver Cory Watson will miss another week for sure, hamstring.
- Running back Paris Cotton will practise this week after being on the one-game injured list.
- Defensive back Alex Suber will practise this week after being on the one-game injured list.
- Defensive back Marty Markett will practise this week after being on the one-game injured list.
Blue don't scare easy
O'SHEA took a question on Sunday about last Thursday's incident when starting quarterback Drew Willy smacked his throwing hand on a defender as he delivered a pass.
"I think the word 'scare' seems odd to me," O'Shea said, doing his best to swat the idea aside. "Professional athletes, I don't think these guys get scared. As a coaching staff, you have to deal with it when it comes up. He stayed in the game and you trust the players... to go in and compete well and do their job and execute at a high level for their teammates, because that's what they want to do.
"They've done a pretty good job, Kyle (Walters, GM) and the guys, of making sure we've got professionals in that room and players that will be turning into professionals very quickly."
Coaches still teachers
IN case there was any doubt, full-fledged coaching will continue as the Bombers contemplate all that has gone right in their 2-0 start.
"As a coaching staff, we're supposed to teach off of any result, win, lose, draw, win big, win ugly, lose big, lose close," O'Shea said. "There's so much to learn from the entire film, whatever the results. It's our job to find those teaching points, those correctables, those concepts."
-- Tim Campbell