July 29, 2015


Record: 2–3–0

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Blue Bomber Report

New guys came to play

Blue got strong games from several fresh faces Thursday

Drew WILLY grabbed the headlines, Mike O'Shea got the Gatorade shower.

But what also stands out from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers season-opening win over the Toronto Argonauts last Thursday is how many of the new faces in new places chipped in.

John Woods / the canadian press files
Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Nic Grigsby (left) motored for 122 yards on 21 carries and caught two passes for 17 yards Thursday.

CP

John Woods / the canadian press files Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Nic Grigsby (left) motored for 122 yards on 21 carries and caught two passes for 17 yards Thursday.

John Woods / the canadian press files
Bombers LB Ejiro Kuale got a shoulder-check from quarterback Drew Willy after recovering a fumble Thursday.

CP

John Woods / the canadian press files Bombers LB Ejiro Kuale got a shoulder-check from quarterback Drew Willy after recovering a fumble Thursday.

Yes, if there was any concern heading into the season there was too much change -- and it seems ridiculous to even float that theory given the club was 3-15 a year ago -- it was certainly buried six-feet deep against the Argos.

"I don't think they surprised themselves or anything," said O'Shea during a Saturday media availability, with the team getting a day off from practice. "I don't think they surprised the coaches. They were well prepared throughout training camp and ready to play. Once you tack on that word 'pro' in front of their position... they recognize that there's more at stake and they've got to perform. I thought they did really well.

"You know the cliché: you're never as good or as bad as you think when you watch it. There's certainly some corrections to be made and that's a good thing, right? It means we have room for improvement and we can keep on building on this."

O'Shea said he singled out receiver Nick Moore to the players for understanding his role in the game. Asked to block more in the game plan against the Argos, Moore didn't get the touches many expected (two catches for 32 yards), but was critical in helping get others open and giving Willy more time.

"You talk about a guy, a free-agent receiver we signed to catch touchdowns and he's coming in giving everything he's got to make these blocks and downfield he's blocking hard," said O'Shea. "I singled that out because that's impressive. He was very physical."

What O'Shea will likely hammer home today when the Bombers return to work is for the troops not to get all fat and sassy after one win and with the expansion Ottawa Redblacks here on Thursday. All the back-slapping and high-fiving last Thursday would quickly disappear if this crew doesn't turn the solid start into 2-0.

"It means we've taken the right first steps, but there's a lot more to go," said O'Shea. "(The win over the Argos) will be a distant memory come tomorrow... we need to follow it with another win. It's just not good enough now, right? We've tasted it, we like it. Let's move on and get another one.

"Trust me, the players want to win again. They've tasted it. We won and they're ready to move on. It's a very short conversation. We don't have to belabour the point there. They're ready to work again."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 29, 2014 B7

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