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This article was published 1/8/2014 (904 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
There are many ways to look at Thursday night's last-play victory by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
One angle that might be important in the future was that in the hour or two following the dramatic 27-26 decision over the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton, several of the team's key figures were acting and talking like success wasn't such a novelty.
If you've been paying attention recently, you could guess that description would fit head coach Mike O'Shea to a T.
"Five and one doesn't register for me," O'Shea said about the team's start, only the second time since 1987 a Winnipeg club has begun the CFL season with that record. "We got out of here with a win. Great for the CFL, great for our fans and especially for our team.
"It's 1-0 tonight and we're going to keep on thinking that way. We have to."
While some celebrating was going on in Bomber quarters at Ron Joyce Stadium after quarterback Drew Willy's two-yard touchdown to running back Nic Grigsby with no time left on the clock, O'Shea said he wasn't ready to make any big claims about what the meaning of the result or its style.
"The deeper meaning goes back to the guys trusting each other and not giving up," he said. "That's as deep as it gets."
Grigsby, who had 56 rushing yards and 63 receiving yards in contributing two touchdowns, spoke afterwards like it was no big deal.
"We took our foot off the pedal in the third quarter and we let them back in the game with some quick plays," Grigsby said. "We had some adversity but we like playing with our backs against the wall.
"When we're making plays and making catches, it's as good as gold."
The ice-in-his-veins quarterback who directed the final 94-yard drive was also circumspect about the evening, one on which the Bombers coughed up a 20-3 lead early in the third quarter.
Hamilton had 23 straight second-half points prior to Grigsby's catch in the end zone.
"They had a nice comeback, a special-teams touchdown and we weren't moving the ball well on offence," said Willy, who completed 31 of 43 passing attempts on the night. "We were leaving our defence out there way too long.
"Any time you give them a bunch of shots, well, they've got a lot of talented guys, too. We're just happy to get home with the win. We knew that was going to be a tough game."
Willy had ample opportunity to talk up Thursday's win but hardly smiled and took the low-key approach with reporters.
"It's just another win for us," he said. "You want to win as many as possible. You never want to put it in anyone else's hands, getting into the playoffs. We just really want to keep winning games and make our province proud, keep producing for one another and as our coach always says, play for one another and play for your teammates."
Along with a stalled offence for some of the third quarter and much of the fourth, the Bombers had other areas of concern, among them permitting Quincy McDuffie's 67-yard punt-return touchdown, getting caught blitzing when C.J. Gable was free and clear to receive a pass and scamper 48 yards for a major and a wildly inaccurate snap to punter Lirim Hajrullahu that led to a Hamilton safety.
"There's things... I wish I had called a time out before the three-minute warning," O'Shea said, pondering a variety of issues.
"That would have saved us some time. There's stuff that I can do better. The game is not without mistakes. Every game has them. Right now we're winning even though we're making some and it's a credit to the character of the locker-room.
"They get it. All those mistakes we're going to look at and fix and to a man these guys want to see the corrections and they want to get better because they love this feeling."