Joe Mack is in the eye of the hurricane this week. And with the football team he has built coming off one of their toughest losses in recent memory, the Vice President and General Manager of Football Operations for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is fair game.
But, from my perch in the broadcast booth at Mosaic stadium in Regina on Sunday, I could find little blame to pin on Mack, as the Bombers were on the receiving end of a humiliating 52-0 loss at the hands of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
|Edwards puts onus on players|
|“This is all on the players. The players got to look at themselves in the mirror. Everyone, myself, every player has got to take responsibility for this.”
- Blue Bombers receiver Terrence Edwards
Yes, the same Saskatchewan Roughriders, who had performed only marginally better heading into the contest, and who had lost five games in a row heading into the Labour Day weekend tilt.
Sunday’s slaughter rests squarely on the shoulders of the Blue Bomber players.
There was no advance warning that this kind of outing was in the works. The Blue Bombers had suffered a hard-fought last-second defeat at the hands of the defending Grey Cup Champion BC Lions the week before.
And the week before that, they had beaten the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 32-25 with Joey Elliott passing for over 400 yards. The Bombers appeared to be on the right track.
They had been up-beat and positive leading up to the annual Labour Day weekend visit to Saskatchewan, appearing to accept the Tim Burke for Paul LaPolice coaching change with nothing more than a shrug.
There was no foreshadowing of the meltdown that occurred on a gorgeous sunny, warm and windy Sunday afternoon in Regina.
Veteran slotback Terrence Edwards didn’t pass the buck, as he took the onus for the loss on behalf of his teammates.
“This is all on the players. The players got to look at themselves in the mirror. Everyone, myself, every player has got to take responsibility for this.”
Truer words could not have been spoken.
The Blue Bombers are not plagued by a dearth of talent—there is talent on this team.
Perhaps, there isn’t enough to be considered a legitimate Grey Cup contender, but certainly enough to be highly competitive. Is it possible that some of the talent has become too comfortable, developed a sense that they can’t be replaced?
Bob Irving has covered the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for CJOB Radio in Winnipeg since 1973. Bob is the Sports Director at CJOB and is in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, reporters division. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobIrvingCJOB
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|