The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are back at work this week intent on ridding the Investors Group Field property of a lingering odor produced by last week's stinker against the Edmonton Eskimos.
Disturbed by his team's performance in the 26-3 loss to the Eskimos which he called "painful to watch" Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea said he was at least encouraged by how the players were accountable for their poor play.
According to O'Shea, the video sessions in the wake of the game were full of players confessing their sins, from poor tackling on defence to poor execution and assignment breakdowns on offence.
The Bombers didn't manage a first down until late in the second quarter, and quarterback Drew Willy said "I wasn't very good, I have to focus on basically doing what I'm supposed to do. Certain looks I have to be better with my eyes and better at seeing certain guys that are coming open."
Willy, who had his poorest game of the season completing only 14 of 27 passes for 180 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, added "we just need to move on and get ready for Friday's game in BC. It's another tough place to play, we need to be mentally and physically ready to go. We know it's going to be a challenge, we're looking forward to it, I think the guys have done a good job of putting the Edmonton game behind us and have moved on."
Defensive tackle Bryant Turner Jr. said "it's a game that we definitely learned from and as a defensive unit we weren't satisfied even though Edmonton didn't score an offensive touchdown. We give Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly credit (Reilly constantly got out of jams rushing 10 times for 96 yards), but we have to work on better tackling and I feel like everyone was just depending on somebody else. We will learn from it. The loss is behind us, we have moved on already."
O'Shea was pleased with the energy and attitude of his players when they returned to practice on Monday. He told his players not to dwell on the loss to Edmonton and added "we need to just move on, concentrate on the type of work habits that got us to where we are, that effort, we need to see that effort all the time. You need to practice how you play."
Like a lot of coaches, O'Shea prefers to focus on each game as a single entity, and he doesn't spend a lot of time talking about the teams record. But in the bigger picture, and despite the humiliating home loss to Edmonton, the Blue Bombers have three wins and one loss after four games, a record that their loyal followers would have gladly embraced when the 2014 CFL season began.
The next 2 games will reveal more valuable information about this year's edition of the Blue Bombers. They are on the road in Vancouver Friday and then travel to Hamilton the following Thursday before returning to Investors Group Field on August 7th for the first of three showdowns with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
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
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