‘Unflappable’ Collaros leads by example

HAMILTON — Mike O’Shea talked to the media on Friday as his team enters the final stretch of preparation for the 110th Grey Cup against the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday.

The head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers spoke about quarterback Zach Collaros‘ leadership, Willie Jefferson‘s ability to create space for his teammates and more.

Check out the standout quotes from O’Shea’s press conference at Tim Hortons Field on Friday.

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“Best in the league. Tremendous leader on our team. Has the right demeanor. I would say most leaders do. The guys can look to him and they see how consistent and steady he is and they can follow that.”

— O’Shea about Collaros’ leadership since joining the team in 2019

“I think there are other opportunities, but you just need to have other guys that are recognizing when their opportunity comes. When an end gets chipped by a back or by a receiver coming in, it’s up to the other guys to make sure they’re using that space.”

— On Jason Maas’ comments earlier in the day about preparing to face defensive end Willie Jefferson

“There’s a great combination of that fire where he wants to smash people, but calm enough to take in all the information and get it done. Unflappable. The players have even stopped observing Zach. When you’re young or when you’re new to a team, players will look and watch to see what comes next with a quarterback or with a leader, to see what happens next and very quickly people stopped watching because they just knew that he was ready to go the next time he stepped on the field.

— On Collaros’ ability to handle mistakes and pressure

“We’ve done all sorts of different things. Why we don’t do it now, I don’t know. We have. I wasn’t asked I guess. I imagine if they asked we may get my playlist. And then I think that’s probably what happened. I put on my playlist. Bagpipes, and then they said no.”

— Jokingly about why the Bombers are not practicing with music in the background anymore

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