Back In Blue: Bombers re-sign Rasheed Bailey

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have re-signed receiver Rasheed Bailey to a one-year contract.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at
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Lawler, Demski, Schoen, Bailey and Wolitarsky...This Bomber fan is feeling pretty good about the corps....


This is like Air Coryell, CFL style. The most formidable group of receivers in the league together with the best QB. It’s going to be scary for opposing defenses.

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Wow, didn't think we'd get him back. Great signing. Show me a better group.



How do you figure that? You’re posting without looking at it objectively.

They have the best receiver in the league (Lawler even though some would argue Lewis but he’s no worse than second best objectively). They have the best receiver in the league statistically last year (Schoen). They have the best Canadian receiver in the league (Demski- no worse than top 3 objectively) and every team out of necessity has Canadian receivers due to the anti competitive ratio rules. They have the best 4th receiver in the league (Bailey-no exceptions there). They have a veteran possession receiver (Wolitarsky) who is as good as any other possession receiver in the league. They have a combination Lawler/Lewis clone waiting in the wings (Agudochi).

There is no reasonable argument that can be made that the Bombers don’t have the best and deepest receiving corps in the league this year, perhaps in CFL history, and I remember when the early 2000’s Bombers had Milt, Bruce, Simon and Gordon all on their roster at the same time.

After typing the above I realized that it is probably an advantage to have receivers with a first name for a last name and unfortunately only Rasheed presently qualifies in that department.




With Bailey coming back aboard, the Bombers are very front-end loaded. Almost a complete all-star offense (even a couple o-linemen are all-stars + their #1 RB is close)

Bombers obvious kryptonite is their place-kicking, erratic at best plus a spotty, bend only defense that too often breaks.

  • No bull-ruser
  • a linebacking crew depending on smarts & experience, Bighill slowing down, who knows who will be beside him
  • DBs are comprised of 1 all-star plus 4 solid rounders (and subs) who are coached to give up small yardage plays but close in when other teams get into the Bombers 25 or less yd line.

Bombers offense (barring significant injuries) should be #1 or #2 in league (no-brainer) but their defense will be somewhere between #5 & #8, possibly a notch higher due to their offense controlling tons of clock.

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I completely agree. Well stated...

I don’t disagree with most of what you said, but I think that the Bombers saving grace this year might be their defence actually staying healthy. They were racked by injuries to defensive starters and in many cases their backups more than any CFL team last year. I think that made it much more of a challenge. They had a generational 50 year defense the year before and while last year’s defence may have been not as great even with everyone healthy, they wouldn’t have dropped off as far if they didn’t have 5-7 starters out all year including for the Grey Cup. I’m less worried as a result. Their injury luck is unlikely to be as bad this year.

Their offence this year should easily be the league’s best and will be like plugging in the Xmas tree in Times Square. The real concern, as you identified, is place kicking. I don’t buy the “but he is a Canadian homie” arguments and give him time, blah, blah, wah wah. He cost us an unbeaten streak and a Grey Cup (yes I know there were other reasons we lost the GC but in my opinion he was the biggest reason). Face it, Liegghio is not good enough, especially in the clutch. Hamilton made a similar decision on Evans. Hopefully the Bomber budget will allow them to sign someone like Castillo. As I said previously, I believe the Bombers would have lost the 2021 GC without true MVP Castillo and won the 2022 GC had Castillo been their place kicker. It is just too important a position to justify saving $30,000-50,000. Perhaps my only serious criticism of Bomber management and coaching staff the last few years is their blind and unjustified faith in Liegghio.

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I still don't understand why SOMEONE hasn't signed Lirim Hajrullahu to a contract yet. I mean, maybe he's still holding out hope that some NFL team will want him and has thus turned down CFL offers, but the Cowboys released him in August, and nobody's signed him yet...and I have my doubts that anyone ever will. But in the CFL, being a Canadian national, and able to handle both place-kicking and punting duties, he should have no trouble finding a job. Granted, he's not THAT much of an improvement on Liegghio (actually, Liegghio may be a slightly better punter, although his sample size is a lot smaller than Hajrullahu's), and he did have a fairly bad 2015 season in Winnipeg that maybe soured the team on him...but that season appears to be an anomaly, as 3 of the 4 CFL seasons that followed had him above 85% on field goals, and he missed just 9 of 144 converts over that span, for a 94% success rate. So I think he should at least be in the conversation, as I too have my doubts that Liegghio will ever be able to consistently perform under pressure, as Hajrullahu has already done. In fact, in 2017, a season in which he potted field goals at a rate of just 81% (his worst CFL season other than the 2015 fiasco in Winnipeg), he still managed to score the game-winning 32-yard field goal to win the Argos the 105th Grey Cup. He also went 2 for 2 in the 107th Grey Cup, as Hamilton lost to Winnipeg.

Just a thought. I'd like to see him back in Canada, and I think he could find success in Winnipeg.


I have heard it because he wants to play in the NFL. If he plays in the CFL then he loses a bother year before he can play in the NFL. If he goes to the XFL or USFL their season ends right when training camps for NFL teams open up. If he plays well he has a much better chance cracking a NFL roster.

Also I have way more patience for Marc than I do for Liram. Still get bad chills think about that Edmonton game.

Hot post Volcano man and welcome to the forum. Good stats too that you took the time to put together.

I agree that Liram should be able to find a home in the CFL but last I read he didn’t want to try and do so in 2022 because he believed that he still had a chance of catching on with an NFL team. In fact Dallas might be in the market for a kicker as another Bomber find, Brett Maher, had a very Liegghioish playoff run you might say.

Personally I soured on Liam permanently after that horrid 2015 season, even though he improved after that as you point out. I would never be able to trust either of them in a clutch situation. Liram single-handedly cost them at least 4 games in 2015 by my count and was arguably the worst kicker I have seen on a Bomber team. Liegghio cost them 2 games but it could have been more on the 2015 Bombers as he had some pretty poor efforts masked by the 2022 Bombers being so good and there were many games they didn’t need him which tended to mask several sub par efforts.

I just can’t get past Liegghio’s horrific Grey Cup performance and shanking the potential game winning field goal. It wasn’t really “blocked” and never had a hope of reaching the end zone in the air. My cat could have “blocked” that one.

Fair enough. I have been of the opinion for awhile now that place-kickers need to fail - sometimes a lot - before they can succeed. They need to be put in high-pressure situations and do the wrong thing (let the pressure get to them, and succumb), over and over again, until they adapt to this particular (and unusual) environment and become inured to it (just another day at the office, as it were). Ideally, they go through these trials on a mediocre team, wherein they are still being relied upon to win games under pressure (and in the CFL, where at least two, and sometimes 3 or 4 "mediocre" teams make the playoffs, nobody is truly out of the running until mid-September, so there will be meaningful games for the kicker to win...or rather, to fail to win), but where they are not the only obstacle to a shot at a championship. Hajrullahu went through that process on a pretty flawed (putting it mildly) Winnipeg team, and eventually, because of his experience, found that he could win under pressure. Sure, he cost the Bombers games, but I don't think he would've succeeded in Toronto (and arguably Hamilton, where he was a pretty solid kicker) if he hadn't failed in Winnipeg. Liegghio is going through this process on an historically-great Bombers team, the likes of which we haven't seen for several decades - until he proves otherwise, he is their only substantial weakness.

So I am actually a little bit more sanguine than you about Liegghio's future in the CFL. He won't be a world-beater, but it is possible that he will still carve out a long career somewhere. But I'm also not willing to risk this opportunity that the Bombers have, their "window" if you will, on Liegghio coming out the other side of his growing pains and becoming reliable in pressure situations. Hajrullahu, may have screwed Winnipeg over in 2015, but I don't think the player as he is today is the same as the one who cost us those games (he has, to my mind, proved as much), and while the improvement in reliability from Liegghio to Hajrullahu is not Earth-shattering, it is big enough to take a close look at bringing him back to town, if he'll come.

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What you say may turn out to be true, but I think it is very difficult for a kicker who has folded under pressure to overcome that. Plus Liegghio doesn’t have the strongest of legs compared to many kickers. No doubt though that having a Canadian kicker who does both jobs helps roster flexibility. Ironically in the NFL a kicker can be gone after one bad week, for sure it seems after 2-3 bad weeks.

Oh, absolutely, some kickers never make it through the gauntlet of failure under pressure and public humiliation. But I would argue that nearly every good, reliable kicker in the league has passed through that gauntlet at some point, if not at the professional level, then earlier in their development. Troy Westwood never seemed to exit it (his best year for field goals was a passable 80.4%, in 1993...and he got steadily worse throughout the '90s, bottoming out at an astounding 31 of 51, barely 60% in 2001). René Paredes and Sean Whyte were arguably the two best field-goal men in the league in 2022, and both struggled under pressure earlier in their professional careers. Whyte was so bad in his rookie season, he barely played the following year (although when he did, he was flawless, earning that trust back), and Paredes cost Calgary some critical points in 2014, before getting it together in time to help his team win the Grey Cup (though he was barely challenged, potting FGs from 11 and 20 yards respectively).

I guess time will tell with Liegghio, but as I've previously stated, I am not so thrilled about my theory (about learning to deal with pressure by failing repeatedly in high-pressure situations) being put to the test with the 2023 Bombers. And short of convincing Justin Medlock to un-retire (only semi-joking here), I don't know if there is a better option than Hajrullahu.

One of the grittiest receivers is back on board. Bailey rounds out an already very impressive group. The numbers are there too, increasing each year, but it’s the value he brings with his well rounded style of play that is unmatched. To go along with his selfless blocking abilities, he is another weapon for whichever level of route he runs. The total package.

Welcome back “Superman”.


And yet Ali Mourtada was on the practice roster all season so they must have liked what they had.

For the record I think Liegghio hit the ball well on the blocked field goal. Looked like Robbie Smith went over LG to make the play.

Liegghio is also well ahead of Justin Medlock in career tackles and may have made a couple of game savers for the Bombers last season that helped with the big win loss record. Easily overlooked in need of a GC scape goat.

As for Rasheed Bailey taking less, more news from the Russian news agency coming at 10 pm.


Mourtada has a much stronger leg than Liegghio but his accuracy issues kept him on the practice roster.

If you think Liegghio hit the “blocked” field goal well watch the replay again. It was similar to but even worse than the shank that lost them their winning streak against Montreal.

Liegghio may be a better tackler than Medlock was but you are the first person I know of that has credited the odd tackle he made for the Bomber’s success. Any tackling contributions he made pale in comparison to his poor clutch kicking and suggesting that he is superior to Medlock because he can tackle better is well ____. I won’t put in a word so as not to be insulting.

The Russian news agency comparison is obtuse and insulting.

You seem to be very well educated on stuff you made-up

There's still some jealousy on your face, let me wipe that off for you