I met Coach O’Shea a few weeks ago and managed to have a lengthy conversation with him. He was genuinely interested in what I had to say while inquiring about my family name (he had played with O-lineman Dave Hack, our names being the same except for the spelling).
I can understand his players’ feelings for him. Although he could have been distracted by wishing to return to practice or meetings, he was completely focused and present during our conversation.
This team is who they are because of Osh. Players in every sport are dispensable (business). Players who leave (Lawler) regret their decisions, players who could make way more money stay (Bailey). The players on other teams…read…Toronto don’t have what the Bomber players have. Unity, respect, love. O’Shea, having been a great player himself knows that you may have the most talented players, but without respect and love, you don’t have unity. These three qualities are what makes champions. Championship teams. As a longtime Bomber fan, I am deeply impressed with the entire organization.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have built an organization that would serve as a “how to” model for just about any pro sports franchise. Interest in the league, in particular Vancouver, Montreal, and yes - even Toronto has increased in 2023. That said, to suggest that other teams lack unity and respect, read Toronto……that just sounds goofy. 16 wins, 2 losses, 5 of the 7 CFL awards. I don’t think that happens by accident. Happy Grey Cup to all!
Yes a good coach helps but it also helps to have the great players too… And at key positions.
Let’s be honest, would the bombers with the exact same coaches had done what they did the last 4 and a half seasons with the likes of Joe 747 Adams as the number one QB. Or some generic less than average receivers and totally shite O line and D line and crappy punter and pla e kicker not to mention if they had a nonexistent run game. Or a Swiss cheese secondary?
Let’s be honest here coaching does mean a bunch but it ain’t the only big thing. Great teams have much more than one component. The Bombers certainly got it all and have kept it for a time. That also ain’t by accident. It is what all team front offices strive to be but seldom does it happen. Cow Town was dominant for a long time but also never won the West nor the big game as much as they should have. They got there a lot but were l)stymied more often too.
Just like the on-field team, coaches/GM/scouts work as a team and they all have input to the makeup of the roster vis à vis what they need.
I don’t believe anyone is saying that O’Shea is the sole reason for the Bomber’s success but that his coaching style is a huge component of the Bomber’s success during his tenure.
Don’t forget that more than a few current players turned down more lucrative contracts citing O’Shea and the team culture he has developed.
There are other coaches around the league with the same approach and, from what I’ve read, they all point to the culture Osh has engendered as the template they hope to emulate.