Mike O'Shea: "Sick to his stomach"

What gives here? Mike O’Shea is usually so stoic & calm after losses. He certainly didn’t appear agitated last year when Jim Kelly & the Argos blew his head off in the Grey Cup. Now he’s all jittery and sick to his stomach?
Why? Tell ya why - he got out-coached pure 'n simple by a CFL mutant, Jason Maas. Also saw his star, glory-boy QB get destroyed by a CFL scrap-heaper, Mr. Fajardo.
His defensive coordinator must have passed out in the women’s washroom at Tim Horton’s Field and his soon to be leaving OC wasn’t much better, unable to produce a key first down when it was not only needed - IT WAS DEMANDED.
So actually anyone with real emotions and feeling would be sick, too.
Wait til O’Shea has to coach a re-build. I called them the CFL’s trial horses earlier. I repeat that. With potential losses of Pierce, maybe even Bulldog Olivera (for the first few games of season anyways) and at least 10 starters from last season O’Shea will have his work cut out to even have his Bombers rated as trial horses.
Lets not forget, the star QB who O’Shea trusted to fail in the Grey Cup will be on the back-side of his mid-30s, showing more warts and weaknesses in his game than ever.

Mike - if you’re sick now, wait til about 7 or 8 games into 2024.


All legit points, Lyle. However, I believe the biggest reason that this loss hurt more than last year was the feeling that this group may be vastly different from next year’s team. Either via retirement, NFL opportunities or coach/player free agency, a great many changes are on the way. The coaches and players have all bought into the brotherhood and playing for each other, and maybe, they felt this was their last realistic chance to win the championship with and for each other. Certainly, the urgency would have been less after last year’s loss as the core veterans were a year younger. Now, it must feel like opportunity lost. What troubled me about this year’s GC effort, is the approach the Bombers took in fielding their team for the big game. They spoke all year(s) about going 1-0, trusting the process and the next man up mentality. With their successful mantras, they could have assembled a stronger and healthier team against the Alouettes. Yet they succumbed to loyalty and emotional decisions and shot themselves in the foot by dressing too many hobbled players. All that depth and next man up for nothing. Is it true that only players that dressed would be etched on the Grey Cup? If that was part of the decision process, then the cart was definitely put before the horse. And now all those visions of destiny and dynasty are moot. I can absolutely see why Coach would be sick to his stomach this time around.


Also, winning those 2 Cups prior to the pandemic made winning more seem like a given.
Reminder, in pro sports there are no givens - unless you’re Bill Bellichick with Tom Brady at QB.
Or the Yankees with Ruth, Gehrig, Fox, etc.
Or the Winnipeg Jets with Cranky, Spanky & Yanky!

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I don’t know. I think winning is hard. Winnipeg has built the strongest dynasty team we’ve seen in decades and it is still not easy to beat a good team in a big game. They may be getting a bit older, and I agree that the decision to dress Bighill and Schoen is a head-scratcher, but I doubt we’ll see any drop-off next year, especially with Walters expected to re-sign. If anything I think O’Shea and co. will come back angry and focused in 2024.


I don’t agree with the glass 3/4 empty guy as much as you do.

Yes the Bombers will be moving on from some players but that was inevitable win or lose in the Grey Cup. If some injured players needed to be replaced for the Grey Cup then presumably they can be replaced next year, if for example Schoen leaves in free agency and Bighill retires.

But the Bombers still have the best receiver and DB in the league and they have a way of historically finding excellent new players at both of those positions and that is probably not even necessary for next year. What they really need is some new blood on the O and D lines. Since it appears the brain trust is back I have no doubt they will find what they need. I expect Jefferson and Jeffcoat both to be back for one more year before they retire- they certainly won’t be playing anywhere else. Keeping Brady and Castillo would be nice but not essential. Brady has already said he will play in Winnipeg if he doesn’t receive NFL attention, which he probably won’t. Running back is the easiest position to replace and most don’t have more than a few good years. Carey looks to be close to finished already and Stanback is now just a complimentary piece and both were supposedly all world not long ago.

As I stated in another thread, it is too early to speculate on what any team will look like next year, especially relative to each other. I don’t share the pessimism, however and am a firm believer that history teaches us a lot. History under current management tells us the Bombers will reload whereever necessary. No guarantee they will go to yet another GC next year but chances are good they will be competitive at least and among the teams to beat. I would expect no less of this stellar organization that it appears will remain intact for next year.

As to not having your name etched on the Grey Cup if you can’t play in the game, I sincerely hope that isn’t the case. I have heard that mentioned in the past but don’t know if it is true. If true that would be double triple wide super duper all world bush league move. If that is the case and part of the reason that injured players such as Bighill and Schoen played then the CFL should fine and suspend itself for promoting further serious injury to it’s own players. No other major North American sports league to my knowledge punishes players for being injured. This may have been a thing way back in the day when the Punxsutawney Phils played the Kenora Thistles for the Cup in a challenge match after a duel when teams didn’t have complete regular rosters, but it’s now 2023 and much different. I sincerely hope such a stupid rule doesn’t exist. Maybe someone knows whether it does or not.

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I agree, the bombers ain’t in trouble at least not too much.
BUT, the vets were talking, the B’s d might be breaking up. Free agency, retirement can be brutal bedfellows.
Combine that with 4 teams perpetually looking to greatly improve their play off prospects. Things could happen.
Take into consideration too that two teams may feel the pressure to instantly
bd needing to get better or the fans will revolt… That can decimate any of the good teams rosters. especially if some of the big names are really looking to move on. I do not think that is actually the case in the Peg, but rumor has reared it’s ugly head to that fact.
Us rider fans are hoping anyway.

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Absolutely accurate.

Finding good receivers is almost as easy as finding good new running backs. Before the season began, did anyone know of Austin Mack or Tyler Snead?

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I stated that Lyle had legit points. Doesn’t mean I agree with most of them. Lyle has been very consistent in constantly predicting the team’s doom, and we’re all desensitized to it by now. My point in the above post is that the coaches and players feel the hurt more in this GC loss because they worked towards and believed they had a legitimate shot in going all the way this year. Bailey took a pay cut and stayed because he believed this. Bighill and Jefferson previously took discounts because they believed this. Lawler took a pay cut and returned because he believed this. This are just the big names. Will those on expiring contracts be willing to once again take discounts, or will they be ready to chase some financial security. Having the Walters/McManus/Goveia triumvirate bodes well for the Bombers fielding a strong team once again. They have the systems and processes in place to continue being dominant whether they have a little or a lot of player turnover. And O’Shea still attracts a lot of players who want to experience the success, closeness and brotherhood the Bombers have been exhibiting for half a decade. I’m not worried about the team still being a contender. But I think the players and coaches felt that a fair number of significant players that they wanted to win a Grey Cup with and for may not be back next year, and that could be why the loss stung more this year than previously.


He should try some Pepto-Bismol.

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Watching the game, I thought that was as much of a problem as anything else.
It really highlighted the fact the whole defensive front 7 are as good as they are because of Bighill.


It seems you expected the Bombers to walk over the Als. Did you not watch them dismantle the best team in the country the week before? Did you not notice that the Bombers have lost more games to the east in the last two years than the supposedly stronger west division? The defeat of the Argos and the Bomber’s Eastern Division struggles should have given you pause to rethink your expectations. No matter who the QB is they need the entire team to perform to win. Neither the offence nor defence and special teams did.

As for Fajardo being a scrap heap QB. He isn’t. He was a top 5 QB two years ago behind a crap line and last year injuries hampered his ability to scramble. Heck, even this year despite being under seige all year he STILL had the best completion percentage. Scrap heaps don’t do this. Maas was an underrated QB and now coach as well. Yeah he has his rage sessions still but he has been able to get the most out of his players every team he’s coached.

O’Shea is sick to his stomach because he’s a. realist. He knows that this group of men will not all be back and he wanted them to be rewarded.

(Mod edit re comments toward another member)


Clearly, Winnipeg with O’Shea & Collaros still at the helm WILL NOT BE ODDS ON FAVORITES for next year’s league championship. Assuming basic continuity I’d rate them as follows:

  1. Toronto - they know exactly what they have to do to surpass the Als
  2. Montreal
  3. BC
  4. Winnipeg - Collaros showing warts, Bighill on last legs, O-line needs a re-tooling, interior D-line is atrocious
  5. Calgary
  6. Edmonton
  7. Hamilton
  8. Regina - even with Buck Pierce & Younger taking the reins
  9. Ottawa
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somewhat agree with what your rankings are.
With the caveat that we all know the huge exodus of players in the cfl means a top ranked team can easily lose too many players that made them a top ranked team.
Conversely, because they can easily pick up those players just mentioned above. A bottom ranked team this season can become pretty damned good by the end of the next season… Just in time for the playoffs… As the current Grey Cup champs just proved.

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O’Shea’s consistent struggle with over-loyalty cost him this year’s Grey Cup. Last year, although favorites, the Winnipeg team was hampered by a skittish/injured Zach Collaros and a defense that tended to run out of gas somewhere in the 4th quarter. Kelly demolished what was left of the Wpg defense. O’Shea was just an innocent witness. Even if Leggio had managed to kick the go-ahead FG, Chad Kelly still had nearly a minute to drive the ball against a totally gassed Wpg defense.
This year, O’Shea rolled the dice, letting two lame guys suit up (Schoen & Bighill) and another with a minor injury (Rash Bailey). Bighill was starting to lose it, even before he suffered his calf injury - a great captain and shot-caller he was totally susceptible to speed and hard cuts. Schoen couldn’t expand the field with his leg injury so Collaros only had one long guy to go to - Lawler. The Als smothered Lawler and handled the other BOMBER WRs with ease - ie. Demski, Schoen, Orange, Bailey, Wolitarski, etc.

Collaros doesn’t like to run much anymore because he understands the next time he’s hit with malice might be the last time!

You think so?

I sort of thought that the way the Montreal Alouettes played might have had something to do with it. . .


If I was Dru Brown the last place I’d want to play next year is Winnipeg. Main reason - Mike O’Shea’s twisted loyalty to Collaros. Winnipeg had Brown in the lineup for a reason. He’s nifty, fast & an accurate short to middle length passer.
Even if you put him in for 2 or 3 series and get needed first downs it makes Collaros look better.

Why does Brown want to come back for $95k to $115k when he could easily top that by $30, $40, maybe $50k in Ottawa, Calgary or even Hamilton.

Well said. Lot of us knew Cody was never the problem in SK. Not only did we have a crap OL (still do), we had an idiot HC who wouldn’t sit him when he was injured.
I couldn’t be happier for the kid on his GC win… Maas as well.


A lot of things can happen in a CFL off season. Making predictions at this time of year is a WAG.


Bighill is definitely the on-field general for the Bomber defence. However, Cole, Clements and Gauthier showed in the WF and the GC game that they could effectively invoke the team’s next man up mantra. Bighill was visibly hobbled and should not have dressed for the game. Hopefully, he can recover fully and will be back next season.