I really hope pro players don't read football Forums, if so the Bombers are doomed! Never mind that they're struggling at 1-3, how could you ever attract a Free Agent to Winnipeg if they go online and read some of the stuff coming out of Winnipeg. I'm a Bomber fan and even I wouldn't go near Winnipeg if I was a player, especially if could get good offers elsewhere. Why bother? It's like playing 18 road games a season, and the worst of it comes at "home". Be that as it may, the way every offensive player gets slammed for mistakes is enough to scare anyone away from here. Pretty much the welcoming sign could read "if you're not perfect...go home!".
Our treatment of kickers has begun making it's way around the CFL. When you got a backup kicker (at the time) saying he'd rather stay a backup then be a starter in Winnipeg because "I'd get death threats after one missed kick", I mean that's excellent! Sure home crowds will give their team a few boos here and there....but nothing like in Winnipeg. We like to call ourselves "passionate"...which translated means "Hopless Perfectionists"....are we worse than Philly fans? Well we haven't booed Santa.....YET, but the season is still young so we'll see.
We do have issues on offense, but very little, if any of it, has anything to do with the game plan. It comes down to execution, and Lefors has not been executing properly, the scary thing is he's going backwards the last two games. Game 1 he came in, he struggled BUT he did lead them into field goal range to tie the game (until a stupid penalty pushed us back). Game 2, he struggled some more, but we knocked off Calgary (a big help from the D obviously). But in the Hamilton game he struggled a lot more than he had in the first two, but was still making good reads, and had a lot of "almost" plays that, had they connected, would have changed the game. Last night was different, he looked like he was second guessing everything he was doing (which can happen when an entire Province wants to see you burned alive) and for the first time he didn't throw with the confidence he had in the first two games. Randall did nothing, which is exactly what I expected. Williams moved the ball a bit. I liked the zip he put on the ball, I liked the fact that he was able to find Edwards and Bryant, and he can still make plays with his feet, as well as playing with condfidence.
The scheme isn't the problem. Had Lefors had accuracy early on, he would have been successful because a lot of the routes Winnipeg is trying to run are timed routes. He was making the quick reads, but in his attempt to get the ball off quick he lacked the accuracy and missed guys....not to mention guys were dropping balls too, and mis-reading where they were supposed to be. But the quarterback eating monster that is the Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan base immediately, from pass 1 it seemed, refused to give the guy any slack or any time to develop, it was pretty much put up Ricky Ray numbers now or die! Now lots of people can point to Lefors numbers and say they were bad, and they were...but even if he had been at 60% completion rating you really think it would change things? This all stemmed from the moment Kelly was hired.
People were either pissed off that Marshall wasn't hired, or that we didn't go after this guy or that other guy, and there's Winnipeg fans who just automatically hate any move Bauer makes anyway...so before he was even in Winnipeg people were wanting him to fail. Then he probably got rid of their favourite player (Canada, Moreno, Goodspeed, Picard, Gauthier, Hall, Malveaux, Samuels, or Kai Ellis). Well Picard and Gauthier were gone either way, they both wanted to be play closer to home so they wanted either Toronto or Montreal or Hamilton. Goodspeed was made because Kelly wanted an All Canadian O-Line, which I think IS the way you need to build an offense. Moreno was good but he was the odd man out with Barrin and Joe-Lo, and he gave them trade value (we'll see how Riall Johnson pans out). Hall would be benched given the way Shabazz has been playing, and Kai Ellis GOT us Shabazz.
Knowing Winnipeg, and knowing how we treated Cal Murphy, Mike Kelly knew what was coming...but Lefors didn't. I think he could handle the newspaper articles and the callers on radio blasting him....but I think it was getting booed at home that finally got to him and shook his confidence. I mean a young QB learning a new system and with new players and a new O-Line, he needed time to work things out, but now with his confidence most likely shot, it probably won't happen which is too bad because the kid had potential. And it wouldn't really matter if we brought in Printers, Bishop, Calvillo or Ray....eventually at some point the Bomber fans would want him run out of town and replaced by whoever was the #2 guy....and the cycle would begin again.
The weird thing is nobody ever slams the defense. Even when we had a horrible secondary with Marshall running our defense, everyone LOVED Marshall. We freaked out when Kelly got rid of Malveaux, a guy who couldn't tackle properly to save his life! We were enraged when we got rid of Juran Bolden who was in his mid to late 30's cause he was just too slow. And now there's people angry at Kelly for getting rid of Cam Hall even though Kelly replaced him with a far superior player in Shabazz.
I just really hope next off season there are good FA's out there that don't read internet forums lol