One and Done

....I don't know who we're going to play or even where because we can't seem to put inferior teams away....Tough loss but our team played well enough to win EXCEPT for one particular pretender at linebacker...What a horrible display by Hurl who was continually over.....out of position...and in chase mode for much of the game....The refusal by O'Shea to upgrade the position is going to haunt this team in the playoffs...I drool when I watch a guy like Solo in B.C. play the line like you're supposed to....Hurl and Solo are like night and day...It's going to cost us in the post season and lead to another one and done....A porous D that can't hold a team deep in their own end, and to top it off, go down the field at will and score, will be our undoing....It should never have come down to our last kick to win it and that is another problem....Medlock seems to have lost his edge and for what he's being paid you can't have misses like that....He did it last year that was part of our one and done and seems to be where we're heading now....Different year different pile of junk...I hope I'm wrong...

I've noticed in previous years that there is a tendency for teams to allow another team to waltz up the field then the D will put on the brakes and stop them. Do I like this ? NO...One thing it does is make the QBs look good. For all the yardage the Argos put up they should have scored more. Hurl is a liability and maybe some of the criticism is because he looks like a deer in the headlights but that is just the way he looks. Couldn't we put Corney in there ?...I'm afraid MOS will stay the course and we are stuck with Hurl.
Teams are keying on Harris and with Flanders out it puts more pressure on him. Why did we not play our fullback more ? You know, the way the Argos did.
We should have beat that team. I am so glad I did not go to the game. So many times I have had to watch the Bombers lose in Tor. Is there some kind of jinx ? This goes way back and is one of the reasons I started going to Hamilton more.
I have faith in Medlock that he will bounce back.

A lot of our problems are due to our lack of depth. Bond gets hurt, we get Newfeld. Now that's a step down you would not want to take blindfolded. I dream of the days when we had so many very good linebackers we had problems holding on to them. Now we are stuck with Hurl. Stuck might be the wrong word, maybe it should be we are the victim of MOS's bone headed management. Hurl got 4 tackles yesterday but only because he was hanging on to the guy running him over for fear of getting cleat marks in his face. I guess it's not funny but it's past time of discussing it seriously.

No you've never been more right Papa. . . . . and its tgo bad. No real bomber fan should be as critical and cynical as yours truly - BUT THATS MY JOB!

o'shea managed to hide Hurl for much of the first 2/3 of the season - now its exposed like virulent kryptonite - the bad kind.

Unfortunately, O'Shea has to double or triple down on being a stubborn cuss cuz that's the way he does things. No one is gonna change that - even if Wadzilla threatened him with firing in the off-season. Much as I love Paul Lapolice he doesn't have the backbone O'Shea does - Plop was regularly jobbed around by prior Winnipeg managements and boards; some people who didn't know a football was made of pigskin and a yard was 3 feet.

With Leggett in the lineup - a lot of Hurl's sluggish speed (he's got the speed of stop) and low powered game (bout as tough as Ronda Rousey after she got her head kicked off) are now coming home to roost. Trestman just had Ray go after it more than prior coaches. It was so obvious it was sickening.

O'Shea will tell us Hurl did the job the coaches thought he'd do - ie. ball-spotting, play calling and burying himself in turf play after play . . . .

A lot of teams face depth issues once injuries hit, there will almost always be a drop off to the next guy. Neufeld is not an all star like Bond, but he was actually serviceable against the Argos D who feature some good pass rushers and the line didn't allow a sack from the stat sheet.

Agreed with Dan. Given the yardage they put up, how did the Argos not put up more points? With all of our struggles on offense we actually led most of the second half. As much as our defense has been criticized for the yardage allowed, they've actually been good enough to keep the score close the last two weeks in spite of the offensive issues. There's a lot of youth on our D and without Leggett there was little respect for our D. D had trouble getting off the field and the offense had trouble keeping them off the field - a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

Well, Dressler showed up to play. That nasty and IMO suspendable tackle by Rico Murray had me holding my breath he'd get hurt yet again. The other receivers made some catches, but Dressler was the only one making big plays. Harris had some good moments but he needs help now that Flanders is out. I have to call out Denmark yet again. He's a vet, he has some speed, how is it he hasn't been able to get himself open two weeks in a row now when the Bombers' have needed a vet to step up? Givens was OK in his debut, in my mind probably better to keep him in the line up if he can continue to develop and learn as I think Denmark looks done for good now. When healthy, Adams, Harris, Flanders, Dressler give us a dynamic foursome. We're still OK with only 3 of them. Take two of them out and add in a long season for Harris and it's no co-incidence our offense has tailed off. Someone needs to step up as a playmaker to help things out.

As soon as that guy dumped Dressler I said he should be gone. Only Dunigan had anything to say about it. I like when he does colour. He knows what he is talking about....That Givens has got some speed. He almost broke on a punt return.... We need to get the ball to our fullback more....The D did enough that we should have won in spite of Hurl.....Thumbs up, Wolverine.

Sad to hear Bomber's National Scout Craig Smith has been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia.
Without health the rest doesn't really matter, wishing him all the best.

OK, re-balanced my meds, slept in, watched old youtube victories, I’m ready to prognosticate.

NOS’s arrogance cost us the game.

With a buck thirty left we could have moved down within 20 yards, but, being supremely confidant with the best kicker in CFL history (according to NOS), he chose to settle for the 40.
Even Nichols, sounding a bit PO’d, said they should have moved that final kick closer.
Watching it, it swerved right. Take ten off the spot, that one’s good and we rest our beat up’s.

NOS hopefully learned a lesson.

Correct as usual Wumps . . . . I'd give Sniffy O'Shorts the loser of the week award, even ahead of dumps like Hurl, Matlock, Denmark, Buono & Durant.

O'Shea will no doubt go out proud, talk about how proud he is of all his guys - even the mopes who continue to cost him games (Hurl, Lankford, Denmark, Matlock) and give the crowd the old O'Shea salute when they succumb to superior forces in their 1 & done playoff matchup.

O'Shea's final 2 minute strategy had all kinds of loser-style flaws loaded up into his honey-wagon. First, you have to think of running lost of time off the 1:57 - because even if you give Ricky 30 seconds - that's all he needs to hit one bomb, one crosser and a positional run to let his more accurate kicker punch it in from inside the 35.

The 2nd down play from the Argo 30 was truly barf-worthy. He wanted to position the ball on the right hash which favours Matlock. But you don't hand off the ball 7 or 8 yds behind the line of scrimmage and have Harris lose you 3 or 4 yds. All the sudden a potential 34 or 35 yd field goal goes to just under 40. I suspect if Matlock had missed 5 or 6 FGs from inside the 45 O'Shea would have just gone into his tired, old stoic automaton act and let him try from the yips distance.

Even putting in Lafevour and letting him slide off-tackle for 2 or 3 would have enabled the bombers to kick for the winning pts from 34 or 35 out, NOT 40.

One other point while I'm suitably steamed. You don't run off the clock to zero (or 2 sec. when Coates got the snap). Yes, I know O'Shea has little to no confidence in his miserably coached and under-powered defense but there's2 reasons to launch the game-winning kick with 10 or more ticks left.

If Matlock manages to somehow put it between the posts, so what - Uncle Ricky has virtually no time left on the clock after the kickoff. And if Matlock misses the uprights he probably ties the game cuz the BMO endzones are only 15 yds deep - and an attempt from 34/35 should go thru fora rouge.

But here's the kicker - if you take into consideration Matlock is gonna yench another FG . . . . . and even if Liram catches it deep into the endzone - he kicks it out of bounds and if it lands anywhere inside the 35 of the argos - Matlock has another chance at the same kick from about the same distance!

Mike got stupid. So now he's got stubborn and stupid going for him.
Bomber fans don't have a ton of confidence going into the playoffs.
So much so that I believe if somehow the Bombers back into the home game for the semi-final there might be well under 20,000 ghosts of Xmas past in the stands, standing around near the Rum Hut. If Regina comes to town then they'll bring 2,000 or more of their own boisterous and drunken troops with them.

.....There was so many things wrong with our last field goal attempt....Firstly...nobody can tell me that Medlock....who hit one from a helluva lot further out, couldn't have at least pounded it hard enough....that even if it missed, would have at least gone through the end zone to send this one into overtime...It was just bull$hit all the way around...O'Shea went brain dead in the last minute...A rookie coach knows IF you have that amount time get the rock as close as you can to the opposition end....not fiddle and fritter the time away getting sacked or buried at the line of scrimmage...Like Lyle said ..Lefevour could have run the ball closer than what we did in those last plays....We gifted the Argos first place and left ourselves with question marks...Biggest question mark being ....Can O'Shea be confident and competent enough to take this team past one play-off game?..I'm beginning to wonder....Instead of Mike O taking a big whiff of those salts at the beginning of the game, he should save a blast for the end....then give his head a bloody good shake. >:(

Can't disagree, Papa. But even if Medlock makes it, I still have question marks about this team/coach. Why did MOS waste his challenge for/during the Argo two-point convert ? There could have been a much more important play later. We should not have been in this position in the first place !
Lirim also missed from the 39. The wind from the lake was gusting. So MOS should have tried to get closer, no doubt.

You've been around almost as long as me Papa - so you'll remember when Plop looked like a cool cucumber most games - until the final couple minutes when his head nearly explodes and he looked like Porky Pig on speed. O'Shea came down with a major case of Plopitis - his mind was frozen, he didn't know how to use countbacks for his team's final drive, he maximized his kicker's distance accuracy (instead ofminimizing it) and he made a lot of people who had doubted his idiosyncracies and obstinate ways believers - those folks now think he might be the biggest idiot coach in recent Winnipeg history (surging ahead of mopes like Timbo Burke, Claude Noel, Charlie Huddy & Mr. Maurice)

One thing there is no question whatsoever - Mike O'Shea looked and coached like a friggin' moron the last couple minutes!

I think O'Shea lost his mind in the last2 minutes, no question. With the winds coming off the lake, working with a mentally fragile kicker - he should have known Matlock was no better than 45% to make it from the 39, 30% or less from the 40 to 45 and under 1% 50+...... even with Matlock's muddled state of yips, he would have been at least 55% from the 35, 65% from the 30 and 80% from inside the 30. Also think Matty Coates may be positioning the football at a slightly different angle than Dressler - and that may be affecting Matlock's length. . . . . and when your length is in doubt, your accuracy also breaks down!

Complete success for O'Shea would have been allowing Nichols to march the ball to the Toronto 25 and let the chips fall. The hand-off to Harris, 8 yds deep in the backfield was just the offshoot of a totally inept coaching showing us just how inept he can get.

The first seeds of doubt re: Medlock were sewn in last seasons playoff loss to BC - remember, O'Shea trotting Medlock out for a 62 yd field goal with zero winds vs. having Matt Nichols go on 3rd and 4 from mid-field w/ just under a minute left. Not only did Medlock miss the field goal - he was short by nearly 10 yards. So basically O'Shea put the season on a kicker who reported pre-game that he might be good from 53 max. But that's what idiots do - and O'Shea was an idiot but escaped the noose cuz the bombers had a nice 11-8 record and made the playoffs.

At that point Medlock, even though the impossible field goal was NOT his fault - lost a ton of confidence, especially when he saw his boot drop down at around the BC 10. The only good thing O'Shea's horrid call did was protect Matt Nichols from similar loss of confidence. There was probably no way Nichols gains 4 yds the way BC had defensed the bombers. But at least there was a sliver of a chance - with Matlock there was zero chance. And even if the guy punches it thru - there's nearly a minute left for BC to drive it into rouge territory as a bomber field goal would only have tied the affair.

I saw the comments after the BC game about using Normand more. The thing is, once Flanders came into the line up, it gave the offense a lot of versatility - 2 guys in the backfield who can run, split out and play receiver, and were capable blockers. A lot of that versatility was lost with Flanders' injury. Normand could block and catch the ball, but he's not a guy you can rely on to handle 6-7 touches on offense a game, maybe a couple but he's not good enough to be a regular contributor and doesn't offer much in the way of an explosion type play. There's some benefits to using him, have him block and split out Harris into more of a slot role so he's not blocking as often. But I think we'd be better off if we had another american RB who could have replaced Flanders, someone more dynamic who could handle 7-10 touches a game and be able to explode once or twice for a big gain. But since we don't have that, using Normand a bit more regularly would probably still benefit the offense.

Using Normand more would actually hurt. Guy is a solid special-teamer, good blocker, etc. but he's only got two speeds - 1. Stop & 2. Decelerate
No point in giving him the pigskin - even a deadbeat hobo like Sam Hurl might be faster than Normand.

I'm not saying to revamp the O to revolve around Normand but when the team is announcing that Harris will break records and be the man, other teams key on him more. We've seen the results. Normand may not be fast but he's hard to bring down which is crucial in short gains. Teams are not expecting him to carry or accept a screen....Gee, if I can't get you guys to want to use Normand, what are my chances that stubborn MOS will ? The Argos used Cross to deflect from Wilder and it worked.
I never liked the 'stay the course' attitude. You think with all the game film being watched that MOS would pick up that gimmicks/CHANGES do work !!!
It's a given that Solly will be gunning for Harris next game. We need this next game in a profound way. Please don't give BC the same look that every team in the league is now familiar with.

Dan - I think you're on an island with regard to Normand - a good football player if you will but certainly not a threat to carry the rock for anything more than a few yards before being brought down. The Argos, not the greatest d-line in the league were able to negate the bomber o-line gap-control and hold Harris to virtually nothing . . . . . and that's alarming. Harris isn't a straight thru the middle guy, especially when earth=mover T. Bond isn't there and howdy-doody Neufeld is. Gotta get him in open space where he can make the first tackler miss and gain 6 to 15 yards - like they did in first 2/3 of season. However, if Harris is sore and nicked up his evasiveness is gonna suffer big time. No Flanders, no other import RB in town (big mistake by Walters) to influence other team's defenses. . . . . . well you already know what I'm predicting!

Captain O'Shea will go down with the ship, saluting proudly til the last person leaves IGF. And the team will build on its wondrous 12-6 or 11-7 reg. season record as the key selling point for 2018.

However, I heard O'Shea tell Bob Irving that he'd love to have Richie Hall next season and Sam Hurl is his guy at MLB. Alarming statements but that's how O'Shea roles. . . . . until Miller & Walters look at early season ticket cancellations and order Buck Private O'Shea to upgrade his DC and look for a legit middle linebacker.

You're right Lyle. I'm just wishing out loud hoping MOS will hear me, Something has to change or else your prediction may come true. The only way Harris has a great game is if we stretch the field and with Adams out it is much harder... I think we have to develop our Cdns. Send Feoli down for some big catches. Used to be the Cdns. were the glue and the team with the best homegrown talent usually won. Nowadays all the locals are on ST. If they can keep giving a guy like Hurl chance after chance, what about others ?

MOS doesn't listen to fans like us, the informed ones. The only guy he defers to is Wad Miller, and only when Miller is in duress and launches marching orders thru Kyle Walters. When O'Shea's job is on the line that's when he breaks. Miller will have to put O'Shea on the line to effect the disposal of Hall, returning Hurl to special teams!

No, I understand that. To me, the beauty of what Flanders allowed them to do was give them two players with Harris who could play anywhere on the field and could break a big play. This really expanded the playbook. Without him, Harris is stuck in the backfield most of the time, making it easier for the opposition to take him out of the game. Normand could be used more, take up some of the blocking that Harris is doing and he's been good in the pass game for 5-10 yard gains here and there but to me he's not enough of a threat for teams to stop keying on Harris.

Bottom line, no Flanders and no Darvin Adams takes out 150-200 yards offense per game from where we were. The others haven't been able to contribute enough to replace that. Normand could be a piece to help get a few of those yards, but we need more. My personal preference is if we had another RB so we could get back to what was working well for us in the Harris-Flanders tandem. Heck, we could use a breakout performance from Washington, Givens, or anybody. It's too bad Langford has tailed off so much in recent weeks to being shelved. His speed could have been an asset.