Re-Assessing Mike O'Shea - 5 years in

Time for a re-assess on bomber head coach Mike O'Shea, The Smirk-Master of Bishop Grandin Blvd.

Sorry to say this won't be as negative as many expect. So sad for the inter-galactic trolls who are looking for any morsels where they can lash out personally at other posters.


Well into his 5th year with the WBBs - still a below .500 record (.494 to be exact) but he's only 1 game under .500 and could attain vaunted .500 status late Friday nite.

Aspects of O'Shea that are positive:

  • He's a remarkable player's coach, players from other markets have heard that he's solid with his players, stars, solid, hobos alike.

  • He's a special-teams master; lots of tricks in the arsenal but solid teams play enable most tricks to work

  • No real player drama since O'Shea came on board - he's a rather large man and has a reputation as being a sh(t-kicker.

Aspects that are mediocre:

  • He lets his coaches do the coaching but hasn't shown any tendency to repair or replace that which is broken or damaged

  • A bit slow to make in-game adjustments

  • While a top shelf teams coach, his decision to let Richie Hall wallow in his own sorrow and poor alignments are of great concern.

Below average:

  • Mike is super-intense. The open mic games exposed him - he's got way too much going on and is unable to be fluid when it comes to ongoing on-field decision-making

  • He's got 44 ideas - and all of them are better

  • Gets distracted too easily. Case in point - when Wally Buono burned his challenge but decided to keep his challenge rag velcroed to his hip. O'Shea was way too distracted, trying to get the refs to commit the flag was impotent. It prevented O'Shea from focusing on more important issues.

  • Strange decisions when it comes down to the short strokes. Letting his kicker try from 63, poor game prep in both his post-season losses, odd short yardage gambling decisions, not the greatest in terms of "getting the points"

Conclusion: THere's many things O'Shea does well (mostly handling of player personnel) but too many things he hasn't come close to mastering yet. At 48, in his 5th year as head coach, its probably too late for a stubborn cuss like O'Shea to come full circle at this aspect. He's a players coach to be sure but his players have lost more times than they've won - and Mike is winless in two playoff outings - one a disturbing home loss to Wally, JJ Jennings and the declining Lions.

Obviously Mike gets the balance of this season to be sure!

Even if the team fades to 8-10 or 9-9 and meekly crosses over to the East - he gets one more year.

Next year - he'll be on the clock. Especially if he's coming off a 9-9 season with another playoff loss in the eastern semi.

Don't think Miller & his board will allow more than 5 or 6 games in before drawing the line - and if the record is poor to below average - Mike gets canned!

Have an 11-7 or 12-6 record but losing the western semi - also a stinker!

12-6 or better, winning the western semi but getting his arse handed to him in the western final (to Calgary) gives him another clean year of no interference from Miller and his board.

I think he better win the Cup this year or else we start looking for a replacement. There are no excuses left, in my book. This is a stacked team that should dominate.

….and on that I totally agree...You can only go to the well so many times and come up empty and the villagers (who have been dying of thirst for the last 27 years) are going to get out the torches....ropes and scalping paraphernalia ...It's been too long a wait now...Good luck to Mike O if he takes this team into the sweet night quietly...It ain't gonna wash

Mike O is under fire because he's not only a sub .500 coach well into his 5th year - he's also winless in his only 2 playoff outings!

Not a great record.

Better than vermin like Maggot Kelly, Count Chocula, Tim Burke, etc. but still not enough.

The organization has stabilized in its management core - however, a relatively green GM in K Walters doesn't help (his drafting record is atrocious, his southern scouting is barely adequate but he's been able to nab a few good free agents due to the team loosening the purse strings courtesy of the team funder, the PC government)

Being "Gifted" with Richie Hall as your def. coordinator is not the gift that keeps on giving - unless you're a bomber critic like moi.

Last year, bombers didn't have anyone to take over from Matt Nichols when he unbelievably got hurt after being lambasted (imagine that). Just a couple goobers in the barrel, Nichols had to be prematurely rushed back into service with a broken hand. Imagine that?

This year a couple key injuries down the stretch - and that would be the out Mike O'Shea requires to trigger another year of so-called ineptitude. ie. losing any combination of key players like Harris, Nichols, Bryant, Bighill, Leggat, Demski, etc.

O'Shea is a loyalist. Once he's handed the pink slip he'll proudly leave the office and salute an empty stadium, proud as can be - beaming with the smirk of a guy who wasn't quite able to get the job done.

OR he might win the GC and then he can write his own ticket to almost any team in the league. Including the Bombers !
Imagine that !

Well, one thing that makes a coach look smarter..... is actually having a legit quarterback.

Since Nichols has replaced a string of previous breakfast specials, and become the starter here......MOS has a winning percentage...of .684

Are you saying that a coach is only as good as his players or can a legit coach make a QB look smarter too ? Is it not symbiotic to a degree.

I think you should find people you think can do the job and then let them do it. This is for both players and coaches.

Five years ago they set out to make this team better and they have. There is only one more step to climb. If we can’t climb that step, we find someone else we think can.

Right now I am having too much fun enjoying the ride to care about the future. I like when the Bombers are winning… the off season is for cleaning out the shed.

Puts him in good company: Bud Grant .644 .

Of course given the state that the organization was in when Osh and Walters took over, he'll never manage that as a lifetime %.

With the win over the pesky Ticats tonite - O'Shea has finally achieved his life-long goal. .500 coach in CFL.

Well done, Mikey O

……And that would be the embodiment of faint praise

Come on. Only a hardcore Blue Bomber fan looking at the roster with rose-tinted glasses would think that the Blue Bombers are "stacked".


The best way to assess the job Michael O'Shea hasbeen doing as the coach of the Blue Bombers is to look at the team's record before and after he assumed the coaching reinsprior tothe 2014 season:

2012 6-12
2013 3-15

2014 7-11
2015 5-13
2016 11-7
2017 12-6

So under Mike O'Shea the team has in general progressed.

For whatever reason though some fans are constantly negative. It's as if they're not aware of the bleak mathematics of sport. The Blue Bombers play a very good highly motivated team every week and it's a zero sum game. Whenever one team wins, the other loses. And there's only one champion at the end of the year.

With nine teams in the CFL, if the Blue Bombers win the Grey Cup by 2020, Michael O'Shea will have done an above average job.


They addressed all the shortcomings from a year ago and filled them with excellent players. Some didn't work out(Bowman). Our depth is impressive, if they ever need to use them. If I have any colour of glasses on, they're blue.

You seem to be giving O'Shea another two years to get it done, I'm not. Teams with less talented rosters have won while we still wait.

Everything is in place. We need to do it now.

If O'Shea can scramble the team to a 11-7 or 12-6 record and win eastern crossover (11-7 or 10-8 might be the required record) or steer the team into 2nd in west and win the west semi-final I think thats the Mendoza line . . .

A loss to Calgary, in Calgary in a western final showdown would be the expected result. The increasingly immobile and suddenly inaccurate Matt Nichols won't be able to stand up to his Cowtown bro, Levi-Mitchell - let alone the stiff & withering Calgary defense!

Losing to Calgary by 3 pts to 10 would not be a disgrace - and would enable O'Shea, immo to continue his reign of stoicism in Winnipeg - FOR 1 MORE YEAR!

Losing an eastern final to Ottawa (or perhaps Hamilton) would not sit well, especially with Bomber fans. Walters & Wad Miller might accept it. We wouldn't. I'm on board with Dan38 on this one. If a bomber 11-7 team can't subdue a dishevelled Ottawa (10-8 or 9-9 might be their expected record) then O'Shea must be released back into the wilderness.

If O'Shea can shepard an obviously ailing Matt Nichols and a very good bomber roster to the Grey Cup, win or lose - he prolly gets a minimum 2 year extension (if he wants it, which he will)

What are you talking about - we're not crossing over :o
We'll host Edm again, this time with our big players healthy and a different result!

I'll agree that noone wants to see another QF loss, especially at home. That would not sit well at all. As for the West final, well anything can happen in 1 game.

Bombers would have to 5-5 (or worse) down the stretch to have a chance to drop to 10-8, possible crossover status.

4-6 down the stretch means 9-9 overall - that would certainly put the bombers in either shaky ground 3rd in west status - or if Sask'n or BC picks up their sticks - it could be 4th and into the crossover.

3-7 down the stretch prolly means we don't make either!

The only way we play under 500 for the remainder is if Nichols & Harris are hurt. Can't see either BC or Sask passing us, we are clearly the better team. If they do and we're healthy, then yes MOS can be blamed as we didn't play to our expected level....but that's a big if. AT the same token, you should also consider we go 7-3 and likely host the WSF like I said.

Right now I am more worried about Ottawa Friday night. They had a good game against Mont, but we ain't Mont. Our D is playing exceptional. Trevor won't be throwing for no 400+ yards.

I put Ottawa right there in that 3rd group with Hamilton/BC & Sask. I think both us & Edm are clearly better. Infact I think we'll be the team to knock the Stamps off for the first time this year next week too.
We got a great chance to pile up some wins over the next 5 weeks: Ottawa/CGY/Mont/Sask/Sask
3-2 minimum

I'm not too sure about Hamilton (undisciplined and a porous O-line), Sask ( ????) and BC ( Lulay is one good sack away from retirement).