Home Valuable stamps Deja vu for the Blues: another week trying not to think about the West Final

Deja vu for the Blues: another week trying not to think about the West Final


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Here we go again. Another week of training for a match that makes no sense in the standings.


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Another set of decisions on who to leave out, who to leave behind.

And enough analysis to stifle the Stampeders touchdown horse on how it all will affect these players and the whole team when it matters most: in the CFL West Finals on December 5.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers hit the clear training ground on Tuesday, surrounded by piles of snow and questions about their plan for the regular season final in Calgary next weekend.

Yes, head coach Mike O’Shea wants to reinsert some players who missed last Saturday’s 28-14 loss in Montreal, depending on their health.

Quarterback Zach Collaros is probably at the top of the list, although he missed Tuesday’s practice due to his wife, Nicole, giving birth to their second child on Monday night.


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Capri Sofia Collaros entered this world at 10:20 p.m.

O’Shea isn’t worried about when his father might return to work.

“I told him to take care of his family,” O’Shea said. “So we’ll see. This is a pretty important thing, obviously. He will make the best decision for himself and his family and then we’ll find out from there.

“I think he knows what he’s doing.”

If the Bombers needed a reminder of Collaros’ worth, they got it in Sean McGuire’s first start in the CFL.

Let’s just say it wasn’t for the album.

The ultra-competitive Collaros will not be the only one to go after revenge against the Stamps.

Safety Brandon Alexander and lineman Pat Neufeld took their coach’s meds last weekend, almost crawling into their flat-screen TVs as they watched from home.


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“It was really extremely difficult,” said Alexander. “Because I want to play. But I was there like I was playing, anyway… screaming and watching the guys fly and stuff. It was just difficult… not even just being in the atmosphere.

“But I’m playing a game where I don’t give my opinion. I go over there and I say, “Yes, sir. “

Ditto Neufeld, whose 32-year-old body could still use the rest, even if his mind wanted to play.

“It’s hard to argue that,” Neufeld said. “But ultimately I think it helped a bunch of guys just by getting that extra week. You want to be out there playing… you want to play as much football as possible after missing it for almost two years.

So who should sit on this last one? And how many snapshots should the most valuable vets get?


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Given that the Bombers are entitled to time off for the first round playoffs, how much free time is too long?

“Everyone looks at it in different ways,” Alexander said. “And each of them is true in some sense. It is important to win every game. I don’t care if you have your starters or your second string, we go there to do one thing, and that is to win. So we’re going to keep this ball moving.

Two years ago, the Bombers also faced Calgary in their regular season home final with a pass the following week.

The players later said beating the rival Stamps gave them a huge boost heading into the playoffs, where they had a streak that didn’t end until they paraded the Gray Cup on the ‘avenue Portage.

“It’s definitely a good thing to do before the playoffs,” Neufeld said. “You want to go to the playoffs playing your best football, for sure. We want to hit the whole cylinder hard and play well.


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“Whoever is going to play this game is going to play hard like we really have to win this game.”

It’s not quite the same as 2019. The Bombers are in first place, not third.

And they didn’t stumble in the final third of the season in desperate need of a reboot, like they were then.

One might therefore think that it would be difficult not to look to the future.

“No, not at all,” Alexander said. “Especially not in this organization, not in the culture that we have built here. What a cliché to say we take one game at a time or one day at a time – that’s literally what it is. If you look too far, you can’t do anything that’s in front of you.

“What’s in front of us is Calgary. “


Sean McGuire watched the tape, admitted his mistakes for what they were, and left it behind.


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At least he had before returning to practice and a final round of questions on Tuesday.

“Time heals everything,” said the Blue Bombers quarterback, referring to the pain caused by his poor performance in the loss to Montreal this weekend. “After the game it hurts a lot. Just stung. Injury. Took it all, felt it and moved on. Day by day, moving on. We’re in a new week and that’s the goal .

McGuire threw four interceptions, while making just 11 of 26 passes for 149 yards in the 28-14 backhand, ending his team’s winning streak at nine.

He cited a combination of mistakes: bad decisions, bad throws and trying to force the ball when he should have known better.

“It’s something I remember doing when I was young in college,” he said. “Immediately I understand what I did, what I did wrong. “

The 25-year-old from Western Illinois has made no excuses, even though it was his first meaningful game in three years.

“It’s precious,” he said. “It was all still good to learn, good and bad. Go ahead and grow. I’ve had more shots than I’ve had in years.

McGuire handled most of the snaps in practice on Tuesday, but starter Zach Collaros is expected to play at least part of Saturday’s final regular season game in Calgary.



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