Bombers head coach, Mike O’Shea decided to underestimate the Montréal Alouettes and it turns out that the decision to play the Bombers B-team was a bad one in the end. The Alouettes turned out quite the victory over the West Division leaders—a team that is already secure in its position as West Division final hosts.
But despite the fact that their position was safe, what kind of message does the loss send out for the Bombers? Would it have not looked better to anyone paying attention if they remained undefeated for longer than this?
In football, perception is everything. It’s why teams crash through the paper signs when heading or rather storming out onto the field for a game. It’s why trash talk exists, and it’s why undefeated streaks are oh-so-important.
The Alouettes defeated the Bombers this past Saturday, 28 to 14.
The Bombers were in Montreal for that game and the weather was quite cold and rainy, but on their own turf, Montreal dominated in a game that had them pitted against the B-team for the Bombers.
No excuse, however. There are stellar players on the Bombers B-team, only they haven’t had the time necessary playing together, which was obvious during the game.
Zach Collaros was out, being rested for the west division final. Sean McGuire took his spot and as was stated by the Winnipeg Sun already, his time on the field was less than stellar, unfortunately. McGuire stated:
“It was a tough game for me. It’s disappointing. It’s just disappointing. I’ll learn from this. You can see the silver lining in it but this one stings.”via Winnipeg Sun
Adam Bighill, Willie Jefferson and offensive lineman Jermarcus Hardrick played but to a point, not clocking in for the entirety of the game. Bighill said of the game:
“Obviously this was a different roster and it was about getting guys more reps, more looks, more fresh legs. But all that being said, we still brought guys to come to win a football game and we didn’t do it. Obviously it feels a little different that we didn’t get the result that we wanted. We came here to win and we’re disappointed in our effort. We didn’t take care of the football well enough, we didn’t force enough turnovers, and on defense we gave up too many second-and-shorts. Overall, we’ve got to play cleaner football…
This is about continuing to level up right through to the playoffs. That’s when the best football comes, in a couple weeks. This was part of the process and we had the opportunity to get guys some more reps and get more comfortable. You never know, in football, when you’re gonna need the next guy up so it made sense to make that decision to see guys and that’s kind of where we were today.”via Winnipeg Sun
Did head coach Mike O’Shea regret his decision? He said:
“I thought we had some success in the fourth quarter and we still had time and I think he was trying to make some big plays and get the ball downfield a little bit, for his team. He (McGuire) was trying to make those plays to help us come back to win the game. You can’t fault a guy for trying to put that pressure on himself and get the ball downfield and put us in a position to win. I think he’d like to have a couple of those throws back, that’s all. I’m sure he’s not happy with the outcome but I think he should be looking at it in a positive light. He got those snaps under his belt, he’ll learn from them and he’ll be better.”via Winnipeg Sun
Perhaps in the end they could have done what’s often done in Serie A soccer, if I may be so bold to make a comparison. Have the top players start, gain the advantage, then take them out to rest them for important upcoming games and have the rest of the players get a chance to play together…but that wasn’t the way things were done, apparently.
And now, O’Shea’s having Collaros sit the entire game out proved troublesome and who knows what message it will send to the opposition come the 5th of December for the West Division final.