The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defense is undoubtedly in tip-top shape, but they’ve had issues with their kickers for quite some time. They recently addressed the issue according to a piece in the Winnipeg Sun, and addressed their plans moving forward.
Kickers Tyler Crapigna, Marc Liegghio and Mourtada have a 50% kicking field goal rate so far during the CFL season…essentially leaving quite a wee bit to be desired.
Bombers head coach, Mike O’Shea talked specifically about Ali Mourtada who has been taking over kicking duties in recent games, but missed 3 out of 4 attempts on Friday’s game against the Edmonton Elks. Misses have happened before for Mourtada, and some would say that the situation is now dire. O’Shea said:
“…It’s not the way he’d like it to go either, so we’ll just continue to keep working…We just won 30-3; let’s focus on the positive things that came out of this game…”via Winnipeg Sun
Some may argue though, that focusing only on the positive may leave room for the holes in their offense to get only bigger.
And despite the win, the Bombers weren’t overly impressed with their game, as we covered in my last piece, but the players are always striving for better, despite success. Some would say that that is the true definition of a champion. Collaros too felt he had a lackluster performance. He spoke on this:
“…You’re never gonna play a perfect game but there’s obviously some things that we can clean up…I can certainly throw the ball better in a couple of those situations and turning the ball over there, on their five-yard line, is not something that is winning football. I have to clean that up and I will and we will as an offence…”via Winnipeg Sun
But Collaros wasn’t all that down on the group of men they have to thank for their victories this season: the defense. On them he said:
“…I think it’s huge when the big guys get going up there…Any time you’re in a situation where the other team knows you’re just gonna run the ball on every play and you’re able to do it at a high level, it’s got to be demoralizing for them. It’s not just the offensive line and Andrew, but I know our receivers were getting in there and getting dirty all game, so it was really impressive…”via Winnipeg Sun
The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and game after game, the defensive line has bent over backward—even causing controversy during the melee that erupted during the Banjo Bowl game this season. Linebacker, Adam Bighill, had some things to say on the defense’s behalf as well:
“…I see the way the guys work…I see the way we practice. I see the way we don’t take things for granted. I see everyone with a humbled attitude coming in to get better and playing for each other…If you’re watching the tape, that’s what you’re going to see, you’re going to see we’re not giving anyone anything, you’re going to have to come in and earn it…”via Winnipeg Sun
So they’re working on the kicker issue, and judging by O’Shea’s comments, it seems as though they’ll be sticking with Mourtada, which may be worrying to some moving forward.
We shall see what happens in the rematch against the Elks…happening this Friday at 9PM EST.