The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are set to face the Edmonton Elks this Friday at 9 PM EST in a rematch that gives the Elks an opportunity to perhaps save face after their massive 30-3 loss to the Bombers last week.
But as we’ve reported, the Bombers are doing everything they can defensively, but the team is pretty hard on itself in statements made to the press in recent days following that game; they humbly stated that their offense needs some work for sure.
Placekicker, Ali Mourtada, is the one mentioned most in the supposed departments that need some work, he missing quite a few attempts over the last few games.
As was reported by bluebombers.com, Ali admits to needing some work, making a few other statements as well. He said:
“There really isn’t too much I can say…It didn’t go the way I wanted. Not many words can describe that…Now it’s just a matter of moving forward and making sure I improve and let it be backed by action as opposed to words. Things I’ve learned from, yes. But definitely moving forward I’ve definitely got to put the words into action…It’s grace. It’s having amazing teammates, amazing coaches that see it within you and know your work ethic. Even with that the case with some guys that’s not always the way with kickers. It was Thanksgiving here in Canada and that’s something for sure I was thanking God for: that there is some grace here and they still have some faith in me to do it…”via bluebombers.com
Head coach, Mike O’Shea finally opened up a wee bit more than last time, speaking on what the issues might be with Mourtada right now. His comments last time were defensive of the placekicker, but with these comments we see that he now perhaps knows a little more than before that Mourtada is open to direction, thus his openness about what the problem may be:
“The thing I’ve remarked about him from the time we’ve worked him out is he hits the same ball every time in terms of how he strikes it, how clean the ball flies…The ball flight is the same every time. There’s no hook, there’s no slice, there’s no duff… there’s none of those inconsistencies you see sometimes from other kickers. He kicks the same ball pretty well dead-straight every time…Now he needs to work on his angles and the hashes and that’s what he’s focused on, reaffirming the view from the different hashes and the different angles. It is a process, but I see a guy very committed to the process. He’s not an excuse maker. He understands he needs to keep working and that’s what he’s doing… I do think the correction is slight… we just have to land on the right correction…It’s very simple to just judge it as ‘made it or didn’t make it…If you look beyond that and look at all the aspects around kicking, he’s a good kicker. My job is to coach and make sure I’m giving him everything I can and try to give him exactly what he needs for him to find that spot again because he’s had it before. It’s my job to help make him more successful. That’s what I’ll focus on.”via bluebombers.com
Judging by the abysmal performance from the Elks last week, there aren’t many out there thinking that the game on Friday can go any different…especially if the Bombers step up their offence like they’re clearly hoping for.
But in sports, like in anything else, we can say: Never say never, dear readers.