The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are set to face the Montreal Alouettes once again this week, and after their slight victory over them last week, many are expecting quite the game. Either the Alouettes step up their game even more and cause quite the upset—perhaps the upset of the season—or the Bombers do what they’ve done pretty much all season and dominate after experiencing the Alouettes last week.
They gave them quite the challenge, as we reported, but the Bombers seem to have an ace up their sleeve, as shockingly enough, they will be starting a new quarterback come Saturday’s game.
Sean McGuire will be starting in the QB position and the reasons for it may in fact be many…one glaring one is that perhaps head coach Mike O’Shea wants to try him out and give him a start this season, seeing that the path to the West Division final is now definite, although there are those that say that a win is still important, as a break in momentum can affect the team negatively. A win against the Alouettes after the close game from last week is just as important.
Essentially he’s taking a chance with McGuire, but it seems to be quite the educated chance overall. As bluebombers.com suggest however, the Bombers want to guarantee that Zach Collaros is as rested as possible for the West Division final, no matter who they go up against and at the end of the day, that’s just smart coaching…all of the other aforementioned reasons are just perks it would seem.
Although the aforementioned piece by Ed Tait does cite that it’s an opportunity for most players get some play on the field before the West Division final, so there’s confirmation of our speculation right there.
Also of note, Zach and his wife are expecting a child…so there’s never a clear-cut answer, and this is proof of that—instead a plethora of reasons are announced, as you just read dear readers, but McGuire gets to play and perhaps for him, that’s most important—as he will help the team in any way he can, doing wonders for his career in the process.
It was just after Wednesday’s practice that McGuire was all smiles and very happy to have been given the opportunity.
“Get a win. However it looks, I want to win the game. I don’t care how it looks. Obviously, I just want to win the game…I have closely followed Zach this year and I know I’ll still continue to talk to him throughout this week and try to stick to what we do and I think if we do that, we’ll be more than okay…Me and Zach talk a lot. Zach and I are real close and we do a lot of things together both on and off the field. He’s such a great leader, someone I can’t even tell you how much I’ve learned from him this year and even in a short stretch in 2019 when he came for the last four games. I can’t explain how much I’ve learned from him and how great of a teammate and friend he is…
I’ve had lots and lots of practice reps. I’ve seen a ton of mental reps watching Zach in practice and there’s the film study that we do…Now it’s just the last thing that I haven’t done, which is take some snaps and however that looks… we’re going to go out we’re going to look to execute one play at a time and the goal is to win.”via bluebombers.com
Receiver, Drew Wolitarsky, said of his teammate:
“It’s always funny, man, because us on the field is always different than us off the field…Off the field he’s such a calm, chill guy. But when he’s out there he’s competitive. You can see that spirit in him. It’s who he is. I think it’s just part of who he is and where he’s from… it’s that chip on his shoulder. Small-town guy, Wisconsin boy… he brings that fire, man. He really genuinely loves and cares about it. You can tell that in his play…He will give everything for this team. I’m excited to watch him and see that come out in the game.”via bluebombers.com
Bombers head coach, Mike O’Shea also weighed-in:
“To me he’s got the right demeanor…He’s calm, he’s confident and the players in the huddle recognize that. He makes an effort with his teammates… you noticed it pretty quickly in training camp with him helping guys out and making sure guys are in the right spot, correcting guys as they come back to the huddle. He’s got something for a guy in terms of how he wants it to look downfield. When you’ve got all those attributes rolled into one, I mean, that’s what you need your quarterbacks to be: leaders, first and foremost…He’s a good athlete, he can throw. You don’t get to this point without being able to do those things. Then what sets people apart is their leadership, for one, play under duress, process quickly at game speed… those kinds of things. We know he’s got a bunch of those things already wrapped up.”via bluebombers.com
What to expect from the game
To quote legendary pro wrestling analyst, Jim Ross, a “slobberknocker” for sure (the term has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary and of course means: “A match or contest that is particularly hard-fought or physically aggressive”). Both teams obviously still want to make an impression, even though the Bombers don’t necessarily need the win, as mentioned.
*injury reports as of November 9th, 2021
They will have Veteran Trevor Harris starting for the Alouettes on Saturday, as well as defensive end Jamal Davis, who is making the most of things as they stand. Last week, he recovered that fumble, thus returning it for 19 yards and scoring quite the touchdown—his first pro TD, in the first quarter of that game.
Winnipeg seems to have taken care of their issues in placekicking, but their offense is still a tad in question among most, although their defense has been exemplary all season, despite some close calls, specifically last week’s.
The game is set to go down Saturday at 1PM EST.
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