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Grey Cup 2023: O’Shea & Maas on Leading Teams to Historic Final, Press Conference Recap

At the Grey Cup 2023 head coaches press conference, Mike O’Shea of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Jason Maas of the Montreal Alouettes discussed their approaches to the upcoming Grey Cup game. O’Shea highlighted the importance of treating players as people first, emphasizing, “my role more and more is about just trying to deal with people before you deal with them as players.” Maas echoed this sentiment, noting his focus on building a team environment where players “feel important.”

Both coaches reflected on their coaching journeys and the influence of their past experiences. Maas spoke about his evolution as a coach, stating, “I’ve never looked for a job when I’ve had one… you either get better or you don’t.”

Regarding team strategy, O’Shea provided an update on player injuries, while Maas discussed the impact of new additions to the Alouettes, like Lemon and Sankey, highlighting their leadership and experience.

O’Shea on Bombers Player Injuries

In the press conference, Mike O’Shea provided crucial updates regarding the injuries of key players on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He mentioned Dalton Shon’s ongoing rehabilitation and Adam Bighill’s commencement of the recovery process. O’Shea emphasized his philosophy of never ruling out players too early, stating, “I’ll never rule a guy out, just got to give him hope.” This approach reflects O’Shea’s commitment to his team’s morale and readiness, highlighting the uncertainty but also the potential for these pivotal players to participate in the Grey Cup.

Maas on New Additions to the Alouettes

Jason Maas discussed the significant impact of new additions to the Montreal Alouettes, particularly focusing on Shawn Lemon and Darnell Sankey. He praised their immediate contribution to the team, noting, “they’ve added to it… more than anything.” Maas highlighted their leadership, experience, and their ability to fit into the team’s existing dynamics seamlessly. He stressed their hard work and effective communication, which have been instrumental in their leadership roles. These additions, according to Maas, have notably enhanced the team’s performance during their stretch run to the Grey Cup.

Bombers GM Kyle Walter Returning

Mike O’Shea addressed the topic of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ General Manager position. He anticipated that Kyle Walter would return to the role. O’Shea’s comment on this matter was brief but indicated a sense of continuity and stability within the Blue Bombers’ organizational structure. His focus remained on the present opportunity at the Grey Cup, steering the conversation away from the business side of the team’s operations and back towards the immediate goals on the football field.

O’Shea And Maas On Their Time In Toronto

Both coaches reminisced about their time together on the Toronto Argonauts coaching staff. This period was marked by a strong sense of camaraderie and mutual respect. They shared insights into their experiences and the impact it had on their careers. O’Shea recalled the fun, collaborative atmosphere and how it fostered learning and growth. Maas highlighted O’Shea’s work ethic and professionalism, noting how these qualities made the experience enjoyable and impactful. Their time in Toronto evidently played a significant role in shaping their coaching philosophies and approaches, which they now bring to their respective teams.

O’Shea on Bombers Playing In Fourth Straight Grey Cup

Mike O’Shea, during the press conference, also spoke about the Winnipeg Blue Bombers playing in their fourth consecutive Grey Cup. He emphasized the uniqueness of each season, noting that while the core group of veterans remains, each year brings a new team dynamic. O’Shea highlighted the importance of treating each Grey Cup as a distinct experience, focusing on the present team’s journey rather than dwelling on past successes. His approach underlines the importance of adaptability and the recognition that each season presents its own set of challenges and opportunities.

For the rest of the press conference the conversations touched on their coaching philosophies. O’Shea emphasized authenticity and the need for self-improvement within a coaching role, while Maas discussed managing his passion on the sidelines, stating, “I wanted to represent something different about myself.”

As the event concluded, both coaches expressed their dedication to their teams and the game, with Maas mentioning, “our league is phenomenal… it’s a phenomenal game.”

This press conference offered valuable insights into the minds of two leading CFL coaches as they prepared for a historic Grey Cup matchup.

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Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry is the founder and editor of CFL News Hub. A dedicated and experienced football analyst, he has been providing comprehensive coverage of the sport since 2018.
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