Bombers coach Mike O’Shea knew he’d discovered a house in Winnipeg lengthy earlier than finish of Gray Cup drought


THE BLUE MOUNTAINS, Ont. — When Mike O’Shea and his household first moved to Winnipeg in 2014 he was instantly struck by how shortly they have been welcomed into the group.

It wasn’t individuals sucking up simply because he was the brand new coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, both.

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It was simply typical Winnipeggers, outgoing, pleasant and neighbourly.

“The sincerity of the individuals we met proper off the bat was fairly cool,” O’Shea mentioned Tuesday on the CFL’s annual conferences on the Blue Mountain ski resort.

“Typically, as you age as mother and father, an increasing number of of your pals are primarily based on no matter actions your youngsters are doing. We occurred to satisfy some nice individuals proper off the bat.”

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Now of their seventh yr in Winnipeg, the O’Shea’s have discovered a house.

The coach mentioned so publicly as his group celebrated a Gray Cup championship with a parade to the Forks in late November.

O’Shea signed a three-year contract extension after the season after constructing the franchise from a 12-23 document in his first two seasons to a group that made the playoffs in 4 consecutive years and received the Gray Cup in his sixth season on the helm.

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Whereas there might have been alternatives for him to maneuver on to a spot like Toronto or Ottawa — he’s from North Bay, Ont., performed his Corridor of Fame soccer profession in Toronto and Hamilton and had not lived exterior Ontario till he moved to Winnipeg — it appears there’s nowhere else O’Shea would somewhat be proper now.

“The neighbourhood the place we dwell is unbelievable, the individuals are nice,” O’Shea mentioned. “There’s numerous that credit score ought to go to my spouse (Richere), who made certain the youngsters have been getting concerned and ensuring we tried to step into the group as shortly as attainable.”

The O’Sheas have raised son Michael, Jr., and daughters Ailish and Aisling within the metropolis, a spot that’s considerably blue collar, easy and loves its soccer.

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It’s not all the time simple being the top coach in a spot like that — there’ll all the time be armchair critics — however O’Shea has loved his interactions with followers on the road.

“I’ve all the time mentioned that, out locally, the followers are all the time very educated and all the time very respectful,” O’Shea mentioned. “I believe if there’s been any instances somebody might really feel form of slighted it’s solely on that (CJOB Coaches Present) radio present, the place individuals are nameless once they name in.

“Aside from that, all people’s been nice to cope with.”

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Not that individuals get an opportunity to see him out in public all that usually.

Our casual dialog on Tuesday turned to what eating places he likes, what craft breweries he frequents and he responded by saying he prefers to not exit in any respect.

“I’m a homebody,” he mentioned. “I like being at house. We’re away from our homes a lot working that after I’m house, I like being there. I actually do.

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“I like my sofa, I like my kitchen desk, I like my eating desk. When the climate’s a little bit nicer I just like the again yard … we’ve acquired a pleasant again yard.

“I don’t spend numerous time operating round city since you’re away out of your property so usually, a lot time of the time, that it’s simply nice to loosen up round the home when you’ll be able to.”

After all, when he does get out, there’s no scarcity of people that wish to high-five, pat him on the again or verbally congratulate him on the Gray Cup title.

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“The town remains to be filled with emotion and it’s neat to witness,” O’Shea mentioned.

I requested him the way it felt to have been capable of give the hungry individuals what they craved — a long-awaited championship — and he merely mentioned he doesn’t have a look at it like he gave them something.

“The group has labored actually exhausting and there’s numerous gamers and coaches, administration, scouting division — so many aspects that must be put in place to perform this purpose.

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“I’m pleased with what our guys have completed and what we now have constructed to this point.”

Whereas it’s been an pleasing low season for O’Shea, the 2020 season is simply across the nook. His first order of enterprise is to get a training workers in place after offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice left to turn into head coach of the Ottawa Redblacks.

The workers ought to be introduced quickly and it’s anticipated to incorporate quarterbacks coach Buck Pierce getting elevated to offensive co-ordinator.

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All the time protecting of group data, O’Shea would solely say “I’d say he’s an excellent candidate.”

Then O’Shea and basic supervisor Kyle Walters will flip their consideration to signing a few quarterbacks, largely probably two out of three of Matt Nichols, Zach Collaros and Chris Streveler.

It shouldn’t be exhausting to promote them on Winnipeg being a superb place to name house.

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Bombers gamers signing within the NFL is ‘Improbable,’ says O’Shea

THE BLUE MOUNTAINS, Ont. — Three of his gamers have bolted for the NFL and one other is ready on a contract provide south of the border however Mike O’Shea is much from upset.

“It’s simply unbelievable … It’s an ideal alternative for them and, understanding these guys, they may profit from these alternatives,” O’Shea mentioned Tuesday on the CFL’s winter conferences.

“They’ll be good execs and people organizations are getting good males. I’m excited to see the way it seems for them.”

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All-star defensive backs Winston Rose (Cincinnati Bengals) and Marcus Sayles (Minnesota Vikings) and promising rookie Jonathan Kongbo (San Francisco 49ers) have already signed contracts, whereas defensive finish and CFL most excellent defensive participant Willie Jefferson is hoping to signal with the Miami Dolphins.

O’Shea hopes it occurs to, even when it means dropping top-of-the-line gamers within the CFL.

“I consider he can play down there and I actually hope he will get a possibility,” O’Shea mentioned.

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“He’s a terrific athlete, he’s a superb soccer participant, he’s a superb professional, he’s a superb teammate. There’s numerous attributes that he has that, till you get him within the constructing, you simply don’t know. He was a pleasure to have round our constructing.”

Twyman@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/Ted_Wyman

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