It could be a bit of a coaching carousel in the CFL this off season.
We know for sure there will be a change in Ottawa after Rick Campbell confirmed he will not be back for a seventh season at the helm of the RedBlacks. The futures of Cory Chamblin and DeVone Claybrooks in Toronto and BC are “uncertain” following four and five win seasons respectively for the Argos and Lions.
And lately there have been rumblings Mike O’Shea is preparing to bolt from Winnipeg when this season is over to return to his home province of Ontario.
That topic came up Monday night on the Bomber Coaches show on 680 CJOB, and O’Shea’s response was pretty clear.
“I’m under contract for the team. I want to stay,” said O’Shea who is 56-52 in his six years at the helm of the Blue and Gold.
“In any contract situation, the contracts are up at some point, so you have to re-negotiate another one and now is not the time to be re-negotiating a contract. Now is the time to be focused on the playoffs, so I’m good with that.”
“There’s no truth that I’ve been declining multiple offers. That’s not the truth at all.”
O’Shea reiterated that he “absolutely” wants to stay right where he is.
The Blue Bomber Head Coach has guided his team to a 44-28 record in the last four seasons, but is 1-3 in the playoffs during that stretch. So it’s understood why he would want total buy-in to prepare for Sunday’s West Semifinal in Calgary. But when it came time to updating the status of injured Quarterback Chris Streveler, O’Shea made it clear that is classified information.
“(Athletic Trainer) Al Couture and his staff are taking good care of him and I know that Chris will put in a ton of time to try and give us everything he can when he can.”
O’Shea gave another generic response when asked about whether Streveler would be questionable for Sunday’s game, before finally admitting to host Bob Irving that he wasn’t going to provide any answers to those inquiries – in addition to refusing to confirm whether Zach Collaros will be the team’s starting QB.
A topic O’Shea was more than willing to discuss was last week’s decision by three members of the Winnipeg Chapter of the Football Reporters of Canada to leave Andrew Harris off the ballot as a team nominee in the categories of Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Canadian.
“It’s terribly disappointing that he didn’t receive some votes, or didn’t win one of the nominations. He’s an unbelievable player – a talent that you just don’t see come around very often,” O’Shea told his weekly radio show audience.
“He’s going to set, or has set all the records for Canadian tailback. He’s a damn good tailback in this league. Historically great numbers. No matter what your nationality is, he’s unbelievable.”
Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun and Jeff Hamilton of the Winnipeg Free Press both wrote that they could not see past the positive drug test Harris submitted to the league, and was suspended two games for midway through the season. And that’s why they chose to vote for Special Teams ace Mike Miller instead. But O’Shea doesn’t agree with that rationale.
“You know I just don’t think it’s right to try and change policy that can be changed in the off-season, during the season – through a vote,” O’Shea opined.
“You don’t protest like that. you take it to the Commissioner and you figure out a new system if you want to change it. But not in the current season. You do it at the end of the season when you’re supposed to.”
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