Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bombers Coach, GM, Say Only Wins Will Show Whether They've Improved the Team

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Bombers Coach, GM, Say Only Wins Will Show Whether They've Improved the Team

Article excerpt

Bombers need wins to prove they're better


WINNIPEG - The coach and general manager of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers say wins are the only thing that will show whether they've assembled a better team this season.

"I want to say our fans are going to see a team that they're proud of, that regardless of the outcome on each particular game, that the fans are going to leave the stadium knowing that we gave it all," GM Kyle Walters said Friday on one of the conference calls CFL teams are having with the media as they prepare for the new season.

But there were no bold predictions as to whether the Bombers are a better team yet than they were last season.

"It's all words until we hit four wins," said Mike O'Shea, the former Toronto special teams co-ordinator preparing for his rookie season as a CFL head coach.

Last season, the Bombers tied their worst record ever in the 18-game schedule as they finished in the CFL cellar at 3-15.

"What does better mean?" asked Walters. "That's the beauty I guess of our line of work that better is quantifiable with wins and losses."

The team's on-field balance sheet shows additions and subtractions since that last troubled season ended. General manager Joe Mack got his pink slip well before the final game and coach Tim Burke was sacked after it was all over.

Since then, the biggest loss was defensive star Henoc Muamba. The Canadian linebacker who was Winnipeg's top defensive player, top Canadian player and top player overall in 2013 signed with the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL.

And one possible import replacement, former Tennessee Titan Gerald McRath, didn't pan out. He went to the team's mini-camp in Florida and the defensive staff didn't see what they were looking for in the veteran.

"It's not something we're worried about," said O'Shea, pointing to players still on the roster who can fill the hole.

The Bombers also lost Canadian special teams linebacker James Green and import receiver Wallace Miles to the Ottawa Redblacks in the CFL expansion draft. …

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