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June 3, 2019

Notes from Camp | Day 15 Recap

The Bombers had their practice Monday temporarily interrupted by lightning, but continued later with preparations for Thursday’s final preseason game in Regina. Here are our daily collection of notes and quotes from today’s session…


QB WATCH:

Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea confirmed that Matt Nichols will see action this Thursday in Saskatchewan in the final preseason tune-up before the real games begin.

“He’s going to play. We’ll get his reps,” said O’Shea. “It was a decision on our part to do it this way, so he’s expecting reps and he’ll get them.”

O’Shea said the plan isn’t to break the game up into quarters for his quarterbacks, but rather by series or a play count. He also wouldn’t confirm if all four pivots – including Chris Streveler, Bryan Bennett and Sean McGuire – would see action. “It’s really a question of how much Matt needs or how much he thinks he needs,” said O’Shea. “He doesn’t need a bulk (of work), but he’s got to get in there.”

Added Nichols, who met with the media before O’Shea confirmed he would play:

“Right now I’m feeling as good as I’ve ever felt in practice and things are going well. Whatever we decide makes sense to be ready to go in Week 1.”

Asked if he needed to get action before the opener, Nichols said:

“I’ve played so much football and we have high-tempo practices this year where we have a lot of ones against ones, so I’m going against one of the best defences in the league every day. I don’t know how different (game action) is, but we’ll have that conversation in the next couple of days and finalize that.”

QB ON THE QBS:

Nichols dressed for Friday’s preseason win over Edmonton, but didn’t take any snaps. Here’s his take on Streveler, Bennett and McGuire, all of whom moved the offence during their various times behind centre.

“They did an awesome job. Took care of the football and they all made some big plays. They got everyone fired up and I think all three of them at some point lowered their shoulder on somebody. The QB crew doesn’t want to be messed with.”

The three Bomber pivots combined to carry the ball five times for 57 yards, or a juicy 11.4-yard average.

“We’ve been joking since the game that we didn’t slide once,” said McGuire, who carried once for 13 yards, with a grin. “There’s an ongoing joke in the locker room about how we all want to go seek contact. That’s just how we’re wired. We just want to compete and just because we’re quarterbacks doesn’t mean we can’t go out and do what everyone else can.”

THE ‘OTHER’ GUY:

The Bombers QB depth chart looks solid with Nichols and Streveler 1-2, and Bennett and McGuire battling for the third spot. Bennett does a ton of extra stuff on special teams, but there is a lot to like about McGuire, who attended the club’s free-agent camp in Florida in April before attending rookie mini-camps with the Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins.

“I’m just coming out every day and competing, just having fun,” he said. “It’s a great group and we feed off each other. I love all the guys. I’m the youngest one, so I learn something new every day. I look forward to coming out every day and learning from a bunch of guys who are good teammates.”

McGuire was six of 10 for 69 yards in Friday’s game and certainly looked comfortable delivering strikes and moving around the pocket.

“I probably said it 50 times on the sideline and after the game, too… it was one of the coolest experiences of my life coming out here and playing in that environment,” said McGuire. “It was so much fun. A lot of things happened at once. I was excited. It was just a blast.

“Right after the game was done I just wanted to play again. Looking forward to Thursday would be an understatement.”

FYI:

Charles Nelson, who left practice on Sunday and was not on the field on Monday, will be further evaluated by doctors. O’Shea said he wasn’t sure if he would be available Thursday but was hopeful he could suit up… RB Brady Oliveira has missed the last two days due to personal reasons, but should be back soon… There was a minor skirmish Monday, as OL Cody Speller and DT Brandin Bryant went after it before the two lines broke up the melee. Both guys ‘hugged it out’ a few minutes later… One more from O’Shea, when asked if Chris Streveler needed to ‘reel in’ the temptation to take off and run sometimes rather than stay in the pocket. “His style of play and his game are very effective for him and for us,” said O’Shea. “If it was a case that he was missing touchdowns all over the field you would show him those and he would learn from it. But that’s not the case. He’s gained enough experience to know the times to stand in there and throw and the times to take off and go. He’s very effective in that regard.”

NEXT: The Bombers continue training camp on Tuesday, with the practice scheduled to run from 11:20 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. All sessions are open to the public.