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July 1, 2019

Need to Know | July 1

The Bombers were back at work Monday for the first time since last Thursday’s home opener win over the Edmonton Eskimos – a result that has them 2-0 to start a season for the first time since 2014.

Here’s a collection of notes and quotes in this week’s edition of NEED TO KNOW…


HERE’S JOHNNY:

The injury to RB Brady Oliveira will keep him on the shelf for a while, but also meant that Johnny Augustine was getting a ton of work with the club’s No. 2 offence on Monday.

Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said he would not rule out Oliveira as lost for the rest of the season.

“I would hate to limit him,” said O’Shea. “I would think he’s going to be out for an extended period of time, but I’m not so sure out for the season is accurate.”

LITTLE DEAL:

The Bombers pulled off a minor trade on Monday, sending import defensive end Patrick Choudja to the Calgary Stampeders in exchange for the rights to a negotiation list player.

“It’s one of those cases where a team has interest and wants to make a deal,” said O’Shea. “We weren’t in a position to put him on the roster and get him a paycheque, so it’s one of those things. We’ll get something back in return. I’m not sure, I haven’t checked with Kyle (GM Walters) to see what it is yet, but I’m sure it was good for both parties.”

DON’T GO THERE:

Andrew Harris would just as soon forget his game against the Eskimos, shifting away from the two balls he put on the ground to this week’s matchup in Ottawa.

“It’s all behind me,” he began. “It’s definitely a game I want to forget about and move forward. I mean, the biggest thing is we got the win and we’re still undefeated. So, we just keep trucking and keep moving forward.

“It’s the positive sign of a good team – winning games when you don’t play your best, finding a way to win. Not every phase of the game is going to be firing on all cylinders. That’s why it’s a team game. Defence had to pick us up, we’re going to have to pick the defence up and special teams is going to be that X factor sometimes. It was three-phase football and they were able to bail us out.”

The Bombers scored four touchdowns in last Thursday’s win, but managed just 270 yards net offence and just 23 minutes and 40 seconds of possession. The offence also ran just 41 offensive plays – Edmonton had 77.

“I just felt like we weren’t in a rhythm on offence,” said Harris. “There was a lot of two-and-outs, we made a lot of mistakes and shot ourselves in the foot… when you don’t get into a rhythm it’s always tough to get into the flow of things. We only had 43-44 plays on offence and that’s not a common game – usually you’re in the high 50s, low 60s and if you’re having a good game you’re in the 70s or 80s.

“We were definitely at the lower end of that and we need to be better.”

STILL… THE OTHER GUYS GET PLAYED, TOO:

As much as there is a lot of analysis of some of the flaws in the Bombers 2-0 start, they are unbeaten today and did knock off the previously-unbeaten Eskimos.

“It’s a learning experience that winning’s not done in one way,” said Matt Nichols. “For us, it’s always fighting to the end to make sure we come out ahead however that works out.

“Obviously, we’d like to make it easier on ourselves, but we were also playing against a very good football team that was 2-0 and so it’s not always going to look perfect because the guys on the other side are making it not look perfect a lot of the time.

“Overall, a tough team and a good win for us. We’re happy to get that win and for all of us here we haven’t talked about it for a couple of days and we’ve moved on to another tough team this week.”