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August 4, 2019

Need to Know | August 4

Andrew Harris grew up here and has spent the last four years in Winnipeg Blue Bombers colours. And so, he got a pretty good feel for how all this works.

Rocket out to a 5-0 start and folks desperate for an end to the Grey Cup drought start discussing parade routes for late November.

Drop a couple – including blowing a 20-0 lead to the previously winless Toronto Argonauts – and the mob turns angry, vowing to storm IG Field with torches and pitchforks.

But, take a step back and a deep breath and there’s this: Thursday’s home date against the Calgary Stampeders, also 5-2, is a West Division first-place showdown.

“It is quite crazy how people love you one minute and then the next minute we’re the worst team in the league,” said Harris after practice Sunday, when asked about how the team is handling the outside noise after their 0-2 southern Ontario road trip.

“It’s just so hard to stay on top and be super-consistent in this league. We’re playing against professional teams that get paid, too. They’re going to make plays and have good games and win football games. For us, we’ve just got to bounce back, have practice like we did today, refocus and get ourselves back into our winning ways.

“I’ve got full confidence in this team and all the players, the coaching staff,” added Harris. “I have no doubt that we’ll be back in the winning ways right away.”


With the Bombers returning to practice Sunday for their first session in advance of Thursday’s first-place showdown with the Stamps, here are some other items to help get you up to speed in this week’s NEED TO KNOW…

OUCH REPORT:

Not practising on Sunday were: DB Brandon Alexander, WR Darvin Adams, DE Jackson Jeffcoat, DB Marcus Rios, LS Chad Rempel, OL Patrick Neufeld, LB Jesse Briggs, FB Mile Miller and DB Chris Humes.

Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said Humes ‘should be good’ and of his second CFL start – first at halfback – offered this:

“I thought he did a good job of controlling some receivers without taking penalties, which is good.”

ABOUT THAT:

Here’s the Bombers Nichols on what happened to the offence after building a 20-0 lead in the first half, before being out-scored 28-7 in the final 32 minutes of last week’s 28-27 loss to the Argos:

“We still went on some good drives. They did a good job of holding on to the ball and limiting our possessions. Ultimately, they just played a little bit better than us, that’s all it comes down to. I know everyone wants to figure out some magical thing… it’s they made a few more plays than we did.”

“All three phases, not just offence, we just made too many mistakes,” added O’Shea. “When you make those mistakes and you don’t make enough big plays to counteract some of those mistakes, you end up losing.

“We end up losing by a point and any one of those 50 mistakes, all told, from all three phases – or more – if you change one of them, you get one more first down, you make another tackle in bounds, you break up one more pass, you take one less penalty… that really can amount to a point. So, every guy understands his role in the outcome.”