December 10, 2019

“I just wouldn’t want to play anywhere else.” | Neufeld remains in Blue & Gold

Patrick Neufeld (53) of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers during the CFL game against the Montreal Alouettes at Percival Molson Stadium in Montreal, QC, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (Photo: Johany Jutras)

It doesn’t always work this way, but Pat Neufeld will insist the moment unfolded just as he long dreamed it would.

Mere minutes after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers had put the finishing touches on their victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 107th Grey Cup last month, the veteran offensive lineman stood to the side of the stage where the iconic trophy had been presented and conducted interviews while wearing a ‘Grey Cup Champions’ hat and T-shirt, as blue and yellow confetti fell from the sky.

‘Dream-like’ wouldn’t even begin to describe it.

And like a lot of his teammates, the perma-grin and warm, fuzzy feeling that since followed has truly yet to subside.

“It’s funny, I’ll be sitting here and a memory will pop back into my head from the week or the game or the celebration afterward and you think, ‘Man, we really did it,’” began Neufeld in an interview with after signing a new one-year contract extension with the club on Tuesday. “And honestly, I don’t know if that feeling will subside because it’s been such a powerful moment and such an emotional time. Those are the feelings you chase and that motivate you through the offseason and now you try and get it again for the next year.”

“It’s the reason why we play this game,” added Neufeld. “It’s the reason why we work so hard, to be able to hoist that Cup and get your name on that trophy. I’ve been watching Grey Cups since I was probably five-six years old and it’s just so cool to finally to be a part of that history and tradition and joining that fraternity of champions.

“I’m extremely proud we finally got a chance to do it and I got to do it as a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.”

The signing of Neufeld might not garner massive headlines across the Canadian Football League, but to those inside the locker room the news is massive not just because he is a versatile and solid lineman who can play both guard and tackle, but due to his dedication to his craft.



“Paddy has been a major component of our success the past few years,” said Bombers offensive line coach Marty Costello. “Paddy has not only played extremely well, he makes his teammates better and is an outstanding person. He is a player you want in the room and on your team.”

Next season will mark Neufeld’s 10th in the CFL and he is currently the second-longest serving Bomber to Jake Thomas, after being acquired from the Saskatchewan Roughriders in October of 2013.

The 2019 season offered some extreme highs and lows for the veteran. He was injured just before the opening of training camp and didn’t return to the lineup until the final third of the season. His presence was a boon to the O-line, but even during his absence from the field he was a diligent student in the film room and a sounding board for the younger players up front. He saw the impact that approach could have first-hand when he broke into the league with the Riders and was influenced positively by veterans Gene Makowsky, Chris Best, Dan Goodspeed and Marc Parenteau.

“It’s a continual drive to get better and not get complacent for me,” said Neufeld. “I just love all aspects of this game, from film study to practice to helping the young guys out to executing on game days. I’ve taken a lot of pride in helping young guys out because I had a lot of help and reciprocating that is just the right thing to do.”

Neufeld’s signing, coupled with the extension of Mercy Maston on Monday, leaves the Bombers with 22 pending free agents: quarterbacks Matt Nichols, Zach Collaros and Chris Streveler, running back Johnny Augustine, offensive linemen Stanley Bryant, Michael Couture and Jermarcus Hardrick, defensive linemen Willie Jefferson, Drake Nevis, Jake Thomas and Craig Roh, defensive backs Winston Rose, Nick Taylor, Marcus Sayles, Chandler Fenner, Derek Jones and Jeff Hecht, linebackers Korey Jones and Thomas Miles, and receivers Darvin Adams, Charles Nelson and Drew Wolitarsky.

Neufeld hopes many of his teammates return. And he had absolutely no desire to wait until free agency to see what might out there for him on the open market.

“No. Never thought of it,” said Neufeld. “I really want to keep playing here, keep my career going in Winnipeg. I know that all things come to an end at some point, but I’m just really happy we got a deal done so quickly and that the team wanted me back. It’s just a great fit.

“I just wouldn’t want to play anywhere else. It’s home. It’s a place I enjoy coming to work every day. I know the business of football is always about change, but hopefully after what we did this year it will attract a lot of guys to come back and make another run at it.”