Blue Bombers announce West Division award winners

WINNIPEG, MB., November 1, 2022 – The Canadian Football League announced today the West and East Division nominees for the 2022 Most Outstanding Player Awards and the Coach of the Year finalists, and the list features four members of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The voting was conducted by members of the local chapter of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) and the league’s head coaches.

The following Blue Bombers were recognized:

  • Most Outstanding Player: quarterback Zach Collaros
  • Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman: left tackle Stanley Bryant
  • Most Outstanding Rookie: receiver Dalton Schoen
  • Coach of the Year: Mike O’Shea

Most Outstanding Player
The CFL’s reigning Most Outstanding Player and all-star quarterback, Zach Collaros posted career-best numbers after helping the Blue Bombers to a franchise-record 15 wins in the regular season.

Collaros has set career highs in passing yards this season, throwing for 4,183 yards (second in the CFL) and a league-best 37 touchdowns. The 37 passing touchdowns rank second-most in Blue Bombers history (behind Khari Jones’ 46 in 2002).

His touchdown-to-interception ratio of 37:13 – or +24 – is tied for the ninth-highest in CFL history and has set a new Blue Bombers record, eclipsing the +23 ratio Jack Jacobs posted in 1951.

Most importantly, the Bombers are now a remarkable 32-4 in games Collaros has started since his arrival at the trade deadline in October of 2019 – including back-to-back Grey Cup championships – making him just the second pivot in franchise history to lead the team to consecutive titles after Ken Ploen first accomplished the feat in 1961-62.

Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman
The Blue Bombers’ top offensive lineman for a sixth time – having also won in 2015, 2017-19 and 2021 – Stanley Bryant is already a three-time winner of the CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman honour, the only player to do so in the award’s history, after winning in 2017, 2018 and 2021, and was also the league runner-up in 2019.

Bryant has been a mainstay on the left side of the offensive line and a key part of an offensive unit that ranks second in points, sacks surrendered and rushing yards, and first in touchdowns.

Most Outstanding Rookie
Dalton Schoen authored one of the most impressive rookie seasons in CFL history. The Kansas State product led the league in receiving yardage with 1,441 yards on 70 receptions and is first in receiving touchdowns with 16 – a Blue Bombers franchise record for a first-year player. That total also sees him tied for the league overall touchdowns with Caleb Evans of the Ottawa RedBlacks.

Schoen also led the CFL in second-down conversion catches, with a remarkable 41 of his 70 catches keeping the offence on the field,  and recorded five 100-yard receiving games this season.

His 1,441 receiving yards were the most by a Blue Bomber since Milt Stegall accumulated 1,896 yards in 2002 and ranks seventh-highest in Blue Bombers history.

Coach of the Year finalist
A winner of this award last year, Mike O’Shea helped guide the Blue Bombers to a franchise-best 15 wins this season and a first-place finish in the West Division for a second straight year.

He now has an 82-58 record as the Blue Bombers head coach since joining the club in 2014, with the 82 victories third-most in franchise history to Bud Grant (102) and Cal Murphy (86).
The Blue Bombers have consistently been one of the least-penalized teams in the CFL under O’Shea’s watch, and are chasing a third consecutive Grey Cup championship after winning in 2019 and 2021. Winnipeg is also a remarkable 28-2 in its last 30 games at IG Field, including last year’s Western Final playoff win.

The Most Outstanding Player and Coach of the Year awards will be on November 17th during Grey Cup week in Regina.