Chandler Fenner, Mo Leggett give Bombers defence an ‘advantage’

Mike O’Shea says Chandler Fenner was at the top of the Bombers free agent list.

“Defensively he’s a very active, very aggressive player and you add on top of that 27 special teams tackles, so he’s going to make our special teams unit better as well as our defence. But the added bonus you get from him is a guy who is committed to playing special teams,” O’Shea, the blue and gold head coach, told Bob Irving on 680 CJOB in Winnipeg.

Winnipeg signed Fenner to a two-year contract on the first day of free agency.

“When I spoke with him it’s evident that he certainly puts a big emphasis on it and wants to play, so he’s going to make us better in two facets of the game. Anytime you can land a guy who is going to help you in two of the three phases that’s a real bonus,” O’Shea said.

“That kind of leadership you don’t have to speak a lot. You go out there and you run down on kick-off, then you play defence, then you play punt return, then you run out on punt, your teammates notice.”

Fenner started at strong-side linebacker for the Lions last season. Maurice Leggett manned that SAM linebacker position for the Bombers a year ago. Some sort of a lineup change will occur for one or perhaps both players.

“It’s all pure speculation until right now,” O’Shea said with a laugh. “We do see Chandler Fenner playing that dime spot and we see Mo as a versatile guy who can slot into a bunch of different spots for us.”

Leggett has been in Richie Hall’s scheme since the defensive coordinator came to Winnipeg for the 2015 season.

“Obviously we like Mo’s play-making ability and he’s been in our system and understands the defence front and back. We have no problem slotting Mo in a couple different spots and see how it plays out,” O’Shea said.

Leggett suffered a season-ending Achilles tear while bringing down an onside kick late in the Bombers’ win over the Lions in Week 17. The 31-year-old had another excellent season, recording 50 tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles, three interceptions, one of which he took back for a touchdown and a 97-yard punt return touchdown in 13 games. Less than five months after the injury, Leggett can already dunk.

“It does look good for training camp,” O’Shea said in regards to when Leggett could be back to full health.

That would give some impressive depth as far as players able to play the strong-side linebacker spot.

“[Fenner and Leggett] gives us an advantage,” O’Shea said.

“The ability to move guys around and possibly give some different looks to the opposing offences so they can’t really get a bead on exactly everything we’re doing.”


13 Comments on Chandler Fenner, Mo Leggett give Bombers defence an ‘advantage’

  1. Paul Bomber // March 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm //

    A step in the right direction for what was a pretty crappy D last year. Fenner and Loffler crushing people, a few picks from everyone else… but there is still work to do. Muamba would be a nice addition… haven’t heard much lately, I don’t think that’s a good sign.

  2. Jeff Dummy Stump // March 13, 2018 at 4:40 pm //

    Whine-apeg, meet dande-lions…your roommate in the basement of the West & your moms house, with neither making the playoffs. You 2 look good on eachother

    • Paul Bomber // March 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm //

      you poor, sad looser. I don’t blame you – taking random shots at people for no reason is likely the only way you can experience human interaction …it must be something like pleasure for you. What a horrible, ugly little world you must live in. I’ll keep a good thought for you… that you find some hope.

    • BlueBomberChris // March 13, 2018 at 7:34 pm //

      I’m glad to see the hooked on phonics program we gave you is paying dividends…how else could you come up with the golden wordplay nuggets you dropped in your comment. Judging by this and other comments I’ve seen of yours I’m led to believe you’re the only one in mom’s basement here snowflake lol.

      Just curious if you have any points to back your statements up or if you just like hearing your keyboard when you type and ramble nonsensocally?

  3. CHOKEPEDERS // March 13, 2018 at 5:44 pm //

    Still have a horrible D coordinator and also a head coach calling boneheaded plays costing the team playoff wins! lol

    • Paul Bomber // March 13, 2018 at 7:32 pm //

      I’m not worried about O’Shea as long as LaPolice is around. But yeah… worried about the D and their inability to keep the big play in check.

  4. greenenvy? // March 13, 2018 at 6:35 pm //

    Realistically, you’re not going to play both Fenner & Leggett at SAM together so likely Fenner moves to DB & can spell off @ SAM. The Bombers D has been awful & only saved by the large number of turnovers created, which also helps the offence by giving them field position. Losing Heath, who is high risk high reward takes one of your playmakers off the field. Fenner is a solid add but let’s call it a draw. Gaitor helps & you have Loffler & Randle. The problem is down the middle. I see Johnson as a solid DT but Nevis was, to be charitable, underwhelming – you could say a bust. Like Cummings before him, playing beside Laing & Nevis beside Laurent is a whole different situation than being “the main guy” in Winnipeg. You can see after bombing in the Peg what happened with Cummings production when he had Sewell partnering him. Muamba would be a huge add. Santos-Knox is an unknown at present. But if Muamba is added at the expense of Okpalaugo, as suggested on this site previously, you don’t gain anything IMO. As for the DB’s you had 3 All-Stars there last year & still gave up miles of yardage. As a DB, Fogg makes a good returner. I still see problems back there & maybe that won’t change until Mr. Hall leaves. You look good on paper but that’s no different than last year. I’m not sure switching Roh for Westerman & Fenner for Heath improves the defence a lot. Do you go from last to, what, 7th in yards allowed with the changes? Last to 5th? I just don’t know. In yards allowed the top 5 teams were Cal, Tor, Edm, Sk & BC. In other words all your competitors in the West were up there. In net offence you have the same story – last in the West. The Bombers, full credit, were a team which lived off turnovers & made teams pay – 166 pts off turnovers, first overall. What happens if those drop?

    • BlueBomberChris // March 13, 2018 at 7:43 pm //

      Yes 3 all star DB’s but to counter your point about giving up big yardage that was on the side opposite those 3 where we were playing rookies. I agree that we certainly gave up considerable yardage last year but it did worsen once we had lost Leggett so certainly scheme may have been part of the issue but I think personnel was a bigger issue. If Muamba was added for Okapalugo (sp) I would argue that we do add something, a ratio changing MLB while sacrificing a rotational DE as we have some depth behind him. What happens when the turnovers dry up? We that is a good question but I remember it being asked last year as well and we still produced a large number. I’ll agree that it is unsustainable to always expect that much but we certainly have the personnel to get them and evidently the scheme worked as well (for that aspect anyway).

      Either way it’s March right now and a whole season to go. We have our question marks but so do other teams as well. Either way it’s shaping up to be a good 2018. Go Bombers!

      • greenenvy? // March 13, 2018 at 8:33 pm //

        I don’t disagree with what you’re saying – ALexander & Walker were part of the problem IMO. But if having 19 DB’s on the current roster, 13 of them being imports, is any indication there is a whole lot of concern on your coaching staff about finding guys who can play. And wherever the weak links are it doesn’t get around the fact over 14,000 yards of offence were gained over your defence. If you have 4 All-Stars in your backfield & you’re playing only one rookie, it doesn’t really matter if he’s giving up all the yards. Teams are going to exploit your weak areas until you fix it. Calll it what you like, if the 3 All-Stars weren’t the problem you still HAD a problem. It’s a lot to ask your D to continue to produce turnovers. Those turnovers also play into your offence who benefits by field position a lot of times. If they dry up, it’s a double whammy. BTW I think the offence will be improved. Bowman is a good addition & so is Demski.

    • Paul Bomber // March 13, 2018 at 8:32 pm //

      K, but you make it sound like turnovers are a fluke or somehow not a valid and good play by the D. I see it as a skill and tendency of a D. Maybe even PARTLY explains that other tendency: giving up the big play.

      • greenenvy? // March 13, 2018 at 8:42 pm //

        Don’t disagree. Bombers are very good at creating turnovers. But it still disguises the fact that teams marched up & down the field on Wpg. The question is, as a DC, do you build your D around the hope that the other team makes a mistake? The majority of those turnovers result from mistakes by your opponent. But yes, some of those yards are accounted by the D attacking the ball & trying to create turnovers which may mean missing tackles & so on or breaking on a ball. I would rather make sure of the tackle first. Those are gambles & teams can take advantage of overly aggressive defences. Hard to keep doing that year to year. IN 2016, 59 takeaways, +49. Last year 42 takeaways, +14. Teams catch on.

        • BlueBomberChris // March 13, 2018 at 9:21 pm //

          All true and good points but like you said we have a large number of bodies on camp so at least they are trying to address an area of concern. I do agree with you as well that the offence will be improved this year, I also don’t hope it’s a case of “you score 40, we’ll score 50”.

          While I understand the questions around the defence given a tiger can’t change it’s stripes. However at the same time I feel they have done some moves to try and correct the issues. Once again the west is anyone’s division and wide open to be won and we’re in for a great season in the CFL

          • greenenvy? // March 13, 2018 at 10:48 pm //

            Can’t disagree with you. Walters didn’t go overboard in free agency & I can’t argue with the pieces he’s added. I do think if Muamba comes on board that would be huge for the Bombers.

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