Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea considered adding DC role

Mike O’Shea put some thought into becoming Winnipeg’s defensive coordinator.

“It’s all part of the process. You have to think of everything. I don’t know that I’m ready yet,” O’Shea said.

“I looked at my daily routine and what I believe my strong points are and there’s still lots to learn in that area. I would hope that in a certain amount of time as a head coach that you could coach any position on the field.”

Winnipeg allowed the most offensive points (478) and offensive touchdowns (51) among West Division teams, Hamilton and Montreal gave up more in both categories while opponent passing touchdowns (33) ranked tied for last in the league. But it was the yardage total that was concerning above all else. The Bombers were one of two teams to allow over 7,000 yards of offence in 2017, the Alouettes being the other.

Despite those numbers, Richie Hall will return as defensive coordinator in 2018.

“Richie Hall is a tremendous, valuable asset to not only the defence but our organization. We’re not happy, we’re not satisfied with our overall output,” O’Shea said.

“No, I don’t believe that [we have to change the way we play defence]. We have to fine-tune some concepts and we have to fine-tune some teaching, create some habits that are going to allow us to make more plays, that’s for sure.”

O’Shea was a Hall of Fame linebacker during his playing days when he recorded 1,151 tackles to rank second all-time in CFL history. He was the CFL’s Most Oustanding Rookie and Most Outstanding Canadian in 1993 and 1999 respectively along with winning three Grey Cup championships.

“Coming from the defensive side I just think defence is easy. As I look back at what I can improve on and how I can help Richie [Hall] and the defensive staff and the defensive players is spend a little more time and be around more when there’s some questions being asked.

Despite the gaudy yardage total Winnipeg came away with 42 turnovers, second in the CFL, 25 of them interceptions to lead all teams, and scored 166 points from the pilfers to pace the league.

“We don’t want to sacrifice the takeaways we’re making we just don’t want it to be so costly in terms of when we make a mistake,” O’Shea said.

“The first goal is to have guys come in and understand what we’re doing and for them to be really in the right spot so that we don’t give up the big plays. And then from there progress to making more and more plays.”

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