Mike O’Shea just wants people to leave the Bombers’ long snapper alone

Winnipeg head coach Mike O’Shea just wants long snappers to be left alone and go about their business.

Chad Rempel was blown up by Saskatchewan’s Lavar Edwards and it sidelined the veteran for the remainder of the Labour Day Classic.

There was no penalty on the play despite an off-season tweak to the rule: Making it illegal for a defensive player to deliver a forcible blow to the long snapper while the snapper’s head is down and they are in a vulnerable position and unable to protect themselves.

“Regardless of rule, my interpretation or the way we do things is you tend to leave the long snapper alone and if the guy can cover you block him to make sure he can’t get downfield. That’s the way I interpret things,” O’Shea said.

The Bombers’ bench boss gave an earful to Riders head coach Craig Dickenson regarding the incident following Saskatchewan’s 19-17 walk-off win.

“Well he’s upset, he’s trying to protect his players. And looking at the film we did rough up Rempel a little bit and I’ll coach it better. So I understand why he was upset, but there was certainly no malicious intent to injure Chad Rempel or run him over like that,” Dickenson said.

“I’ve spoken with Mike and he knows that wasn’t intentional and we hope Chad’s able to play. The point is you don’t want to take guys out and there aren’t a lot of long snappers in this league.”

The definition of the rule is what appeared to have occurred on the play with Edwards bull-rushing a defenceless Rempel. The play seemed like it should have been a flagged by the officials, which would have extended the Bombers’ drive. Following the injury, the Bombers had two long field goal attempts they passed on, most likely due to the Rempel injury.

“There is a rule you have to allow him to protect himself. I talked to the officials about it on the phone and they said that wasn’t a penalty. I think Mike had Chad’s best interest at heart and I understand why he was upset,” Dickenson said.

O’Shea was upset but didn’t make it personal with Dickenson,

“Anytime you lose a guy you don’t like it. I like our players and I like when they stay healthy. When a guy’s gotta leave a game – I just wanted to voice my displeasure and see where that took us, but it didn’t take us anywhere really,” O’Shea said.

“I don’t have issues with Craig. He’s a good coach, he’s got his team playing extremely well. I think it was blown out of proportion.”

Rempel won’t play in the Banjo Bowl because of an ailment sustained on the play in question. Rookie national Maxime Latour takes his place.

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