Kyle Walters ‘not gonna worry’ about contract negotiations with Mike O’Shea

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ head coach Mike O’Shea doesn’t have a contract beyond 2019, but that fact doesn’t concern general manager Kyle Walters.

“I’ve said at various points this year that Mike has no interest in talking about that stuff during the year. I’ve looked Mike in the eye and told him I want him to be the head coach next year and he’s looked me in the eye and told me he wants to be back,” Walters told Winnipeg Sun reporter Ted Wyman.

“There’s a whole lot of things that can go on before getting a signed contract for him, but we’re not gonna worry about that. What we talked about is a good start and he and I will sit down, win or lose, and try to get something worked out.”

O’Shea signed a three-year extension with the club in 2016. He is the CFL’s longest-tenured head coach, spending the last six seasons in Winnipeg and making the playoffs in each of the past four years. The Blue Bombers are 56-52 in the regular season under O’Shea’s watch and he remains popular with players and members of his coaching staff.

“What we believe in is continuity. (CEO) Wade (Miller), after those two rough years, believed in Mike and myself and we laid out our entire plan and said ‘this is the way it’s gonna need to be,'” Walters said.

“We had to gut our entire roster, we acquired draft picks, we built slow and drafted and developed our Canadians. We gutted our entire neg list and started to get familiar with what type of player Mike wanted in this organization.”

The 49-year-old Hall of Fame linebacker has guided the Bombers to their first Grey Cup appearance since 2011. Winnipeg has a chance to end a 29-year Grey Cup drought with a victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday. If O’Shea helps claim the Cup, he’ll have even more leverage than he already has for pending contract negotiations.

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