Stamps’ Bo Levi Mitchell stands by post-loss tirade but believes he must ‘look inward first’

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Calgary Stampeders’ quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is standing by the comments he made following his team’s 41-40 loss to B.C. Lions last week.

Mitchell let his team have it in a passionate post-game tirade, dubbing the performance “f***ing terrible” and taking aim at all phases of their fourth-quarter collapse. The fiery outburst didn’t sit right with some members of the CFL fanbase but Mitchell is unapologetic — though he does believe he was slightly misinterpreted.

“If you’ve been around for the 10 years I’ve been here, you know I’m going to say things how I think they are,” he told the Calgary media ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Toronto Argonauts.

“I mean, y’all were in the room, the question was asked about the second half and I still feel the way I said we played in the second half, but a lot of it got taken as that’s what I was talking about for the entire game and that’s not necessarily the case.”

Calgary had a 30-18 halftime lead over the Lions before surrendering 20 points in the fourth quarter alone, losing by a single point on a last-second field goal. It was the type of contest that the Stamps have become accustomed to winning and Mitchell didn’t take the black mark on the team’s reputation lightly.

“When we begin the season, we come back, we win games, it creates this kind of ambiance for a team like, oh, man, we have something that can be special when you’re able to come back and win games like that,” he explained. “It just feels like it kind of takes away from that when you give up a game.”

Mitchell completed 18-of-32 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, a lacklustre stat line that many pointed to in their criticism of the quarterback’s postgame comments.

The 32-year-old did include himself as one of the guilty parties in his rant but took care to emphasize the importance of his role in the follow-up, noting that he most needed to improve for the team to get back in the win column.

“I definitely had to look inward first,” Mitchell acknowledged. “As an offence, we had nine offensive plays in the fourth quarter. Not very many second-down conversions if they’re past four yards, basically. That starts with me and I’ve got to be better to make sure that I keep our defence off the field and special teams off the field, so they don’t have to be out there.”

His next opportunity to do so will come at 7:00 p.m. EST on Saturday in Toronto but even after such a devastating loss, Mitchell isn’t putting any extra importance on beating the Argos.

“You’ve got to treat every game for what it is and the opponent that it is. You can’t really go into it and say we need to get something back, then you start reaching for things and trying to create plays that maybe aren’t there,” he stressed. “You create that ambience by, at the end of the game, having more points than the other team and feeling good about it.”