May 27, 2014 5:33 pm

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ head coach O’Shea revved up for rookie camp

WINNIPEG – The Blue Bombers are looking for a few good men.

“I’m fired up,” said Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea.

O’Shea was grinning ear to ear with the players set to take to the field for rookie camp on Wednesday, and he’s looking forward to actually doing some coaching after months of being tucked away in his office.

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“Just want the guys in and playing football,” said O’Shea. “The entire coaching staff is just chomping at the bit to get out there and coach. You spend a lot of time down here in the office and it’s time to get outside and see how it’s gonna shake down.”

The Bombers will have five quarterbacks on the field after announcing Manitoba Bisons QB Jordan Yantz will also be in pads. In all, 45 players are expected to attend the three-day camp, and O’Shea is looking for good people and not just good players.

“We evaluate everything,” said O’Shea. “It’s not just what they’re doing out on the field, although that’s a major part of it. It’s how they conduct themselves in the meeting. You know, just little things like taking notes. Are they respectful? It’s an all-encompassing evaluation — like hold the door for a woman as they’re walking around the facility. Those are important things sometimes.”

But the big dark cloud looming over the CFL right now is a possible strike by the players as early as Friday. O’Shea was heavily involved in the players’ association during his playing days as a CFLPA player rep, and after retirement he served as first vice-president. But O’Shea wouldn’t bite when asked about the negotiations.

“I mean we’re prepared to coach,” said O’Shea. “I do find it interesting, but as far as the rest of it goes, I will not, I will not comment.”

Rookie camp starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Investors Group Field. Veterans must report on Saturday for medicals, with the first on-field practice on Sunday if the players don’t strike.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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