June 19, 2017 7:09 pm

Too much talent at receiver to keep Kenny Stafford for Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea speaks with the media for the first time since announcing their final cuts.

Randall Paull / Global News

WINNIPEG – With training camp complete it’s going to be a long 12 days until the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ season opener against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Canada Day.

The Bombers shed a total of 18 players from their roster following their second straight pre-season tie and speaking for the first time since their final cuts, the head coach sounded pretty content with the way camp unfolded.

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“I think we had a lot of depth at camp, some great competition and our team is going to be better for it.” Mike O’Shea said.

Even after three previous camps as a head coach, it’s pretty clear O’Shea doesn’t exactly fancy being a dream killer.

“Dealing with real people, that have real dreams, that can maybe change when they finish talking to me.” said O’Shea.

One of those players whose fate changed when the final cuts were made on Saturday was receiver Kenny Stafford. The 26-year-old was released after failing to record a catch in two exhibition games. He’s since been signed to the Edmonton Eskimos practice roster.

“I don’t think it’s what he didn’t do.” O’Shea said. “I think once again, with some of the guys we brought in, just a couple of guys, their play was pretty elevated and they ended up winning jobs.”

RELATED: Kenny Stafford among final cuts as Winnipeg Blue Bombers finalize roster

O’Shea is referring to players like Clarence Denmark and newcomer L’Damian Washington. Both outperformed Stafford in the pre-season games and O’Shea speaks glowingly of the six foot four, 26-year-old Washington.

“He’s got a very good mix of size and speed.” O’Shea said. “He came in a few days late, 3 or 4 days late, and picked everything up very quickly. And just that intrigue about his physical stature and his physical ability. His athleticism is a pretty good combination.”

The Bombers will return to practice on Tuesday after four days off. O’Shea is hoping to ease Maurice Leggett back onto the field at some point his week after he missed almost all of training camp with an injury.

WATCH: Raw Mike O’Shea Media Briefing – June 19

RELATED: Eskimos rally to tie Blue Bombers 38-38 in last game of pre-season

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