‘Of course I want to play better’: Matt Nichols wants the focus to stay on football

Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols (15) walks off the field against the Ottawa Redblacks during the second half of CFL action in Winnipeg Friday, August 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were back on the practice field for the first time since Saturday’s loss to the Calgary Stampeders.

Quarterback Matt Nichols is trying to put another mini controversy behind him as they now prepare for Sunday’s big Labour Day tilt against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

RELATED: Milt Stegall apologizes to Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB Matt Nichols

After Blue Bombers hall of famer Milt Stegall accused Nichols of throwing his receivers under the bus in his post game comments, Nichols only wanted to talk about football Wednesday.

“Honestly, I can totally respect that you guys have a job to do and everything,” Nichols said. “But I’m sticking to talking about Sask. and Labour Day.”

Stegall has since apologized to Nichols and while some may have misconstrued his post game thoughts, the head coach says there’s no confusion in the locker room.

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“To have somebody step to a mic in front of the media and say something like that,” O’Shea said. “I think it’s irrelevant to the team because the team understands what’s going on inside the room.”

Nichols has been criticized for not taking more of the blame for their recent offensive struggles.

RELATED: Blue Bombers QB Matt Nichols responds to booing fans

“One, I believe Matt does take the blame,” offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice said. “And certainly first and foremost it all falls on me as the offensive coordinator. I got to be better and we all got to be better. It ain’t just one guy.”

But after practice on Wednesday Nichols admitted that he needs to be sharper.

“Of course I want to play better,” Nichols said. “I’m obviously not satisfied with this season so far. Obviously I have higher expectations and those expectations on myself are high enough.”

WATCH: Raw Matt Nichols Interview

Click to play video: 'RAW: Blue Bombers Matt Nichols – Aug. 29' RAW: Blue Bombers Matt Nichols – Aug. 29
RAW: Blue Bombers Matt Nichols – Aug. 29 – Aug 29, 2018

RELATED: Winnipeg Blue Bombers add former NFL defensive end

Nichols could have another weapon on offence in the annual Labour Day game.

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Receiver Weston Dressler was among a handful of players who didn’t practice, but according to O’Shea there’s a good possibility he’ll be in the lineup to face his ex-teammates after sitting out the last two games.

“He’s out there running around,” O’Shea said. “We’ll see. Once again, he doesn’t need the reps. He’s one of the smartest guys in the league so he can play on a moments notice.”

WATCH: Raw Mike O’Shea Media Briefing

Click to play video: 'RAW: Blue Bombers Mike O’Shea Media Briefing – Aug. 29' RAW: Blue Bombers Mike O’Shea Media Briefing – Aug. 29
RAW: Blue Bombers Mike O’Shea Media Briefing – Aug. 29 – Aug 29, 2018

However, the Bombers will be without defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat on Sunday. He’s already been ruled out with an injury.

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