O’Shea having impact

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:33 PM ET

Too bad Mike O’Shea didn’t go into coaching immediately after his playing career was over.

Who knows? Bart Andrus might still be patrolling the Argonauts sideline had O’Shea been hired by Toronto a year ago.

O’Shea is a mere two games into his tenure as Argos’ special teams co-ordinator but already has put a positive stamp on the club.

“He is creative and he knows this game better than anybody in this league, including myself,” head coach Jim Barker said. “The guy just knows the league. He has absolutely so far exceeded what you expect in a first-year coach.”

O’Shea called for the Argos to punt the football back to the Blue Bombers as the clock ticked down at the end of the first half on Friday night. After Ejiro Kuale did just that, the Argos got a valuable single point in what wound up being a two-point victory.

Will O’Shea have more to unveil as the season unfolds?

“I don’t know what there is left,” O’Shea said with a smile. “It’s the CFL, and the ball is meant to be kicked. The rules lend a lot to that excitement of the game. If the situation dictates, we will try those things that other people don’t think of, but I don’t know how long I can keep this up.”

O’Shea left the game as a player, after 16 intense seasons, in February of 2009 when the Argos released him, and got a job outside of football soon after. But his mind didn’t stray from the game and there’s no reason to believe he can’t be head coach one day.

It’s clear that the Argos can’t get enough of him.

“We have not had a guy ask to be off special teams,” Barker said. “How do you go up to a guy, who for (16) years played every down on defence and on special teams, and ask to come off? The mentality is that guys want to be on special teams, which is the first step.”

O’Shea was asked how calling the punt play and watching it succeed compared to making a big play as a linebacker.

“There have been several occasions where I have had goose bumps,” O’Shea said. “And that’s exciting, but you just don’t get to enjoy it as much. It’s short-lived, because you need to get them ready for the next (play).”


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