There wasn’t an extra bounce in their step or a look of self-satisfaction surrounding the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in their first practice after the Thanksgiving Day Miracle.
The grim reality of a 4-10 record and still-slim playoff hopes wiped away any jubilation from Monday’s overtime thriller over the B.C. Lions.
“We’ve gotta win some more games,” receiver Terence Jeffers-Harris said. “I really don’t see us walking in here right now like we’re on top of the world. We’re out here to work.”
Fellow receiver Greg Carr, whose team-leading 103 yards on five catches included a dramatic, 39-yard touchdown in the last minute of regulation time, wasn’t resting on his laurels, either.
“We’re excited, but we’re not satisfied,” Carr said.
Maybe a bit relieved, too.
“Being a team that’s lost a lot of close games this year and being able to finally come out on the other end of it felt real good,” Carr acknowledged.
“It kind of got a little weight off our shoulders.”
It was a light work day, as head coach Paul LaPolice was mindful of the extra time put in Monday.
The coach’s challenge: make sure the energy carries over into Montreal, Sunday. The last time his team won a big game, the Banjo Bowl, it came out flat in Toronto.
“Every time our players keep playing together they learn things,” LaPolice said. “Hopefully they’ll learn from the Toronto game.”
There’s also the not-so-little matter of the Bombers’ 0-7 record on the road.
“I talked to them, there’s one goal this week: get a win on the road,” LaPolice said. “That’s it. Go in and play our best game this week.”
Even that might not be good enough in Montreal.
“It’s a tough place to play,” the coach conceded. “We believe we can beat anybody each week. We certainly did some good things (in a 44-40 loss three weeks ago) against Montreal.”
CAREER PLAY: Bomber corner Deon Beasley was grateful for a light day, as he was still recovering from being piled onto after his game-clinching interception return touchdown.
“I got up after about 20 minutes on the ground. Dying,” Beasley said. “I was getting mashed. Oh my god, it was bad.”
But he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“Man, that might be top,” Beasley said of the plays he’s made. “Not Top-5, not Top-3 — that might be the top play of my career.”
Beasley confirmed defensive co-ordinator Kavis Reed told him in overtime he was going to win the game.
“Coach Reed told me before the series, ‘They’ve been picking on you. This is going to be the series you make a play and win this ball game for us.’ I took heed.”
As for his head-over-heels flip into the end zone, Beasley said it was the first thing that came into his head.
“When I got to the end zone, I didn’t know what to do,” he said.
“I was excited for the team. It wasn’t about me. The attention, you could throw it out the window. I’m just glad we won and got the opportunity to play another game for a reason. We have a reason to keep playing.”
POW’S: Bomber D-lineman Doug Brown is the Canadian player of the week after his two-sack, three-tackle performance against the Lions. He also forced a fumble.
LaPolice says Brown, 36, remains one of the league’s best interior linemen, period.
“You want to be a pro and stay in this league a long time, watch Doug Brown,” LaPolice said.
Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo is the offensive POW after Montreal’s 46-19 romp over Calgary.
Top defensive player: Montreal’s Anwar Stewart (two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery). Special teams: Als’ kicker Colt David (six-for-six FGs).
HASHMARKS: LaPolice says he has no interest in QB Casey Printers, cut by the Lions, Wednesday... the Bombers have added undrafted Canadian receiver Josh Bishop (Laurier) to their practice roster... the CFL’s trade deadline was Wednesday night.