WINNIPEG - Cory Watson caught four passes for a measly 19 yards but it was the pigskins that got away that gave the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ receiver bad dreams.
The Canadian receiver had two passes bounce off him into enemy hands and he failed to haul down a high pass in the endzone during the club’s 24-10 loss to the Eskimos in a CFL game in Edmonton on Saturday.
“I had nightmares after the game,” Watson readily admitted Tuesday. “I was pretty upset at myself for having such a bad game but, you know, it’s an 18-game season, you’re bound to have one game that’s horrible. So, right now, I’m trying to move forward and look forward to Montreal, and last week is last week.”
Watson, 27, had company in the doghouse, though, as import receiver Greg Carr also dropped catchable passes, one that would have at least set up a field goal in the early going.
“We all did things that didn’t really help the team,” said Watson, who had been enjoying an outstanding campaign to that point. “Unfortunately, mine stood out and I have to move forward.”
But, how do you coach pass catchers to stop dropping balls?
“Focus,” responded Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice. “I talked to Greg (Tuesday) on the one he missed, that you’ve got to come out of it with the ball. Just run that thing down and look it into your hands.
“We had two opportunities (to create big plays). That was within field goal range, so that’s at least three points. Then, Cory dropped a ball in the endzone. It would have been a high catch but that’s a catch we should make. There’s 10 points and we’re up 10-7 … When you don’t execute, guys get down. But we would have been fired up right there and have the lead. That’s what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to respond and make our plays.”
The problem can be corrected.
“You just talk to them,” said veteran receiver Terrence Edwards. “Just let them know they have to get back to their fundamentals. You know, I had a couple of games at the beginning of the year where I dropped a few and I just got back to my fundamentals of picking up the ball as soon as I can and watch it all the way in.
“That’s one of a receiver’s worst things, dropping the ball. I know my guys and myself, we got back to it today. Coach emphasized dropped passes that we had as a group, so we just got back to basics. Just plucking and chucking. Just looking the ball into your hands and putting it away.”
Watson, who has moved to slotback, has also played through some nagging injuries lately.
“He’s not a little banged up, he’s real banged up,” LaPolice said. “His fingers are kind of jammed up and all those things. But he’s a tough kid and just keeps on playing.”