Realty One

Saturday, April 23, 2016


WINNIPEG (CP) - Drew Willy wouldn't say his season-ending injury last August killed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers' chances to play in the Grey Cup game they were hosting.

But the starting quarterback did admit it hurt the team, which won just two games after the injury. Winnipeg went on to a 5-13 record that knocked it out of the CFL playoffs for a fourth straight season.

"I think it played a big part,'' Willy said at a press conference setting up the team's mini camp next week for offensive players. "Game by game you don't know what it affects, but I think talking to a lot of the guys in the locker-room, when you battle with guys for so long and I'm trying to get healthy and they see me on crutches and stuff, it's tough.

"It was tough for me just to be around and watch us struggle as a team. But at the same time, we were in a lot of those games and a play here or there could have changed the season or get (us) in the playoffs and you never know after that.''

Willy, 29, suffered a tibial plateau fracture and a partial posterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee when Erik Harris hit him in an Aug. 9 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The four-year veteran said he's "100 per cent'' recovered and did a lot of throwing at his new home in Tampa, Fla., with CFL receivers such as Montreal's S.J. Green and Kenny Stafford and former Bomber Nick Moore, who signed as a free agent with B.C. in February.

Willy has also been studying the playbook of new Bombers offensive co-ordinator Paul LaPolice and thinks the three-day mini camp in Winnipeg that starts Monday might be good with only offensive players.
He's got to get familiar with some off-season acquisitions, including running back Andrew Harris and receivers Weston Dressler and Ryan Smith.

"I was kind of skeptical at first, just not having a defence out there,'' Willy said. "It'll be different because a lot of football's reaction so you're reacting to a defence. But after talking with coaches and other players that have done this before around the league, they were telling me it's a good operation just because you're able to concentrate on your own stuff as an offence.

"And you can really kind of fine-tune what you want to do on offence and really over-emphasize things that you want to get done so that way in (training) camp you're not even thinking about the little things it takes to be successful.''

The Bombers haven't enjoyed much success on offence over the last few years, with offensive co-ordinators hired and fired and little stability at the quarterback position.

Last year, the team scored a league-low 353 points.

But Willy is optimistic, especially if he can stay healthy the entire season.

"Sometimes you just have bad luck?'' he said. "That was my first major injury.''

He said he plans to play smarter by throwing the ball quicker or handing it off to Harris to avoid being knocked around.

"At the end of the day, maybe it's not taking that huge hit or maybe it's getting rid of the ball and not trying to make as much happen, which is tough,'' Willy said.


Anonymous said...

Winnipeg has made their offence better for 2016. If Willy stays healthy they will remain competitive. That goes for any CFL team. However I dont think that relying on Dressler and Smith will get you to the promise land.

Anonymous said...


Rod Pedersen said...

To the person who insists on leaving daily, threatening emails anonymous posts on this blog --

Congrats. I've contacted the police and an investigation is now underway.

You'll be hearing from Regina Police Service within the next few days and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

Anonymous said...

I'll lay a Lot of money it's Chad

Rod Pedersen said...

We'll know soon!!

Anonymous said...

Will you release the name/publicly shame the individual?

Rod Pedersen said...

That's the first thing I'm going to do.

Anonymous said...

Cool. Sad thing is that this individual will probably be from Saskatchewan.

Anonymous said...

Cyber bullying needs to be confronted and the perpetrator(s) held accountable.

Just as Rider players and alumni such as Neil Hughes dedicate their effort toward programs to help eradicate bullying in our schools which are supported and applauded by Rider Nation, so too do we, the regular readers of this blog, support and applaud Mr. Pederson's decision to say enough to threats and intimidation and take concrete action to stop it.

Old Hank

Anonymous said...

Willy wins games. Since the Bombers went after Smith and Dress, you have to think that they will compliment Lapo's offence. Combined with Drew's attitude about getting rid of the ball quicker, Bombers could have a good year.


Darren Muller said...

Too many anonymous comments. Should be made to put your name behind them. Might help weed out the ones that have zero intelligence but still spew out their garbage. I enjoy reading from all fans and their views on all sports. It's great to read everyone's insights as long as it's done in good taste and in a way that adds to the conversation. It's nice to have an opportunity to put in comments here and look forward to hearing from all the great sports fans as well. Keep it smart and keep it classy fans!! DM

Anonymous said...

Use of fake names are the same as anonymous. The one advantage of having a comment section where true identities are not divulged to the masses is that people are free to post here and not worry about some knucklehead calling you up at home, or worse. Anyways if a dumb comment appears you are always free to not read it or post something in response, or avoid the comment section all together.

Anonymous said...

But when personal threats happen daily to the blog operator, then the police do become involved. Good for Roddy! Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

Should be interesting season with the upgrade LaPolice on the sidelines in Winnipeg as offensive coordinator. Willy/Nicols and their new recievers will have a period of adjustment to click during game action. Best get there soon or team coaching turnover to follow.

Anonymous said...

Yup. If we had to out our names out there the posts would be fewer and very vanilla. Too many wackos in the world. Sports opinions are not worth the risk.

Anonymous said...

Actually I wouldn't be surprised if it's the same dude that is disrespectful to everyone and everything SK. The so called Eskimo fan with a form of cod towards this blog and the Riders. i haven't seen a Rider article that he hasn't spewed some kind of poison.
Actually I kind of hope it is an Albertan. The earlier prediction of the EE and Bombers fighting it out for 4th by Rod really brought out the hate in both Eskimo and Eskimo fan. Also... It will prove once and for all the attention the Riders have across the country eats him up.

Reginald of Regina.

Anonymous said...

If police are involved, they do their job and citizens are protected using the laws and tools made available by society. Public shaming is not a part of our culture. I would hope that it doesn't become part of ours.

Anonymous said...

Listen as much as I can't stand the Bombers. I hope they have a good season and they are competing in each and every game. It's better for the league. It might bring back that rivalry that switched over to the Stampeders.
I just can't get that stench and vile taste out of my mouth from my Grey Cup experience in Winnipeg. The way in which verbal attacks were flying at our group throughout the whole game. They couldn't stand that we were wearing Rider clothing. The foul language was atrocious and I felt embarrassed for some of the younger family's that were in attendance from Winnipeg and other teams alike. Even security that seen it going on did nothing about it. We couldn't watch 5 minutes of the game without some jackass yelling something foul at us or other Rider fans. I really can't believe how jealous Winnipeg fans are of the Riders recent success. 4 GC appearances and winning 2 in the last 9 years. While Winnipeg has had 2 appearances in 20 some years and haven't won a GC in 24 years. I guess it's easy to hate a more recent successful franchise.

Reginald of Regina

Anonymous said...

Another Chihuahua