Plenty of shades of green in Bomber’s blue and gold


Mosaic Stadium will be a neutral site on Sunday as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Toronto Argonauts meet in the 109th Grey Cup.

But for a few key figures of the Blue Bombers resurgence, they are back in familiar territory after spending time in Riderville.

Richie Hall has been a popular figure in the Queen City for over three decades, following four years as a defensive back in Saskatchewan, he would go on to join the Riders as a defensive back coach in 1998 and would serve that role until 2000. The following season Hall would move up to become Saskatchewan’s defensive coordinator and remain in that position until 2008 when he became the head coach for Edmonton.

He would return to Saskatchewan in 2011 for a second stint as defensive coordinator. In 2015, Hall assumed the role of defensive coordinator for the Blue Bombers.

The former Roughrider says that Grey Cup experience will be different than the 2013 Grey Cup when he was a member of the Roughriders organization.

“It’s not home, I feel like a visitor and some of it is just because we’re working.” Hall added that he’s hoping to take in the whole experience.  ” I think I can sit back and kind of  embrace a little bit, this is pretty special to be able to see things in a different perspective.”

He noted a big difference in 2013 he got to spend time with his wife during the week of the game, but this week Hall said it’s all business as he prepares to face the Argonaut offence.

Winnipeg QB Zach Collaros

Quarterback, Zach Collaros joined the Roughriders in 2018, leading them to a 12-6 and an appearance in the Western Semi-Final. The following season, the quarterback’s season with the Riders was cut short after being injured in the opening game in the 2019 season.

Following a quick stop in Toronto, Collaros was shipped to the Blue Bombers at the 2019 trading deadline, and the move proved to be a successful one, as Winnipeg claimed the last two Grey Cups.

Even though it was a tough ending in Saskatchewan, the 34 year old said on Thursday that he was happy to be back in Regina for this week. He mentioned that he made a visit to Memories Dining & Bar and had also planned to stop a couple of other restaurants during the week.

Bombers Willie Jefferson

Defensive end Willie Jefferson’s time with the Blue Bombers also started in 2019 after he signed in Winnipeg after spending three seasons wearing green and white.

The Beaumont, Texas native collected 21 sacks during his time with Saskatchewan. Over his three seasons with Winnipeg, he as picked up 26 sacks.

He credits a lot of his success with Riders to his teammates like Charleston Hughes and A.C. Leonard, but feels

“Just to have I guess to have that little piece of me gone and things like that, that is the thing that they’re missing ”

It’s a lifechanging event to be a part of a franchise revival the Bombers have been experiencing over the last three season according to Jefferson.

I’m glad I made the decision to come here, I know the organization is happy that I am here, the city is glad I am here and I really can’t see it any other way.”

Bombers Nic Demski

In the 2015 CFL Draft, the Roughriders selected Nic Demski with the sixth overall selection in the first round.

The former Manitoba Bison played in Saskatchewan for three seasons before returning to his hometown of Winnipeg, as he signed as a free agent in 2018.

The receiver said the return home was not the primary reason to sign with Winnipeg, but it was an appealing aspect of the deal.

“It wasn’t the end all be all, but it definitely impacted on my decision.”

Since suiting up in blue and gold, Demski’s numbers have increased by a successful 2022 with new career highs in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns.

The Most Outstanding Canadian in the 2021 Grey Cup said the Bomber’s offensive schemes was the deciding factor to head east.

“This offence is suited to how I play football and what I do well in the field, I just kind of took that next step in the right position and just tried to make the most of it.”

Sunday’s game is being played at Mosaic Stadium, but the old “Mosaic Stadium”, Taylor Field, is the stadium that resonates with Hall the most, since he spent his playing days on the old turf, and numerous years in the coaches booth.

“Every time I drive by here, I see what the old Taylor Field was that what resonates with me, what resonates with me with Mosaic is a visitor coming in.”

The former Riders defensive back says that he hasn’t spent time inside of the new facility besides viewing the visitors locker room and the coaches booth. With a few extra days this week, he was hoping to spend sometime viewing the new home of the Roughriders.

One thing that Hall won’t missed about the old Taylor Field is walking down the ramps from the coaches booth following a game.

“No (laughing), that I don’t. It’s nice to get in the elevator and go up do what you got to do and come down. ”



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