Quarterback Sean McGuire is full of confidence as he knuckles down to the task at hand in preparation for the start of the 2021 Canadian Football League season.
One of three quarterbacks currently in the mix with the defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers, McGuire says two weeks into training camp and he’s feeling good about both himself and his teammates.
“It’s been really, really fun getting back to it,” he said. “I think now we’re at that point where we’re trying to stack days together and keep getting better every day, keep progressing. I think as a team, we have certainly done that. Getting out and competing and getting back to the speed of the game has been really, really fun.”
McGuire says he doesn’t think he has lost much, if anything, in the way of his skillset given that there was no season in 2020 because of the global pandemic.
He says it has been like second nature processing-wise in seeing the field again, making good decisions and getting more comfortable with the game plans. And he says the same is obviously true for the two other players he’s up against to be the starting QB for the Bombers.
McGuire is competing with Zach Collaros and Dru Brown to see who will be the starter come opening day on Thursday, August 5 when the Bombers have a rematch with their Grey Cup opponents, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Collaros, of course, is the frontrunner for that job following his stellar-end-of season performances in 2019 that culminated in Winnipeg’s first CFL championship in almost 30 years.
“I kind of see this as 2019 where I know nothing is a given,” he continued. “I really haven’t done anything yet. You know, every day I’m trying to earn that trust and prove my worth just like the next guy is. We’re all trying to execute, do our jobs and get to the next stage and let the chips fall where they do.”
A product of Division IAA school Western Illinois University, McGuire first signed with the Blue Bombers in 2019. He didn’t get a whole heck of a lot of game time that season as Matt Nichols, Chris Streveler and then Collaros were all under centre.
He says he used the time to learn as much as he could from veteran players and soak up as much as possible in terms of learning the ropes and getting familiar with the coaching staff’s game plans.
“I’m confident in my ability, I trust myself and I trust my coaching and my teammates,” he added. “I think that would give anybody confidence. If you know what you’re doing and you practice hard and do all the right things, it just comes down to going out and executing.”
As for whether the Bombers are expecting to be under any extra pressure week in and week out because they are the reigning champs, McGuire says that’s really just par for the course.
“I think every team always wants to beat the reigning champions,” he said. “I think where we’re at, we’re just focused on one week at a time, beating the team that’s in front of us, following our processes and let the chips fall where they do.”