Winnipeg Blue Bombers wide receiver Rasheed Bailey sure feels good about his team's offence heading into the 2021 season.
Like, real good.
"The way it's looking right now, I'm just going to tell everybody this right now, they better watch out what we're about to do this year. That's just me speaking from a confidence standpoint," Bailey told reporters Monday.
"Every day we've been here, we're building something that's special, just building from the Grey Cup. The connection that we have right now and we're gathering right now as we speak, it's going to be a special year this year if we all stay healthy and do what we're supposed to do to take care of our bodies. There's a lot of talent on this offence and a lot of players that can make some plays, including myself."
Bailey, 27, is back with the Bombers after appearing in five regular season games in 2019 and finishing with 19 catches for 206 yards, as well as four receptions for 26 yards in three playoff starts. The Philadelphia native has been making impressive catches throughout training camp and he believes it's only a sign of things to come.
"It's gonna be a come out show for me. I've waited my whole life for this moment...and it gets me extremely emotional because it's been this long," said Bailey, who was cut by five NFL teams, including his hometown Philadelphia Eagles, before settling in with the Bombers in 2019.
"People have counted me out. People have said what they need to say. I've been on this long journey, but coach Buck (Pierce) has been in my ear and he's letting all the guys know 'Your role is going to be expanded, you're going to be doing some more things.' It's time to show up, it's time to do what you need to do, it's time to make a living."
But Bailey's going to have to work hard for a larger role. The addition of former NFL receiver Cameron Meredith, who was turning heads in camp prior to getting an injury that will keep him out of action for at least another week, and the strong play of former XFL receiver Carlton Agudosi in practice has left the Bombers with some tough decisions to make prior to Week 1.
"I was always the kid that was going to work harder than the next man to begin with. Back when I was at a Div. III school, back when I was coming out to be a pro, it doesn't matter who they bring in," said Bailey, who played four seasons for Delaware Valley University.
"I respect it because it's a business and this is all about competition and stuff like that. But when it comes to my craft and what we've been working on with me and my trainers and what we've done, I'm ready for whatever."
MOTIVATED FOR BUCK
The Free Press recently published a story on offensive co-ordinator Buck Pierce's wife Lori who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia after beating breast cancer. Thankfully, Lori won her fight with leukemia as well.
"Recently, I just saw what's going on with his wife and it makes me want to play even harder for him," Bailey said.
"Just to see his story and see what's going on with his wife and kids, that's where he gets my respect. That's where he gets my love... We respect him and we got his back throughout this whole thing."
COLLAROS NOT WORRIED ABOUT INJURY CONCERNS
When Zach Collaros is healthy, he's proven he's one of the best quarterbacks in the CFL.
But staying healthy has been an issue for him at times throughout his career. Collaros addressed the durability concerns that some people in Bomberland might have about him.
"I would say you prepare for every season the same way. Your main goal is to stay healthy for the entire season. Obviously, availability is the best ability, so that's what you train for," he said.
"That's why you prepare week in and week out as a quarterback to know where to put the football to try to eliminate some of the risk and taking hits and all those different things but sometimes things happen. It's just the way it is but you know, that's all we can do is prepare to be ready for the season."
OUT OF PROVINCE FANS CAN ATTEND GAMES
It was announced Monday that fully vaccinated people from out of province now have permission to attend Winnipeg Blue Bombers games at IG Field this season. Fans will need proof of vaccination plus valid ID to enter the stadium.
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.
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