Winnipeg – When you are as good as Justin Medlock is, expectations are always high. And so the fact that Medlock has missed 3 of his first 8 field goals in his inaugural season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers has raised a few eyebrows. But not with head coach Mike O’Shea.
“He’s not happy. I’d like him to make some of those kicks obviously and he would say the same thing. but I also know that he’s extremely detailed and statistically he’s the best that there is in the league for a number of years. That form is a smidgen away and he’ll find that for sure. He did kick four for us in the game in Hamilton so he just keeps working, keeps his head down and keeps working” said O’Shea.
Medlock came into this season boasting a career best 87.5% success ratio on field goals. His 3 misses have been from 45 yards and twice from 51 yards. Kicks of that length aren’t sure things for any kicker, although Medlock would expect to make at least 2 of every three from those distances. But it’s fair to say that Medlock’s field goal kicking is among the least of the Bombers worries. And, Medlock’s punting has been outstanding. He has a 44.7 yard average and the Bombers Net Punting average of 37.4 is second best in the CFL.
The kicking matchup in Thursday’s Winnipeg-Edmonton game at Investors Group field is an interesting one as the Eskimos Sean Whyte is the only kicker in the CFL with a perfect field goal record this season. Whyte is 7 for 7 including a clutch 51 yarder that sent the Eskimos and Roughriders into overtime last Friday, a game the Eskimos ultimately won. And last year, he made a 53 yarder on the final play of the game to hand the Bombers a heart-breaking 24-23 defeat in Winnipeg.
The Bombers aren’t planning many lineup changes for Thursday’s game. One of them could see CJ Roberts starting at cornerback with Kevin Fogg moving to defensive halfback. That would make Travis Hawkins the odd man out, at least for this week.