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Author Topic: First & 10 | Jeffcoat, Neufeld Optimistic & Hopeful  (Read 412 times)
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« on: April 28, 2021, 03:27:10 AM »

First & 10 | Jeffcoat, Neufeld Optimistic & Hopeful

There's a hint of optimism in Jackson Jeffcoat's voice. That said, it is occasionally muffled by a tone of frustration and skepticism.

"I hope to be in Winnipeg soon. I miss it like crazy," began the Blue Bombers defensive end in a conversation with www.bluebombers.com.

"I just want to play ball. I really want to play ball. I love playing. I love being with my team. I love getting with the coaches and everybody and it's going to be exciting when it does happen. But until then I can't throw my hopes at it and throw away what I've got going now, either."

It's an honest take from an honest player - now interning with HPI Real Estate Services and Investments in Austin, TX by the way - in the wake of the Canadian Football League's unveiling of its 2021 return-to-play plan earlier this week.

Look, no one expected an instant parade, a sudden spike in ticket sales or a mad rush to The Bomber Store for swag when the news broke. And the initial reaction from fans, players and media seemed to range from absolute joy in some corners to indifference and out-right skepticism.

And, frankly, that kind of response was entirely predictable.

Slogging through this pandemic has been a grind for everyone. It's been tragic and led to financial hardships for so many. What it's also done, it would seem, is simply beat so much of us down emotionally that there is almost a reluctance to accept good news. It's the old  'the light at the end of the tunnel is a freight train coming right at us' kind of thinking.

Again, it's entirely predictable when so many of us spend at least a portion of our days worrying over case counts, test-positivity percentages and vaccination totals. And all of it can be mind-numbing and mood-altering in an instant.

"The news this week, to be 100 percent honest, doesn't change anything for me," said Jeffcoat. "We had dates last year and we all know how that turned out. So, I'm not jumping up and down in excitement or anything like that.

"I want to see a schedule. I want to have a plane ticket for Winnipeg in my hand. Then I'll be excited. We've been through a lot. There's been a lot of frustration. Right now, for me, this is just words and I do understand this is a hard situation for the league to work through. Again, we just want to play."

The August 5th start-up date is a target and the CFL has said the return-to-play blueprint is flexible and has back-up plans, all of which might be critical with parts of this country now in a third wave.

Make no mistake, Jeffcoat wants to believe all this is written in permanent ink and that August 5 is guaranteed. But the cancellation of last year and the push from a June 10th start to August this year has left some scars.

And he used this vivid analogy to provide a sense of all that:

"It's like this," he began. "You set up a date with a girl and you are supposed to meet at six. Then she pushes it back to seven. You think, 'OK, we said six, but seven is cool.'

"Then she tells you she will be there at 9:30 and you think, 'Well, OK... I could have been doing something rather than waiting.' Then 9:30 comes and she ghosts you. That's what last year felt like.

"So if that girl wonders if you can go on another date, what are you going to think?"

More on this week's return-to-play news and other notes and quotes in our latest edition of First &10...

And, the rest of First and 10 is here!
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"You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one." - John Wooden
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2021, 05:47:24 AM »

Willy gets the big payday and all the name recognition, but after rewatching the whole season and post-season (for millionth time), Jeffcoat may have impacted as many plays as Willy!  Sure, he had that sexy strip/recovery in the GC, but there are a ton of plays where he's under the radar disrupting the QB, tackling rushers in the gap, tackling about-to-bust-out rushers from behind, playing the attention-getter-OL-holder in a twist stunt... stuff you never notice until you slow it down and watch exactly what's going on in the pile.

I think the team of J & J is what probably made our DL so potent.  Either one on their own might not have been nearly as good.  Picture Willis in BC (before Lemon): completely ineffective.  Not saying J or J is Willis, but you get my meaning.

Anyhow, Jeffcoat is Da Man, and I'm glad he's still on the team.  It helps to ease the pain of the loss of Nevis (which might hurt more than people think).  2019 was our best DL since Swaggerville... maybe better!
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