Rose knew he’d be back with Blue and Gold


It was the play everyone was talking about the day after the 108th Grey Cup.

Trailing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 33-25 in overtime, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats needed a touchdown to keep their championship hopes alive. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli fired a pass that bounced off the hands of Bombers defensive back Deatrick Nichols. But the ball never hit the ground as fellow defensive back Winston Rose laid out and scooped it to linebacker Kyrie Wilson for the game-sealing interception.



<p>JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files</p>
<p>Winston Rose celebrates the Bombers’ Grey Cup triumph.</p>
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JESSICA LEE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS files

Winston Rose celebrates the Bombers’ Grey Cup triumph.

“Man, I think about that play all the time,” Rose told reporters Wednesday from his home in Los Angeles.

“Still to this day, my family members ask me, ‘How did you do it?’ And to this day, I’m still asking myself. It was just pure reaction.”

Rose will have an opportunity to make more plays in blue and gold as the club announced Tuesday the 28-year-old has signed a one-year extension for 2022. Rose led the CFL in interceptions in 2019 and was named a league all-star.

“From Day 1, before I left, I told coach (Mike) O’Shea, I told Richie (Hall), I was telling everybody that I wanted to come back. So, the process was pretty much me being patient and just seeing where the pieces fall and stuff like that,” said Rose. “… When Kyle (Walters) hit my agent and sent him an offer I told my agent I’m good with the offer, there’s just some things I want to switch around. Other than that, I was good with my offer and I already knew I was coming back to Winnipeg.”

After his stellar 2019 season, Rose signed with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. He suited up for two regular season games in 2020, but spent most of the year on the Bengals’ practice roster. In 2021, he was added to Cincinnati’s practice roster at the end of training camp before getting released on Sept. 6. He waited a bit to see if another NFL opportunity would materialize before returning to the CFL and Bombers on Oct. 20. Rose started the final three regular season contests and both playoff games.

“I just wanted to play,” said Rose.

“I was at home going on two months from being released and only having one workout in those two months. I was itching to get back on the field. And obviously, watching the season, how it was going and seeing how much fun those boys were having out there. I was like ‘Man, I wanna go and join that party.’ Making that transition, I was betting on myself and rolling the dice and I won.”

Rose won a championship this season and his pals from Cincinnati might do the same thing Sunday, Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium. Most of the football world is surprised to see the Bengals — a team that went 4-11-1 in 2020 — set to meet the Los Angeles Rams in this year’s Super Bowl. But Rose isn’t.

“I knew what those guys had in that locker room, and it was just a matter of time before we make that switch… The road to glory is not easy, but in the playoffs all you’ve got to do is win one game and you keep advancing and that’s what those guys kept doing — they found a way. I’m just happy for them,” said Rose.

“Honestly, I’m genuinely happy for them that they’re going to the Super Bowl. I’m rooting for them even though I’m from L.A. and the Rams are in it, too.”

BAILEY BACK IN BLUE

American wide receiver Rasheed Bailey signed a one-year extension with the Bombers on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old from Philadelphia is coming off a career-best season in which he had 52 receptions for 629 yards and five touchdowns.

Bailey made his CFL and Blue Bombers debut in 2019.

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

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