Hall was Maciocia's house guest

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

Random thoughts and observations at the start of the Richie Hall era in Edmonton:

- Eskimos general manager Danny Maciocia pulled out all the stops to keep Hall's hiring as quiet as possible before getting a signature on a contract Wednesday morning.

In fact, Hall slept at Maciocia's house on Tuesday night -- keeping out of a hotel and possible sight.

The pair emerged on Wednesday to announce Hall as the Green and Gold's new head coach.

"It felt natural," said Maciocia of the visit.

Proving how the two get along already, Hall also spent Wednesday night at Maciocia's house.

- Maciocia's sneaky ways also led to one head coach candidate being kept off the radar until now.

It turns out the GM interviewed former University of Notre Dame quarterbacks coach Peter Vaas.

Vaas spent the 1996 season as Montreal's offensive co-ordinator, which is when he crossed paths with Maciocia.

The owner of a long resume, Vaas won two World Bowl titles (2001, 2002) as head coach with Berlin in NFL Europe.

- Saskatchewan general manager Eric Tillman gave sports a good name Wednesday by being genuinely happy for Hall, his former defensive co-ordinator.

After Hall was named Edmonton's head coach at Wednesday's media conference at Commonwealth Stadium, Tillman said: "All emotions aside, Edmonton made a terrific decision (to hire Hall)."

- Eskimos running back Calvin McCarty is now being represented by highly-respected agent Darren Gill.

That's a smart move by McCarty, who is entering the option year of his contract.

It's expected a new contract will be signed before Dec. 31.

That would be a feather in Macicoia's hat as McCarty is one of the Esks' top young non-imports.

- Veteran linebacker Shannon Garrett wants to return for another season.

The 36-year-old doesn't want to retire. Instead, he wants to play a 15th CFL season and go out a champion.

"We have a great opportunity (in Edmonton in 2009)," said Garrett.

"I want to do it like Bruce Beaton did."

Beaton retired after the 2005 season when the Esks won the Grey Cup in Vancouver.

But it will be interesting to see what Hall and Maciocia think of Garrett's decision to play another season.

If Edmonton signs 25-year-old Sean Lucas -- Saskatchewan's starting strong-side linebacker-- on the free-agent market in February, Garrett would be in trouble.

- Kamau Peterson is facing a very long journey over the holiday season.

The Eskimos receiver is going to move his family from Maryland to Edmonton in early January, hauling his belongings by truck.

One of the most popular and respected members of the Green and Gold, Peterson could parlay the move into significant off-season business opportunities in this city.

- On the topic of moving to Edmonton, Hall is planning on moving from his residence in Regina.

"I am part of Edmonton, the community," remarked the 48-year-old native of San Antonio, Texas. "So, in time, I will relocate. This will be my home."


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