Hectic schedule

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:52 AM ET

Like a biologist, Denny Creehan spends most of his work day dissecting.

He picks apart offensive schemes the way a scientist checks the pieces of a specimen to find out how it works.

Yet before he does any analysis on Saskatchewan, Edmonton or B.C., the Calgary Stampeders defensive co-ordinator sits down and picks through the pieces of his own defence.

"In terms of time, it doesn't get any easier," said the 30-year coach. "If you've been around as long as I have, you've probably seen this stuff. There's not a lot they're going to show you (that) you haven't seen before.

"Everything is usually a variation of things you've already seen. But there's different ways to combine things."

On a typical Stampeders off day, Creehan's job goes like this:

* Arrive at McMahon Stadium and charts all of his defensive formations against each opposition situation.

* Then Creehan, defensive line coach Casey Creehan and defensive backs coach Tim Burke start looking at the week's opposition. They'll check how the team lines up in each situation based on down and distance they need for a first down. The crew will also look at plays when the team is in different parts of the field, especially coming out of their own end and the red zone. They'll also take a look at any trick plays, two-point converts and overtimes.

* All through the process, Creehan jots notes he will use in the game plan. After they've finished with the tape, he types out a game plan for each defensive player.

* Next step is designing practice plays and creating a scout team.

Most weeks have an extra day which the players have off but those are the busiest in Creehan's schedule. A normal practice day has Creehan arriving early to design practice.

Then, after practice, the crew breaks down the film to chart how the team is reacting to the plays. He's also looking ahead to the game following the next one. In a short week, the entire system gets out of whack.

"They're torture," Creehan said. "In a short week, you almost have to make two game plans."

After Creehan's defensive unit had so much success a year ago, new ownership made him an assistant head coach and put him on the fast track to being a head coach in the CFL for the first time. He's not worried about the titles as the Stamps try to win games.

"I have to be focused that way," he said

"If you're sitting in the head coach's chair, you're looking at the whole big picture. For us, if I didn't concentrate on the defence, we'd be in trouble."

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BIO BLITZ

ASSISTANT HEAD COACH DENNY CREEHAN

BORN -- Aug. 16, 1949.

FAMILY -- Wife Linda, sons, Kevin and Casey.

YEARS IN CFL -- 5.

PREVIOUS CFL STOPS -- Edmonton (special teams coach, 1985-86, '91).

DID YOU KNOW -- Son Casey is the Stamps defensive line coach ... was previously a head coach at South Dakota, San Francisco State and Edinboro University ... Hall of Fame member at Bethel Park high school and Edinboro, his alma mater.


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