Marshall vs. Maciocia

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:32 AM ET

The last time they went against each other, Danny Maciocia won on the seventh interview.

The last time they went against each other, Maciocia ended up in the Eskimos' head coach's office and Greg Marshall ended up living over a funeral home.

Last night, Marshall returned to Edmonton as the defensive co-ordinator of the Ottawa Renegades and slept in his own bed, the one in St. Albert in the house where his wife Cathy and his family will remain until this time next year when his daughter Caitlin graduates from high school.

"I've really been looking forward to getting back to Edmonton, but it's not to go against Danny Maciocia and the Eskimos," said Marshall. "I've been looking forward to seeing my family. I hadn't seen them in six weeks."

His family will spend the summer with him in Ottawa but none of them will have to sleep in the funeral home.

"I've found a place to house-sit when they visit," he said. "But right now, it's true, I really am living above a funeral home.

"Mike Sheedy, who was the president of the Sooners when I was coaching the junior team, is the GM of eight funeral homes. He offered me a place to stay in an apartment they use for apprentice morticians.

"The first night I stayed there it took a little getting used to. There was no radio and no TV and it was a little creepy. But I've adjusted."

Considering the doom and gloom surrounding the Ottawa franchise, maybe having a coach living in the funeral home is appropriate.

FOCUS ON THE FOOTBALL

"I knew there were things going on with the ownership when I made my decision to go to Ottawa," he said. "I didn't know who would end up owning it. We've tried to focus on the football. That's what we've sold the players on. Put the blinders on and go straight ahead. The rest will take care of itself. And I think it will."

Marshall said he thought he had a real shot at the Eskimos head coach job.

"I was disappointed. But I've moved on. You can't dwell in the past. I have a lot of good memories from my time here."

He said he'd love to come back here and score a big win over Maciocia's Eskimos.

"But mostly that would be because not a lot of teams come into Commonwealth Stadium and get a win. To accomplish that to start the season for our team would be a great thing. We're a work in progress. We're not at the level I'd like to be three months from now."

GOOD ADDITIONS

He also noticed that the Eskimos added a few people to his old defence since his departure. "They've certainly made some good additions to that side of the ball. Having a guy like Joe Montford doesn't hurt. They went out and got some good players. They've really upgraded their veteran Canadian players."

Don't get mad, get even?

Marshall said there's something there to the Maciocia-Marshall match-up in terms of offence and defence.

"I feel both sides are going to feel they have a pretty good understanding of what they're going up against," he said.

"We were together a number of years. Danny certainly knows what I like to do on defence. And I know what he and those guys like to do on offence. It's an interesting challenge. But it'll be the players who execute the best who will decide what happens in the game."

Maciocia says there's no question they both know what the other is likely to do.

"I have a pretty good idea of what he's going to do on defence and he has a pretty good idea what we're going to be all about on offence. We could exchange playbooks. In fact, we could just shout over to each other what we're going to do in each situation."

Maciocia says it's a small league.

"When you have nine teams, over the years you're going to coach with a lot of people who move to other teams.

It just happens this is a situation where we were both going for the same job after coaching together for a long time and we end up in different situations and our two teams happen to meet in the first game of the season.

"I'm looking forward to coaching against Greg Marshall when he's a head coach. He's going to be a head coach."


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