Maciocia movin' on up?

TERRY JONES, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

Are the Edmonton Eskimos poised to announce today or tomorrow that Danny Maciocia has decided to replace himself as head coach?

Has the man who won a Grey Cup in his rookie season come to the conclusion that he'd need to win the West next year or risk being fired as both head coach and director of football operations?

Will he decide that he might as well secure one of those jobs?

Has the much maligned Montrealer who became the first Eskimo coach to miss the playoffs in 34 years only to repeat the feat last year and then make it to the Eastern Final as a crossover team this year decided to restrict himself exclusively to effectively being the football side general manager?

Something is happening. Sooner rather than later.

Clearly Maciocia's been struggling with a decision.

Eskimos CEO Rick Le- Lacheur, when fans were screaming for Maciocia to be fired, not only kept him as head coach, he put his own credibility on the line by promoting him to the position of director of football operations.

Maciocia's line was that if he was going to cook the dinner, he wanted to pick the ingredients.

Is Maciocia now asking LeLacheur to leave him in the position of picking somebody else's ingredients?

Is the CEO going to be OK with that when the job is only half done getting this team back to being the annual Grey Cup contender this team has been for so much of its storied history?

Maciocia has gone from five wins to double that this season, but if he gives up coaching now, that would leave him a loser for the history books with a 33-38-1 record and not getting his team to one single home playoff game. After all he's gone through, does he really want that?

Maciocia has been busy signing guys to new contracts. Keep in mind here that while a significant percentage of the fans have been in the 'Danny's gotta go' mode for most of his time here, Maciocia has never lost the room.

His players like playing for him. How would they feel about finding out today or tomorrow that they'll suddenly will be playing for somebody else?

Maciocia did major surgery in upgrading his coaching staff this past season and suddenly all his assistants would be in limbo, waiting to find out who is going to be the next guy.

Would such a move label him as a guy who couldn't stand the heat and got out of the kitchen?

Sports may be the only business in the world where it's not always a good idea to listen to your customers.

Fans wanting their teams to fire the coach is a disease in sports right now.

Nobody seems to think about if their team will be better off with the next guy.

What if the next guy is Doug Berry, Maciocia's best friend in CFL coaching ranks who is being replaced in Winnipeg as head coach by Eskimos assistant Mike Kelly?

Would Maciocia hire Greg Marshall, the assistant coach he went against for the head job with the Eskimos in the first place?

Marshall, defensive co-ordinator with Winnipeg this past season, lives in St. Albert.

In today's CFL, aren't you really better off with an offensive co-ordinator like, oh, John Hufnagel, Marc Trestman or Kent Austin?

There are those who believe new Eskimos special teams coach Noel Thorpe has the makings of a good head coach. But right now? Same with offensive co-ordinator Rick Worman.

What would make anybody confident that Maciocia would choose the right guy as his own replacement? The guy has had 17 different assistant coaches in four years.

The solution to me is for Maciocia to coach another year and for LeLacheur to announce that Maciocia will then likely make the full-time move to the front office and replace himself as bench boss.

But that doesn't seem to be the way the wind is blowing.

And this is hardly the time to blow the whole thing up.\


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