Lot of votes for Worman

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

After spending the weekend pondering his future, Rick Worman has decided to put his name forward as a candidate in the race to be the next head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos.

The current offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach with the Green and Gold had discussions with general manager Danny Maciocia over the weekend, which helped lead to his decision.

It means there are now officially eight individuals - Chris Jones, Greg Marshall, Richie Hall, Mike Benevides, Noel Thorpe, Doug Berry, Ronnie Vinklarek and Worman - in the running to be the next bench boss.

It's unclear if Worman will receive an interview or make it to the short list before a decision is made - likely between Dec. 10 and 20.

"After a great deal of thought and research with coaches I respect, they have encouraged me to take on this challenge," said Worman on why he decided to inform the Eskimos of his interest in the vacant position.

Worman left Edmonton to return to Fresno, Calif., on Friday morning without commenting on whether he would compete for the head coach opening.

The personable offensive coach wanted to determine if he should jump into the battle with both feet.

That decision is made and the sell job is underway.

When asked why he would make a good candidate, Worman replied: "I think my diversity of experience as a quarterback in the league, as a coach in the league and having been involved with four different clubs - with experience in recruiting."

Worman's specific experience with the Eskimos sets him apart from every other person on the list.

Involved for the last six years - as a scout, position coach or co-ordinator - has allowed Worman to report to both Maciocia and chief scout Paul Jones.

Being able to successfully recruit players will be a significant bonus for anyone in the running to be Edmonton's 18th head coach - and Worman has an impressive track record.

Responsible for bringing Ricky Ray to the Eskimos from the Arena Football League, Worman also helped bring a number of current players to the Green and Gold.

But it's his relationship with Ray that could really help his cause with the Esks.

The star quarterback and most influential player on the roster has already told Sun Media that Worman should be considered for the head coaching job.

Ray also pointed out this year the professional nature in which Worman handled the Fresno Frenzy when he was head coach in 2002.

Locker-room leader Kamau Peterson has also complimented Worman.

"I think Rick would do a good job," said Peterson on the possibility of Worman being the next head coach.

"He understands what it is to be an Eskimo."

For just more than one season in the late 1980s Worman was a quarterback with the Eskimos, meaning he has worn at least three different hats with the organization.

A quarterback for six seasons in the CFL, Worman is now quietly compared to John Hufnagel for being someone who wasn't the best pivot in the league but had a great understanding of the game and an ability to effectively communicate.

Hufnagel is now two weeks removed from winning a Grey Cup as the head coach in Calgary.

Will Worman get a chance to do the same with the Eskimos?

With club management not publicly talking during the search process, only time will tell.


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