Wright back at you, Bob

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:08 AM ET

Tom Wright is firing back at Montreal owner Bob Wetenhall.

One day after Wetenhall blasted the CFL commissioner in a Toronto newspaper for removing Ed Chalupka from the league's head office - calling the firing "incomprehensible" - Wright delivered his own pointed message.

"I always respect a person's right to have an opinion, but I can tell you that I have not, nor would I ever question an owner or a team on their employee decisions, especially not in the press," stated Wright.

"To me, I don't think that's appropriate."

After overseeing the league's football operations for nearly 13 years, Chalupka was recently fired from his senior vice-president post.

Wright followed that move by hiring Michael Copeland this week as the new chief operating officer after being a high-ranking executive with Molson.

"The league has grown considerably and in order to continue that and accelerate that, I felt it was time to add some fresh thinking," said Wright.

ESKS LOOKING AT RIDERS COACH: Carl Brennan isn't the only coach on the Eskimos' radar map. Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia has confirmed that his organization has approached the Saskatchewan Roughriders' offensive line coach.

"But I am also speaking to other coaches right now," revealed Maciocia.

There is definitely no shortage of candidates with a desire to move north to join the Green and Gold's assistant coaching staff for the 2006 season.

"I have had at least seven guys call me - and some are employed in the CFL or CIS," added Maciocia. "I've even gotten resumes from people down south."

Like any good head coach, Maciocia is constantly trying to improve his overall staff.

But it appears he will also have some holes to plug.

"I expect most of (the assistant coaching staff) back," said Maciocia, who declined to offer many specifics.

However, he did confirm that Bill Macdermott will return this year to coach the offensive line, meaning Brennan would have a different portfolio if he arrives.

"(Brennan) would be on the offensive side of the ball, potentially running back (coach)," stated Maciocia.But nothing will be finalized until early next month when Maciocia returns from coaching at the NFL Global Junior Championship in Detroit.

DICKENSON NOT HAPPY, BUT WILL RETURN

Quarterback Dave Dickenson says he wasn't happy with the way the B.C. Lions left him hanging until Casey Printers made up his mind over his football future. That won't stop him from returning to the Lions this season now that Printers has agreed to a three-year contract with the NFL Kansas City Chiefs, Dickenson said yesterday.

There had been speculation in Vancouver that if Printers agreed to a new contract with the Lions, coach and general manager Wally Buono would have tried to move Dickenson to another CFL team.

"I guess that's really the first time I felt like that maybe Wally was going in a different direction," Dickenson said.

"Every other year I was with him I always felt he had complete confidence in me to win games and do all those sorts of things. I'm not happy with the way it seemed like it was going, but it's not going to affect me at all or our relationship when I come back."

PINBALL ADDS UP NUMBERS

Mike 'Pinball' Clemons summed up his thoughts on the Argos success and the club's bright future with a number: 44,211. That's how many fans packed the Rogers Centre for last year's CFL Eastern final.

"That's not combined attendance for the year, ladies and gentlemen, that's one game, the Eastern final," Clemons said with a wide smile.

"We've come a long way, an extremely long way."

The Argos made sure Clemons will be a part of what's to come, signing the popular coach to a two-year contract extension yesterday, along with defensive co-ordinator Rich Stubler.

The deal was reported earlier this week and confirmed at a news conference yesterday at the Rogers Center.

"I have no desire to be good. None," said Clemons. "We were a good football team last year, that was disappointing. Fact is, we want to be great.


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