Help wanted

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Teams playing out the string are usually evaluating on-field talent during the meaningless moments of the season.

While that will be the case as both Hamilton and Edmonton gear up for a post-season hiatus, coaching staffs in those cities could be gearing up for their own tryouts over the next two weeks.

Up to four head-coaching jobs could be vacant after this season, which means plenty of assistants changing homes as well -- and Edmonton could be the focal point of the movement.

So it's fitting the Eskimos will play in Montreal Saturday and give Alouettes GM Jim Popp an up-close-and-personal look at Danny Maciocia.

Edmonton's head coach isn't out of a job -- Eskimos CEO Hugh Campbell has stated he won't be -- but Maciocia would be a perfect fit to replace Don Matthews in Montreal because he is French Canadian, experienced and passionate about the game.

Hamilton is also in the market for a new head coach and will have to choose their next move wisely after dismissing homegrown talent Greg Marshall earlier this season and temporarily replacing him with Ron Lancaster. Saskatchewan appears set to release Danny Barrett now Eric Tillman has taken over as GM.

There are a half-dozen serious candidates for each position, which should make for a fun off-season.

Only in the CFL would half the member clubs be changing head coaches from one season to the next.

OPENING DRIVE:

For the second straight season, Calgary's defence can help its running back in the quest for the rushing title in the final game of the regular season.

Joffrey Reynolds officially sits 58 yards ahead of Charles Roberts as the Stamps invade Canad Inns Stadium Saturday.

The Blue Bombers, meanwhile, are petitioning the league to change Roberts' TD reception against Hamilton to a rush seeing as how it was essentially a lateral across the field.

That would give Roberts 14 more yards and a better shot at the title because he has one extra game to play than Reynolds.

ENDZONE TOSS:

Lions SB Jason Clermont felt sorry about breaking Stamps DB Jermaine Chatman's jaw last season on a hit that broke up an interception. But Clermont's fears of long-term injury to Chatman were put to rest when the two players met on the field a week ago and again this weekend. "I heard enough yapping from him to know his jaw's just fine," Clermont said ... Roughriders K Luca Congi not only propelled his team into the playoffs with his game-winning kick over the Alouettes, he might have put himself back into the rookie-of-the- year race. Congi came off a horrible outing in Montreal the week before to bring his success rate on field goals back up to 86.8% ... The Argos never could have expected Byron Parker to make such an impact this season when he returned from the NFL. The defensive back's interception TD to knock the Eskimos out of the playoff race was his fourth this season in only eight games. Plus, Parker set the CFL single-season record for interception return yardage with 342 on seven picks ... Stamps punt returner Markus Howell, after being tackled by a kicker for the second time en route to the endzone: "Coach has to draw up a punt-return scheme where the kicker gets blocked so I don't have to worry about him no more."

EXTRA POINTS:

Although the West Division is already decided, there are 32 scenarios on how the East can finish in the final two weeks. Only four of those combinations have Winnipeg hosting a playoff game ... If the Roughriders beat the Eskimos in the final game of the season, each West Division team will finish 2006 with a 5-5 intra-divisional record, which is proof there is parity in the CFL ... Argos LB Mike O'Shea needs just three tackles to reach 1,000 for his storied career ... The Stampeders are the only team to lose to both non-playoff clubs this season, although the B.C. Lions could join them by letting up against the Tiger-Cats this week. Calgary finished 3-3 against Hamilton and Edmonton, which isn't as awful as it sounds ... About 8,000 tickets remain unsold for the Grey Cup in Winnipeg but that could change with the Blue Bombers' latest offer. Anyone buying two seats to the big game this week will also get complimentary ducats to the must-see Stampeders visit Saturday ... While volunteering as a high school coach, former Stampeder Marvin Coleman has been arrested in Florida after being accused of having sex with a 16-year-old female student. Coleman faces charges of having unlawful sex with a minor.

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QUOTABLE

"I've never been the fastest guy, so I really haven't lost

any speed."

Ticats receiver Mike Morreale

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GO FIGURE

8

The number of interceptions by the Eskimos defence this season, worst in the league


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