If Toronto Argonauts new head coach Rich Stubler was looking for a like-minded assistant to take over his defensive coordinating duties, he found the right candidate in naming Kavis Reed to the post yesterday.
Reed admitted that he has been a fan of Stubler's defensive system since the pair first hooked up back when both were with the Edmonton Eskimos.
After his playing career -- one that included 205 tackles, 20 interceptions and an all-star nod in 1997 with the Esks -- Reed caught the coaching bug when he was hired by Stubler and the Argos to be the team's defensive backs coach in 2001.
A stint with the now defunct Ottawa Renegades as an assistant coach and three seasons as defensive coordinator with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats preceded Reed's return to the Argos this past season as the club's defensive assistant coach.
"I've been fortunate to welcome Kavis as a player to the CFL when I coached him in Edmonton and, as a coach, when he first began in Toronto," Stubler said. "He is a man with great passion for football and for his players."
The 34-year-old Reed knows what to expect when he steps into the job early in the new year and he said that dealing with a defence rated as the best in the CFL certainly won't make his job any harder.
"There is no stress, no anxiety," he said. "Having spent this past season with the team I understand the components of the defence. I understand how this defence works; how the players think. So I think it's going to be a good transition."
An extra bonus is that this defence is one put together and honed by Stubler, who will be in the next office whenever Reed needs advice.
"I now have the opportunity to draw on the resource that is (Stubler's) great defensive mind," he said. "That will help me accelerate my career as a coach."
As for speculation that the team might lose some of its veterans on the defence -- including captain Mike O'Shea -- Reed said that will not affect his job.
"It won't be my job to get involved in personnel matters," he said. "Those decisions will be made by coach Stubler and (general manager) Adam Rita."
He did say, however, that the core group he inherits includes some of the best position players in the league.
"I have a great bunch of players to deal with; that I have worked with this past season," he said.
Reed also said that it will be a challenge, to be sure, to keep the level of play up to what the team's fans have come to expect on the defensive side of the ball.
"Our job as coaches is to manage what we have; to put the players in a situation where they can succeed," he said.
Reed has shown that kind of ability already when he took a pretty much sad sack outfit in Hamilton in his three seasons there and sent two players to the CFL all-star team and three players to the divisional all-star team.