Owner, Tillman have 'cordial' chat

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:38 AM ET

Eric Tillman's phone got a workout yesterday.

It usually does, but the past 24 hours have been particularly busy.

One call stood out.

The former Renegades GM received a shout from the team's majority owner, Bernie Glieberman.

"It was a cordial, friendly conversation," Tillman said from his home in Manotick yesterday.

The two will speak in more depth later this week to discuss a possible role for Tillman in the club's football administration.

Tillman emerged as the leading candidate to take over the department after Glieberman and minority owner Bill Smith met in Toronto on Monday with CFL commissioner Tom Wright.

The owners believe Tillman could provide an instant shot of credibility to a franchise desperately in need of it, following the debacles that have recently emerged from the team's operations at Lansdowne Park.

The dominos began falling last week when Lonie Glieberman, the owner's son, stepped down as boss on the the team's business side.

That move spurred Bernie Glieberman to begin a search for a candidate to run the team's business operations and find replacements for consultants Phil Kershaw and John Lisowski, who have been running the office.

Tillman was fired by Lisowski as GM during the 2004 season and would never return to the team as long as Lisowski remained part of the picture.

GREGG'S STATUS IN QUESTION

The question for Bernie Glieberman now is the role of Forrest Gregg, the VP of football operations and GM.

With Tillman on the verge of being offered a job, it's likely Gregg will be asked to let go of his managerial role and allow Tillman to take control of the football side.

Yesterday afternoon, Gregg said he was unaware of the latest developments involving Tillman, but said from his home in Colorado that he would serve in any post Glieberman requested.

"If you're asking would I be able to work with Eric Tillman, the answer would be, of course," said Gregg.

Renegades coach John Jenkins also welcomed a Tillman candidacy.

"Eric understands the great background that Forrest has and he respects him tremendously," said Jenkins from his home in Little Rock, Ark. "I know Eric would be more than capable, and I'm sure he'd be excited to get a fresh start in this organization, with everybody heading in the right direction."

Tillman and Jenkins are friends and worked together in 1997 when the Argos won the Grey Cup, with Tillman as GM and Jenkins as an assistant coach.

Darryl Edralin, the team's new defensive backfield coach, will arrive in Ottawa later this week and defensive co-ordinator Rod Rust is due in town early next week.

Meanwhile, Glieberman and Smith remained silent on candidates to take over the team's business side.

It's believed the owners are courting Washington Nationals executive Bob Nicholson.

Chris Overholt, a former marketing executive with the Florida Panthers and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, was a name that emerged in one report.


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