One has to wonder if Scott Milanovich knows something everyone else does not.
Milanovich signed a contract extension with the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday, a day after rejecting an offer from the Argonauts to be their next head coach.
In a telephone interview, Milanovich, 37, figured the Argos could have a bright future.
“I really believe it can be done in Toronto, and quickly,” Milanovich said. “Am I disappointed? Certainly. Pinball (Clemons), Bob Nicholson, Adam Rita, they were all great guys. I was excited to get that opportunity.”
The Argos’ search for a head coach has been as smooth as a country road during spring thaw.
Of their four short-list candidates, only Doug Berry remains without work. Milanovich is staying in Montreal, Calgary Stampeders offensive co-ordinator Chris Jones got an extension and George Cortez departed Calgary for Buffalo, where he will join the Bills staff.
A source said the Argos had not been in touch with Berry by Sunday afternoon, but he originally had a strong interview with the club, so he could become the main attraction.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall, who is on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ short list, also might catch the Argos’ eye. Alouettes defensive co-ordinator Tim Burke and Edmonton Eskimos assistant head coach/special teams co-ordinator Noel Thorpe also would not be bad choices.
“To be consistent, we have said that we would not comment on the process publicly,” Nicholson, the Argos president, said. “We’re not going to say who we have talked to. I have nothing to announce.”
Was the money, or lack thereof, the main reason Milanovich turned the Argos down? Reportedly, the Argos, who still have to pay the fired Bart Andrus this year, were willing to cough up $170,000-$175,000 for each of the next two seasons. Andrus, the master of the Argos’ 3-15 record in 2009, has been reported to have been paid in excess of $400,000.
“I’m not going to get into details,” Milanovich said.
“We had negotiations and it did not come together. Every assistant wants to be a head coach one day, but I am happy where I am (with Montreal).”
It can’t help the Argos during interviews that Nicholson might not be able to give a straight answer if he is asked who will be signing the cheques in the coming season. This week, it is expected that David Braley officially will take over ownership from David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski. At this point, however, nothing can be taken for granted in Argoland.