The Winnipeg Blue Bombers never did put the "interim" tag on head coach Jim Daley, but in a lot of ways that's what he is. An assistant hired by Dave Ritchie going into the season, Daley isn't being paid anywhere near what Ritchie was getting and, by the Bombers own admission, his performance was to be reviewed after the season and he doesn't have a contract for next year.
The fact he had to have his arm twisted before he'd even take over when Ritchie was fired only raises more questions about the length of his stay on the job.
So if the Bombers haven't already begun to discuss a new long-term deal with Daley, they should start now.
Why the rush, you ask?
No. 1, the Bombers, specifically GM Brendan Taman and president Lyle Bauer, have probably learned the hard way what can happen when you've got a lame duck at the helm. All the flapping in the world doesn't necessarily get you anywhere.
The players need to know who they'll be accountable to, not just next week, but next year.
No. 2, Daley deserves it.
Not that he's flipped a switch and brought this team back to contender status. No, the Bombers, 3-2 under his watch, 5-7 overall, have a ways to go before you want to mention them in the same breath as the Lions, Eskimos or Alouettes.
But at least fans aren't muttering the team's name under their breath, along with their favourite expletives, like they were back in late July and early August.
That's when 20- and 30-point losses were becoming the norm. One of those was to the Stampeders, and how bad does that look now?
Going into today's game against the Toronto Argonauts, you at least have a pretty good idea the Bombers will show up with their lunch buckets and deliver the kind of blue-collar effort we've become accustomed to seeing the last several weeks.
From where I sit, Daley's biggest accomplishment has been restoring this team's attention to detail.
Strangely enough, he's done it by removing the most important detail of all -- the final score -- from everybody's pre-game mindset.
Ask him about the importance of beating a team with a good record for a change -- like the Toronto Argos today -- and he looks at you like you've just asked him to explain the theory of relativity.
"We're not worried about outcome, so your question's irrelevant," Daley said. "To worry about all those things you worry about and dream up, it confuses me.
"We're not worried about outcomes ... what we're worried about is performance. When I took over, the last thing this team could handle was being worried about outcome."
That's because the previous head coach's job had been hanging on every outcome.
Daley recognized the frazzled mess left behind after Ritchie's firing, and turned everybody's focus to something far easier to deal with: their job on the next play.
Lo and behold, the wins started coming again -- and the blowout losses stopped.
It wasn't long ago -- after a 14-6 loss in Toronto a month ago, to be exact -- people were calling for this team to be dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up, with next year in mind.
But Daley, and the players, for that matter, deserved more than that. They'd played three games in 11 days, and were just trying to keep their heads above water.
In this space, we said the next three games would provide a far better benchmark.
Apparently, the Bomber brass thought so, too.