A no-brainer for new OC

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

It's a ritual we go through every year, it seems.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers bring in a new offensive co-ordinator, and the first thing we do is send the men in the white coats after him to see if he's certifiable.

I mean, who in their right mind would take a job that has all the security of a gig on The Apprentice?

Everybody knows the Bombers change offensive co-ordinators the way J.Lo changes mates.

Ronnie Lancaster found that out, less than a year after seeing his office for the first time.

Of Lancaster's predecessors -- Paul LaPolice, Rick Worman, Joe Perella, Bill Stewart, Joe Paopao -- only LaPolice got to know the place, lasting two seasons.

With six OCs in the last seven years, the Bombers may as well just put velcro on the nameplate outside the guy's office. You know, the one with the revolving door.

"You run 'em out of town pretty fast, don't you?" Mike Gibson was saying yesterday.

USE PENCIL

Yes, we do, Mr. Gibson. Now here's your playbook. Feel free to make any changes you see fit.

Just use a pencil, OK?

We presume you'll be renting. We know this lovely, furnished one-bedroom. Low maintenance and, best of all, month-to-month.

"I'm going to look to buy," Gibson interjected. "I plan on moving here, and I plan on you and I having a conversation at the start of each season for a few years. As long as you have a job, hopefully I'll have a job."

What gives -- is the man head coach Jim Daley introduced yesterday delusional?

Maybe not.

It turns out Gibson has something that virtually guarantees him a longer-than-typical stay calling the shots for the Bomber offence: a multi-year contract.

In the CFL that means just two years, still twice as long as most assistants' gigs.

And it was obviously enough to lure Gibson from his job as offensive line coach at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he'd been the last three years.

Gibson, 48, has actually spent virtually all of his 27 years coaching in the American college ranks, the lone exception being a year as O-line coach for the Bombers in 2001.

"I left a good job, but in this profession, opportunities come along and you make decisions," he said. "I've got a lot of confidence in myself and in the staff Jim put together. This is a big career decision for me. It's not something I'm taking lightly.

"When this came along, I jumped in with both feet."

Yeah, but where will they land?

The Bombers are coming off a 7-11 campaign, their third straight season of decline, and feature an unproven quarterback (Kevin Glenn) with an aging receiving corps and patchwork offensive line.

"You've got Charles Roberts and you've got Milt (Stegall)," Gibson countered. "I don't know all their names, I've looked at some film on them, but I know there are playmakers here."

Daley, in his interview with Gibson, came away convinced he'd found the man to put those playmakers in the right place.

"When I interviewed him in Phoenix, he stunned me with his detail, his understanding of the CFL, his communication skill," Daley said. "And philosophically, Mike and I hit it off about as instantly as you could."

So when the job offer came, Gibson ignored the club's recent history, swallowed hard and said yes.

"A chance to be a co-ordinator," Gibson said. "This is something I've prepared myself for in 27 years of coaching. It was kind of a no-brainer to come back, to be honest with you."

A no-brainer, huh?

Some might say that's exactly what it was.

We won't. We'll just wish Mike Gibson the best of luck.

And check with him in a year, or so.


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