Firing always a shock

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

Most Winnipeg Blue Bombers reacted to Jim Daley's firing with shock, then with sympathy and finally with understanding.

"Wow. That's quite a dramatic move, obviously, for any football club," defensive tackle Doug Brown said. "Regardless of the rumours or speculation you hear, once the ball drops it always comes with some amount of surprise or shock."

Offensive lineman Matt Sheridan was taken aback by the news.

"Wow. I'm sorry to see him go," Sheridan said. "I felt a real connection with coach Daley.

"... I would have loved to have another crack with coach Daley under his system and his tutelage and his guidance."

Daley was 10-19 as the Bomber boss, and several players had hinted that they weren't too pleased with his work, which, it could be argued, is normal for any pro sports team.

Defensive tackle Joe Fleming, who also played for Daley in Calgary, isn't one of those players.

"No one works harder than coach Daley and cares more than he does," Fleming said. "So it's difficult to lose a person that cares that much about winning. At the same time, it is a business.

"Knowing him as well as I do, that's hard for me, personally. From the organization's standpoint, we're all expendable.

"... The loss of coach Daley, I find it to be a loss, not a gain. I would always support him."

No one sounded more frustrated this season than Brown, who was plagued by foot injuries and belonged to the defence that allowed the most yards in CFL history.

While he felt terrible for Daley, Brown understood that something had to be done.

"I'm sure this is step one of many to come, in terms of resurrecting this franchise," he said. "You would be more frightened if this organization just stood by and was content to lose."

Defensive end Tom Canada, who will be a free agent in February, sounded like one player who was ready for a fresh start.

"I feel for him, and I wish him the best," he said. "But if that's what the board thinks (the team needs) to continue in a positive direction, then that's all that matters to me.

"If I'm signing back with Winnipeg, then we've gotta have our s--- together."

Defensive backs coach Dave Easley, who stood in on Daley's press conference with the rest of the assistants, said yesterday's news didn't come as a surprise.

"It's never a good day," Easley said. "We've all kind of knew something was going on. You could feel it in the office.

"... It's probably one of the toughest years I've experienced in 15 years."


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