Bombers cancel Daley show

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:40 AM ET

The only real surprise was that the decision came so quickly.

Jim Daley's future as head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was in question even before the 2005 CFL regular season ended. Daley, who led the club to a dismal 5-13 record, was officially relieved of his duties yesterday.

"Good gracious but that was fast," cornerback Omar Evans said from Virginia yesterday. "We all know this is a business so, I'm not surprised. Coach Daley's a good person, a good guy but when you're the head coach, you've got to win."

Daley, 51, went out with his usual class.

"Obviously after a season like we've had, there's not a lot of happy people so obviously, pressure for changes exists and that's an understandable reality in our careers," he told a press gathering. "I certainly share the disappointment with the year we've all had here and I fully understand the situation that puts a man like Lyle (Bauer) in as (club) president. I have great empathy for his dilemma as he sorts through a post-season like that."

'Tough go'

Club GM Brendan Taman pulled the plug on Daley after meeting with Bauer and getting the board's approval over the weekend.

"I wanted to get this resolved one way or another," Taman said. "And I sensed that he wanted it resolved.

"It's been a tough go here for the last little while and we were faced with a tough decision that we had to make. He's a good man, he worked his butt off to get this thing turned around. But obviously, things didn't work out for a number of different reasons. So, the mode of the last few weeks, as you've all heard, has been changes and this is probably one of many to come."

Daley, who lost defensive co-ordinator Rod Rust (family health problems) in mid-season and had a roster that was plagued with injuries, was asked if he got a fair shake.

"I think this: you do the best job you can and I know we, as a staff, did," he replied. "There's no fairness or unfairness to that. You do an honest day's work, you put in everything you can under the circumstances you are in. Sometimes, aspects of it you control, sometimes you don't. And that's not unfair or fair.

"We did the best job we could and it was not good enough."

Daley then praised his assistants for the job they did. Although they have all been told to look for work, Taman said he would recommend that Bob Dyce should continue as college draft co-ordinator to the new head coach.

Daley, who had one year left on his contract, declined to speculate on his own football future.

"There needed to be a drastic change made on this team and we couldn't go operate with the status quo," Taman said. "If I was to say to you guys in two weeks, 'Here's the new defensive co-ordinator and everything will be the same,' they should fire me then, to be honest with ya. You just can't go the way we were going and I wasn't going to let that happen."

Taman was assured that he would continue as GM during the meeting with Bauer where he presented a plan for the future.

"Looking at the bright side of this whole thing, when you see a team like Calgary turn it around as quick as they did, we're hoping to do that ourselves," said Taman. "I'll take the responsibility of the last season. That'll be on me. But I'm going to do everything I can to get it fixed. And obviously, one of the changes I felt necessary was replacing Jim."

Hiring Daley's replacement will be his next step.


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