Privilege to coach Blue

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

Brendan Taman is a chooser, not a begger.

Although the Winnipeg GM is seeking a new head coach to take over a Blue Bombers outfit that finished 5-13 in the CFL West last season, Taman does not believe he needs to sell potential candidates on the opening.

"My job isn't to sell the Bombers, I want a guy who wants to be here," Taman said yesterday. "To be a head coach in this league is a privilege and either a guy wants to be here or he doesn't.

"I'm not here to beg a guy to come. There is an opening and that's a selling point right there. But if they don't think we've got the talent, we're not interested."

Earlier this week, Calgary Stampeders offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto, a prime candidate, wondered aloud whether the Bombers had the necessary tools to turn their fortunes around and wanted to find out. After all, the Bombers had the worst defence in CFL history.

"Until I talk to Steve and get a feel for what that means, I'm not going to speculate on speculation," Taman said. "And I still think Steve is interested."

And no matter who takes the job, he can still make a name for himself.

"I know we've struggled here the past couple of years but some good coaches have gone through here -- like Dave Ritchie, Cal Murphy and Mike Riley," Taman said.

Both Murphy and Ritchie took over struggling clubs. Murphy led them to the 1984 Grey Cup victory while Ritchie took them to an appearance in the 2001 Cup. Then there was Jeff Reinebold, who almost led them to their death throes.

Meanwhile, Taman said the Bombers were "in the process of getting permission" from the Saskatchewan Roughriders to interview assistants Marcel Bellefeuille and Richie Hall, who are both interested in the Bomber vacancy. In fact, their futures with the 'Riders are currently in jeopardy along with the rest of that staff.

Another candidate, Stampeder defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan, has been declining comment in Calgary until that coaching situation is straightened out. And, despite some speculation, don't expect Calgary GM Jim Barker to become a candidate for Winnipeg's head coaching job.

To support Walls

Taman plans to be in Vancouver for Grey Cup week but it will be more to support defensive end Gavin Walls, who is up for the CFL rookie of the year honour than to check out coaching candidates.

"I'm not going to go through the interview process during that week," he said. "I know rumours will fly but, the reality is, things will happen after the Grey Cup."

Taman is still determined to hire a new head man by mid-December.

Club president/CEO Lyle Bauer will also be in Vancouver to attend board of governors meetings.

HASHMARKS: Although deposed head coach Jim Daley has returned to his Calgary home, the rest of the staff has still been coming to work, Taman said. And he will recommend to the new head coach to at least talk to them as possible hires ... Ex-Bomber S Wes Lysack, who becomes a free agent this February, has returned to his Winnipeg home to ponder his future as a Stampeder.


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