Bombers start interviewing

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

The preliminaries are over and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are now getting right down to business.

Both GM Brendan Taman and president/CEO Lyle Bauer have interviewed at least three candidates in person here this week, including deposed Ottawa Renegades head coach Joe Paopao and defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall and probably, Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall.

"I thought it was a good visit," Marshall said from his Edmonton home yesterday. "Their opinion is the one that counts the most, I guess. I felt good about our conversation. I felt comfortable with Brendan and Lyle. Where it goes from there is going to be their decision.

"If what I have to offer blows them away, great. If it doesn't, you can't go in under false pretenses."

Marshall added that they discussed offensive and defensive co-ordinators "in hypothetical terms."

"We didn't get into specifics," he said. "If and when there's a follow-up, we'll get into more detail."

Marshall, who was actually the assistant to the head coach in Ottawa, had been considered for the Edmonton job when Tom Higgins was let go but he left the Eskimos when Danny Maciocia was hired. He will spend the next few weeks waiting by the phone.

Take their time

"They said they had some other people they obviously were going to talk with, and they would get back in touch with me, let me know where the process was going to go, as far as I was concerned," Marshall said. "They also said they weren't going to be locked into a definitive time-frame because they're going to take their time and make the best decision they can."

Taman declined to confirm the identity of the other candidates interviewed at their request. But he would prefer to announce the new mentor by mid-December.

Although Paopao could not be reached for comment, Hall had already spoken with Taman twice and was preparing for his first live interview with the Bombers earlier this week.

"They'll get a feel for me and, I guess, in some regard, I'll get a feel for them," he told the Regina Leader-Post. "I do know that they have a list of candidates that they would also like to talk to."

Bombers have received permission from the Toronto Argonauts to contact assistant coaches Kent Austin and Rich Steubler. And they are expected to ask Montreal for permission to call Alouettes offensive co-ordinator Doug Berry after the Grey Cup Game is over.

But the Bombers can scratch both Steubler and Calgary Stampeders defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan off their short list. Creehan signed a contract extension yesterday and Steubler has already said he is not interested. It is also doubtful that Calgary offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto wants the job.


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