Berry eager to hear about coaching job

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:20 PM ET

Doug Berry is sitting at home right now in peaceful New Hampshire.

He's probably sitting in front of the fireplace watching a doe eat berries off a tree in his yard.

He would love it if that sea of tranquility were disturbed by a phone call from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Montreal Alouettes offensive co-ordinator is very interested in the vacant Bombers head coaching job, and he's waiting patiently by the phone.

"I've expressed an interest, but that's as far as it's gone," Berry said last night. "I read my name every now and then, or somebody tells me that my name is appearing, but I'd like to be able to find out if ... Brendan (Taman) and Lyle Bauer are going to be interested."

Taman, the Bomber GM who is conducting the search, is terrified of tampering, which is why he wouldn't confirm one way or another last night that he plans to talk to Berry.

However, Taman did say that there are "two or three" candidates that he hasn't even spoken with yet. That will take place in the next four or five days.

You can bet the farm that Berry and Calgary Stampeders defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan are two of them.

Berry said he has a brief window of opportunity in his contract that allows him to search for a promotion, and he used that clause to call Taman on Wednesday. It's believed Taman, however, will still ask Alouettes GM Jim Popp for permission.

Berry sounded last night like he would love nothing more than to coach the Bombers. He talked of the team's proud tradition and noted there are many positives on which to build.

And after helping turn Montreal's offence and its offensive line into CFL powerhouses, Berry believes he's ready to make the jump from co-ordinator to head man.

"I've been an assistant coach for quite a while," he said. "I've been with some good head coaches who have a lot of good qualities that have rubbed off on me."

Taman still has to talk to Creehan, and he has already interviewed former Ottawa Renegade coaches Joe Paopao and Greg Marshall, Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive co-ordinator Richie Hall and Toronto Argonauts offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin.

Stampeders offensive co-ordinator Steve Buratto has bowed out of the race, and it's believed Roughriders offensive co-ordinator Marcel Bellefeuille is out of the picture as well. Once Taman has completed the first round of interviews, which he hopes is Tuesday or Wednesday, he will put three on his short list and go from there.

RUST RETURNS? Rod Rust is reportedly set to join the Renegades coaching staff, which has people around these parts scratching their heads.

Rust had been the Bombers defensive co-ordinator this season, but he left the team on Aug. 20 to tend to a family medical emergency in New Jersey.

Winnipeg's defence promptly fell to pieces. Now that the 77-year-old is coming back to coach in Canada, some eyebrows are raised.

There is speculation that Rust, who did have a family medical emergency, might not have had the best relationship with head coach Jim Daley, who was fired Nov. 8, and that it might have been a catalyst for his departure.


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