Taman goes undercover

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Brendan Taman likely knows more about his future coach than his future coach.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM has been doubling as a private investigator the last few weeks, digging up as much information as he can about the candidates vying for the CFL team's head coaching job.

"It's more than I thought," Taman said of finding someone to guide his team. "There's a lot of stuff you gotta filter through. People are jockeying for positions and people calling on behalf of them. What's bull and what's the truth ... that's the intriguing part.

"Sifting through it is the challenge that I wasn't probably as prepared for as I probably would have wanted to be."

This is Taman's first true foray into the coach-finding business.

He came to Winnipeg with Dave Ritchie in 1999, and Jim Daley was hired from within in August 2004.

Now that Daley has been fired and the team is starting a search from scratch, Taman is really earning his paycheque these days.

"One thing will be said about one guy, and then you talk to another guy and it's totally the opposite," Taman said. "That's why you gotta talk to as many people as you can."

HOLDING PATTERN

The search was in a holding pattern yesterday, as Taman was waiting to get permission from the Montreal Alouettes to contact Als offensive co-ordinator Doug Berry. He plans to speak with Calgary Stampeders defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan today.

A short list of three or four candidates could be compiled by Friday, and the Bombers could have a new head coach by the end of next week -- at the earliest.

Taman said last month he would prefer to hire a former CFL head coach, but it's believed the only candidate who fits that bill is former Ottawa Renegades head man Joe Paopao.

"Odds are there's a chance he wouldn't (have been) a head coach in this league," Taman said.

"Now, whoever we've talked to has probably played in the league a ton and/or been in the league as an (assistant) coach for quite some time, too, so that's a good thing.

"I keep on going back to (Eskimos head coach Danny) Maciocia, because he showed that it's not an impossibility. That's why you go through the process."

GO NORTH, YOUNG MEN: Taman spent most of yesterday trying to convince some of his negotiation list players to come north in 2006 instead of signing with an Arena Football League team this month.

"If I wait long into this, they're going to be signing in the Arena League any day now," Taman said.

"That's not a favourable thing, because there's some guys in there I want."

Taman is focusing primarily on defensive backs, linebackers and defensive linemen from the neg list, and he's also combing for Canadian talent.

LATE HITS: Taman said the only Bombers who have received inquiries from NFL teams (that he is aware of) are P Jon Ryan, OL Dan Goodspeed and DB Brad Franklin ... The Bombers have extended their season ticket renewal deadline. Fans have until Saturday, Dec. 17, to renew their season tickets and reserve the same seat for the 2006 season and the Grey Cup.


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