Jobs hanging in balance

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

Mike Gibson would never say it, but you have to believe that he's cheering for either Doug Berry or Denny Creehan to become the new head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Gibson, the Bombers offensive co-ordinator and offensive line coach, has been in CFL coaching limbo since the team fired Jim Daley on Nov. 8.

Gibson and his fellow assistants were told to look for work elsewhere, but they could all be hired back if the new coach decides to keep them.

"I want to stay," Gibson said last night from his Bomber office on Maroons Road, where he's been reporting for work since the season ended.

He might have a better chance of staying if Berry or Creehan gets the job. Gibson and Berry have known each other since the mid-1980s, when they coached against one another in Massachusetts, while Gibson and Creehan were on the same staff at Rutgers University from 1998 to 2000.

Berry, who is the Montreal Alouettes co-offensive co-ordinator, was interviewed by Bomber GM Brendan Taman yesterday and Creehan, the Calgary Stampeders defensive co-ordinator, will do so today.

Gibson's contract status is unique in that he is finishing up the first of a two-year deal, but that won't mean a thing if the new boss doesn't want his services.

It's believed Toronto Argonauts offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin is the front-runner for the Bomber job, and Gibson doesn't have any history with him.

Gibson, however, believes he did enough with the offence and O-line in 2005 to warrant a look-see no matter who is hired, despite the fact that the Bombers missed the playoffs for the second straight season with a 5-13 record.

"The season didn't work out like anybody wanted it to -- from top to bottom -- but at the same time I know that we did improve, and that's what you look for," said Gibson, who added he has been getting plenty of calls from potential employers. "And I think the players bought in to what we were doing.

"I was very happy that Charlie (Roberts) won the rushing title. I was very happy that the offensive line finished third in sacks given up. There were a lot of positives."

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Taman interviewed Berry for more than two hours over the phone yesterday, and the GM was impressed.

"He's an interesting guy; very knowledgeable, very smart," Taman said. "He's definitely worth looking into further."

Taman will interview Creehan today and possibly one or two more candidates before the end of the week.

"It's like buying a house: maybe I'll look at another one," Taman said.

He hopes to begin interviewing the three or four finalists on Monday.

LATE HIT: The Calgary Stampeders signed offensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach Steve Buratto to a multi-year contract extension yesterday.

The Bombers had been interested in interviewing Buratto.


Videos

Photos