Bombers expect Stegall decision by December

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

Doug Berry and Milt Stegall had dinner together on Sunday night at Pearson International Airport.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach hopes his all-star slotback was still hungry for a Grey Cup after they ate.

"I conveyed my thoughts to him ... how I felt he still had game left within him," Berry said yesterday. "I'd be very happy to have Milt here again next year."

The 36-year-old Stegall has headed home to Atlanta, where he will discuss his future with his wife, Darlene, and his son, Chase.

Turtle Man will return to Winnipeg next week to work for The Score during Grey Cup week, but he won't announce his intentions on live national television like he did last year in Vancouver.

Bombers GM Brendan Taman said he expects Stegall to make his decision by the end of December.

Stegall was fourth in the CFL this season with 1,269 receiving yards, despite missing four games due to injury. He also scored seven touchdowns, which left him two shy of breaking the league's all-time mark of 137.

Neither the pursuit of the record nor Winnipeg's resurgence this season will factor into his decision. It's entirely about what's best for his family.

"This is football, man," he said. "Nothing compares to my family."

BOMBER BITS: Taman said no CFL teams called yesterday to ask for permission to speak with defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall ... Look for centre Obby Khan, a potential free agent, to put his signature on a new deal soon ...Taman said non-imports will take priority when it comes to re-signing players this winter. He added that some players' options won't be picked up ... When told that Derick Armstrong has committed to returning to Winnipeg next season, Taman said, "Well, that might be another (contract renegotiation) I'm going to be working on very quickly then."

BACK TO THE BENCH: Argos backup quarterback Michael Bishop, who beat the Bombers in relief of Damon Allen on Sunday, will be No. 2 again on Sunday when Toronto takes on Montreal in the East Division final.

"Damon played a solid game," Argos coach Mike (Pinball) Clemons told reporters yesterday. "He's our leader, he's our guy."

REFUSED TO SPEAK

Allen refused to speak to the media yesterday, but Bishop said there's no bad blood between the two.

IT HURTS: Whose fans are feeling worse this week: Winnipeg's or Calgary's?

We'll give you a hint: Not Winnipeg's.

Another solid regular season ended in playoff disaster Sunday when the Stampeders fell 30-21 to Saskatchewan in the West semifinal.

The status of almost everyone, including head coach Tom Higgins and quarterback Henry Burris, is now under the microscope.

"This is a project that's still underway, still in the stages of being put together, and I'd sure hate like heck not to finish it," Higgins said yesterday.

As for Burris, not even Higgins could give him a rousing endorsement.

"Right now Henry Burris is our number one quarterback until such a time we see a better option," he said.


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