Taman's role 'redefined' in shakeup

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 3:50 PM ET

Yesterday's announced shakeup of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was only Step 1.

The other shoe dropped behind the scenes on GM Brendan Taman, although it wasn't the steel-toed boot that sent head coach Doug Berry out the door.

Taman, coming off his 10th season with the team -- a stint in which he has yet to bring a Grey Cup champion to the city -- has agreed to a "redefined role" within the organization, president/CEO Lyle Bauer said yesterday.

"He has a future with the organization," Bauer said. "If you look at Brendan's performance from a personnel standpoint, we have great confidence in Brendan's ability to find players, trade players, find undrafted players, etc. That certainly is his strength, and will probably be his primary focus and involvement going forward."

That would suggest Taman will lose his "GM" title, which placed him second in command, behind only Bauer, in the Bomber front office.

The demotion, whether or not it comes with a cut in pay, would mean Taman wouldn't be the one pulling the trigger on future trades.

So any new coach would have full control over the football operation, answering to Bauer, only.

SIGNIFICANT IMPACT

The change, similar to the way organizations are run in B.C., Edmonton and Calgary, would have a significant impact on the way the Bombers do business.

This past season, for instance, Berry had to convince Taman to trade longtime running back Charles Roberts, a move the two had talked about on more than one occasion.

Giving that authority to a new coach/GM would make the job that much more enticing for potential candidates.

In addition, Taman, in his new capacity, could lose his say in the hiring and firing of head coaches, a responsibility Bauer entrusted to him when replacing Jim Daley with Berry, three years ago.

At the time, Taman, who'd already had a hand in firing Dave Ritchie in 2004, admitted he likely wouldn't get the chance to fire a third coach.

Yesterday morning, he did, informing Berry his time with the Bombers was up.

But he may not have a say in Berry's replacement.

"I will be very much involved in it," Bauer said.

He also said Taman would continue to scout players and negotiate contracts.

Taman joined the Bombers in a personnel role in 1999, working under head coach and director of football operations Dave Ritchie. In '03 he was promoted to GM, becoming Ritchie's boss.

Taman has turned down all interview requests this week, but is scheduled to speak publicly today.


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