Breaking down barrier

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

Greg Marshall's plan is to keep on hammering away until he finally breaks through.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive co-ordinator for the past four seasons firmly believes he will break whatever barrier is preventing him from becoming a CFL head coach one day -- perhaps even this off-season.

Marshall, who is considered to be a promising head coach, is a candidate to fill vacancies in both Winnipeg and Toronto. The Argos have already contacted him to elicit interest and he is waiting by the phone to be called for an interview.

"I talked to them last week and I'm just waiting to find out some of the things they're doing there," Marshall said from his Edmonton home yesterday. "I'm going to be having more discussions with them and we'll have to wait to see what transpires."

Marshall was interviewed for the Winnipeg job by Bomber president/CEO Lyle Bauer in Montreal last Friday.

"We had a good chat and things went very well," said the well-respected Marshall.

Marshall, however, is well aware that Edmonton Eskimos receivers coach Mike Kelly is still considered the frontrunner for the Bomber job.

ON SHORT LIST

"I'm not deaf and dumb," he said. "I've heard and read all about what they're saying about Mike. But if they wanted to talk to me, it shows that they are at least interested. I didn't feel like it was just a courtesy call while they were waiting for the ink to dry."

Indeed, it is believed that Marshall is on a Winnipeg short list of three.

"Sooner or later, somebody's going to give me that opportunity, and they won't regret that choice," Marshall promised.

The third candidate could be either Calgary Stampeders offensive co-ordinator George Cortez, who was still celebrating his CFL victory in Calgary yesterday, or CFL head official Tom Higgins, a former CFL head knock who has been on the Bomber radar before.

Kelly, meanwhile, did not return either phone or e-mail messages from his Philadelphia home where he has returned. Speculation is that Bauer went to Philadelphia to negotiate terms to hire Kelly as both head coach and GM this week.

Rumour has it that Kelly -- if he does sign on -- would hire former Bomber quarterback Matt Dunigan as his offensive co-ordinator. Kelly was Dunigan's offensive co-ordinator when he coached the Bombers in the early 1990s and the two coached together at Valdosta State.

Dunigan was fired as Calgary head coach/GM a few years ago before returning to TSN's CFL coverage. Kelly and Dunigan were spotted together at a Touchdown Manitoba function during Grey Cup week in Montreal. The usually-talkative Dunigan declined comment on the possibility through a TSN spokesman yesterday.


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