Taman takes a knee

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:24 AM ET

Nearly 10 years to the day after first reporting to his Maroons Road office, the Brendan Taman era in Winnipeg has come to an end.

The Bombers' vice-president of player personnel travelled to Lyle Bauer's Utah home last weekend and, citing burnout, informed the team president and CEO that he was resigning.

"I don't want football to be my life anymore," Taman said. "I want to have my life around football if I choose to go back into it. It was my life, and it has to be your life if you're going to do it right. I want a life now."

Taman, 42, vehemently denies the popular theory that he was squeezed out or left in a huff after being demoted from GM to personnel man after new head coach Mike Kelly took over last month.

The coaching change did, however, play a role in his decision to walk away from the only life he's known for the last 20 years.

"I would tell you if I couldn't work with Mike Kelly," Taman said. "Did it trigger something to make me think? Yeah, it sure did. No question. It made the light bulb go on that I knew was there but I didn't recognize was there. Then I recognized (the burnout) was there.

"... I'm glad the (coaching) change happened. It caused me to realize what I needed to do. Had Doug Berry still been here, would I have done this? Yeah, I would've. It might've been a little more difficult for me to figure out and adjust to, but I would've done it. This made it easier."

Taman doesn't have any irons in the fire. He simply wants to take a breather, play some golf, go fishing and see a doctor to see how unhealthy he is after 20 years of fast food and worrying constantly about things like the backup linebacker suffering a sprained ankle.

He will likely move to Regina, where he has owned a condo since 1993. Taman hails from Saskatoon and got his CFL start with the Roughriders in 1987.

Taman arrived in Winnipeg as the assistant GM in 1999, eventually becoming the VP of player personnel. He was promoted to GM five years ago.

"There's nobody that could find fifth-year, undrafted Canadians (like Taman)," Bauer said. "He's extremely good at trading, as we all know. You just have to look at some of the players he's found, brought in or, in some cases, resurrected their careers. He's very good.

"But the important thing here is Brendan, his own health, his well-being and supporting him in the future."

Taman's biggest regret was not winning the Grey Cup in 2001 and 2007.

"There was something there, where we weren't good enough to win those Grey Cups, and I'll regret that until I die," he said.

Bauer asked Taman "eight or 10" times if he was sure of his decision during their get-together in Utah over the weekend. Taman answered in the affirmative every time. The meeting happened after Taman, normally one to go off the radar once in a while, stayed away a little too long for Bauer's liking.

Taman said he was off doing some deep thinking about his life, and now he's ready to move forward.

"This is all new to me," he said. "It's a whole new world I'm ready to get into, obviously. But there's a lot of relief off my shoulders, to be honest with you. All the free agents and working with the new coach and who are we going to replace there and where are we at with the cap ... it's just like, 'Oh, God.'

"I've had my share of it, and now it's time for somebody else to worry about that. I can just go watch games again."


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