Marshall plan has plenty of backing

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

If Greg Marshall's ears were burning right around 10 a.m. Winnipeg time yesterday, it probably wouldn't have been the first time.

It's well-known there are some board members of Marshall's old team, the Blue Bombers, who would like to see him named the club's next head coach.

The first to go public with that sentiment was Joe Poplawski at yesterday's news conference introducing new Bomber GM Joe Mack.

"I often ask, 'Why isn't Greg Marshall a head coach in the CFL at this time?'" Poplawski said. "He's a solid individual, certainly knows the game of football and he's got a bunch of experience that could help out a number of teams in the CFL.

"I would have to think that Greg Marshall is going to be one of the candidates."

Currently the defensive co-ordinator in Hamilton, and with 16 years as a CFL assistant under his belt, Marshall said he's encouraged by the support, and hopes he gets a chance to discuss the job with the new boss.

"If I have their support, hopefully that's an indication that he's going to look at me as a serious contender," Marshall said. "They are already aware of my interest, so I would expect at some point in time that I would have a conversation with Joe Mack."

Mack says he has four or five people in mind, and given his lack of recent experience in the CFL, plus the urgency to get a coach in place, they aren't CFL neophytes.

"If the time frame was different, we'd maybe consider a U.S. coach," Mack said. "But now that where we are in the calendar, it's really essential that he have CFL experience."

Other top CFL assistants presumably in Mack's dossier include defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones in Calgary and offensive specialist Scott Milanovich of Montreal.

Mack says he'll likely interview some candidates at next week's Senior Bowl, which means Marshall might be making an unplanned trip to Alabama.

"I wasn't planning on it, but that's not to say that couldn't change," Marshall said. "That is a place that interviews do take place."

The runner-up to Doug Berry, then Mike Kelly for the Winnipeg job the last two times it's come up, Marshall says he remains interested in the vacant Toronto position, too, although he says he hasn't been interviewed.

The Ticats haven't given him a firm deadline on when they need a commitment.

"They've been very good about this, and very supportive. And I appreciate that."

Mack says he'd like to get a coach in place within two weeks.

paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca


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