Bombers raiding Riders

Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice is bringing in coaches he is familiar with, having worked with...

Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice is bringing in coaches he is familiar with, having worked with them last year in Regina. (QMI Agency/Brian Donogh)

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:43 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have looked west to land their new offensive and defensive co-ordinators.

Three CFL sources told The Sun on Thursday that Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice has tapped Saskatchewan Roughrider assistants Jamie Barresi and Kavis Reed to become Winnipeg's offensive and defensive co-ordinators, respectively.

Barresi was Saskatchewan's quarterbacks coach in 2009, helping Darian Durant develop into a bona fide starter, while Reed guided the team's special teams and running backs.

Barresi was reportedly offered Saskatchewan's offensive co-ordinator position this week as well, but one source speculated Winnipeg is more attractive right now because of job security. Riders head coach Ken Miller is expected to step down after the 2010 season, while LaPolice got a three-year deal from the Bombers.

Barresi, an Ontario native who is in his early 50s, has been in the CFL for the past six seasons. Before that he spent 21 years as an offensive assistant at the NCAA Division I level with Penn State, Florida, Wake Forest and Central Florida.

He was Hamilton's offensive co-ordinator in 2004, the year the Tabbies rebounded from a 1-17 record in 2003 to post a 9-8-1 mark and make the playoffs. The Ticats took a step back in 2005, falling to 5-13, and Barresi was let go.

Winnipeg's new offensive co-ordinator won't have to worry about calling the plays, as LaPolice has already announced that he will be doing those duties.

Reed, 36, has been a CFL defensive co-ordinator for four of the past six seasons, serving in Hamilton from 2004 to 2006 and Toronto in 2008. He started his coaching career with the Argos in 2001 as their defensive backs coach and also worked in Ottawa in 2002 and 2003. One source said Reed has an extremely sharp football mind.

Rider fans, of course, might beg to differ after the former CFL all-star defensive back took responsibility for Saskatchewan's too-many-men penalty that cost them the Grey Cup in November.

As for the Riders, their pursuit of an offensive co-ordinator appears to be coming to a head. Reports started circulating Wednesday night that former Bomber boss Doug Berry was poised to replace LaPolice, but GM Brendan Taman said late Thursday afternoon that no decisions had been made and that the interview process was ongoing.

Bombers receivers coach Bob Dyce is also in the running to become Saskatchewan's OC, and he has an offer to remain in Winnipeg as a position coach.

GOING FREE: Winnipeg has two players set to become free agents on Monday night, and at least one of them is going to test the market.

"I'm going to take a look," receiver Aaron Hargreaves told The Sun on Thursday. "I think there's some other interest out there, so I'm going to wait and just kind of see what my options are."

The B.C. native said he has nothing to lose but added he would have no problem returning to the Blue and Gold.

"With all the new coaching changes, it's kind of like no matter where I go it's going to be a new situation," he said. "But in terms of the team and the city, it's comfortable for me there and I like it there."

Hargreaves had nine catches for 124 yards in his first two CFL seasons with the Bombers.

Offensive lineman Ryan Donnelly is the only other Bomber player who is slated to go free on Monday.

Backup defensive end Pat MacDonald was scheduled to hit the market, but he signed a two-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday and will attempt to crack their roster as a long snapper.

MURPH RETURNS: The Calgary Stampeders named John Murphy as their player personnel director on Thursday. He served in the same role for Winnipeg last season but was fired last month after Joe Mack was named GM.

Murphy worked in Calgary's scouting department in 2007 and 2008 before Mike Kelly hired him last January.


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