Hard not to notice that there seems to be a great deal of hand-wringing – much of it justified – about the Bombers’ still vacant defensive co-ordinator position and the possible loss of D-line coach Richard Harris to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Look, it’s not good optics when the club’s first two choices for DC -- Richie Hall and Corey Chamblin – opt to go elsewhere and when the franchise’s current longest-serving assistant, Harris, may be exiting to an arch-rival.
(As an aside, we asked to speak to Harris today but was told he was not doing media interviews. Word has it the Bombers are steamed at the Riders for asking for permission to speak to Harris, who has another year left on his contract. If that’s the case, then why give the Riders permission to speak to him? Anyway...)
The point here is this stuff happens every year in the CFL.
Today the Riders announced that assistant coaches Jim Daley and Nelson Martin won’t be back – Martin could end up here in Winnipeg – and likely more changes are coming in Regina with defensive coordinator Gary Etcheverry likely out with Hall coming aboard.
Consider that the Eskimos are starting over with former Bomber DC Kavis Reed at the controls. He grabbed Rick Campbell from Calgary, Rich Stubler from B.C. and Marcus Crandell from the Riders to join his staff.
Mike Gibson left Hamilton for Calgary to replace Campbell; Khari Jones replaced him as the O coordinator in Hamilton. Chamblin takes over for Greg Marshall, now the head coach in Regina, as Hamilton’s defensive boss. Brad Miller was promoted to special teams coordinator in Hamilton, forcing Dave Easley out.
I could go on and on here, but I think I’m developing a headache trying to jot all this down.
Now we’ve had it whispered to us on many occasions that D-Line coach Harris wasn’t interested in having his title change to Defensive Coordinator Harris. He’s an outstanding position coach, not an Xs and Os guy. But if the team wants to keep him this badly, a possible solution: make him the DC and hire a DL coach whose strength IS the Xs and Os and breaking down film. Harris has a great deal of respect in the Bomber locker room and lives here in Winnipeg year round. Losing his kind stings an organization big on establishing continuity.