Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Tim Burke faced more questions about next season than this one on Friday.
The newly signed head coach announced at his introduction press conference that he will be replacing himself as Bombers defensive co-ordinator. Though today's game against the Montreal Alouettes is their last of the 2012 Canadian Football League season, the potential identity of the new defensive co-ordinator was one hot topic of discussion. A round of name-dropping brought out Bombers defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall and Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive co-ordinator Casey Creehan.
Burke was not biting.
"First of all (Creehan) has got another year left on his contract so I really don't want to speculate on it. He's got a two-year contract and you just can't make a lateral move, you don't get that choice," Burke said. Creehan was a coach with the Bombers in 2010 (defensive line) and 2011 (linebackers). In media reports out of Hamilton, Tiger-Cats head coach George Cortez refused to comment on his staff.
Burke was cryptic when asked about Marshall, who spent three seasons (2006-2008) as the Bombers defensive co-ordinator.
"Greg's obviously a really good defensive co-ordinator. I would think he'll end up in the CFL this year (2013) as a co-ordinator again. That's all I'll say."
MCPHERSON ON DISPLAY
Adrian McPherson, the backup quarterback behind future Hall-of-Famer Anthony Calvillo for five years, will start today as Calvillo will sit out the final, meaningless game of the season.
McPherson is at the end of his contract and free agency next February is a possibility for the 29-year-old.
Asked if he thought the Bombers might be watching him, considering their unsettled quarterback situation, McPherson politely gave a non-answer.
"In my opinion, I feel like everybody's watching," said the 6-3, 220-pound McPherson. "My father always used to always tell me every time you play a game, there's someone that'll see you play for the last time and someone that's never seen you play before. What kind of impression do you want to leave? I just want to prepare myself the way Anthony prepares himself. Go out, have fun and let those guys make plays."
McPherson said the Alouettes are playing all their regulars, except Calvillo, today.
"I think if I don't play well tomorrow, free agency won't matter," he said, laughing.
GOODBYE, FOR SURE
Today will be the last time a Winnipeg Blue Bombers team will play in Canad Inns Stadium, the team's home for the past 59 years.
"That's an interesting dynamic to this game for us as players because we have a young team but with the Hall of Fame weekend going on, you get the feeling of that sense of history that is going on right now for this weekend," said Alex Brink, who will quarterback the Bombers in the historic last game. "We all respect and understand this is a very important weekend in the Winnipeg Football Club history so it's neat that we get to be a part of it."
Bombers fullback Michel-Pierre Pontbriand, who hails from St-Adele, Que., said the game is a chance to salute the fans as well as shut the old barn down with a win.
Because it's the last game in the stadium, it's an emotional game for the city. We have to show (fans) love about that," he said.
-- Ashley Prest