The Calgary Stampeders announced today(see release below) that both Dave Dickenson and Chris Jones will return to their coaching staff in 2011.
That means more pieces are falling into place in the annual CFL coaching carousel.
As we speculated way back in September, Kavis Reed will leave the Bombers to become the Edmonton Eskimos new head coach.
Doug Berry, Greg Marshall and Richie Hall remain the leading contenders for the vacant Saskatchewan Roughrider job.
If Hall is passed over there, expect him to be atop Paul LaPolice’s list to replace Reed as the Bomber defensive coordinator.
Got all that? Good. There may be a test later.
PURPLE PEOPLE EATER? One of the two teams said to be ready to work out Bomber defensive end and CFL sack leader Phillip Hunt is the Minnesota Vikings. Hunt is a bit under-sized as an NFL defensive end, but his sack numbers mean he could get a look as a pass-rushing specialist who may line up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive package. The question he’ll have to answer is whether to risk going to the NFL with their impending labour war – that won’t be resolved until the spring, at the earliest – or return to the sure money that the Bombers are offering.
By the way, if it’s true what Odell Willis got as a contract, then Hunt should cash in big time.
We’re hearing Willis’ deal includes around $50,000 as a base, a $40,000 signing bonus, a $12,000 report-and-pass-the-medical bonus at training camp plus a $2,500 travel bonus. He’s also got a bunch of incentives in his deal that would pay him for each sack and reward him for being named to the divisional and CFL all-star teams and leading the division and league in sacks.
DICKENSON AND JONES BACK WITH STAMPS IN 2011
Calgary Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel is pleased to announce that both Dave Dickenson and Chris Jones will remain on the club’s coaching staff in 2011. Dickenson will be promoted to offensive coordinator next season while Jones returns as defensive coordinator and assistant director player personnel/football operations.
Hufnagel, Dickenson and Jones will be available to media in the Clubhouse pressroom (south end of McMahon Stadium) today at 2 p.m.
"We have a number of coaches who are respected around the Canadian Football League and I’m glad to have Chris and Dave back with our coaching staff next season," said Hufnagel. "They both did an excellent job in 2010 and we’re all looking forward to 2011."
Dickenson, who enters his third season as a coach with Calgary, spent 2010 as the Stamps’ quarterbacks coach. He called offensive plays on game days and was heavily involved in game planning. The Stamps’ offence led the CFL in points scored (626), yards of offence (7,769), most first downs (445) and most rushing yards (2,618) while Stamps quarterback Henry Burris was voted the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. Dickenson was Calgary’s running backs coach in 2009 after the conclusion of his prolific CFL playing career in 2008 as a member of the Stamps.
"I’m excited for this opportunity," said Dickenson. "This is the ideal situation for me and my family and I’m pleased that I’m able to progress in my coaching career while learning from a head coach and general manager like John Hufnagel. We have a great group of players and coaches here in Calgary and I’m looking forward to improving on last season and being even better in 2011."
Jones joined the Stampeders in 2008 after six years with the Montreal Alouettes. The Stamps defence was the stingiest among West Division teams in 2010 and ranked third overall. The unit gave up the fewest yards of offence in the league (6,049), as well as the fewest touchdowns (36) while tying for the league in takeaways (54) and leading all CFL clubs with seven defensive touchdowns scored. Jones’ defence was the stingiest in the West in 2009 and gave up the fewest points in the league in 2008. In nine seasons in the CFL, Jones has been to the playoffs every year and has coached in the Grey Cup on five occasions while winning a pair of titles including the 2008 championship in his first season with Calgary.
"It was an honour to be considered for a head-coaching position in this league, but I’m excited to be back with the Stamps," said Jones. "We have a good group of players and coaches here and we have some unfinished business we hope to take care of next season."