May 26, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Casey CREEHAN will be the next defensive co-ordinator of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Expect an official announcement as early as today. The Bombers asked the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for permission to talk to Creehan early this week and a deal is all but complete.
Bombers head coach Tim Burke had a short list of candidates, including former Bombers defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall, but a deal with Creehan came together quickly late Wednesday afternoon.
Creehan was linebackers coach in Winnipeg while Burke was defensive co-ordinator during the 2011 season.
The duo put together the league's best defence and Winnipeg rode all the way to the Grey Cup.
That work resulted in Creehan being hired as defensive co-ordinator last season with the Ticats under head coach George Cortez.
But Creehan's defence struggled and there were reports of a personality clash between the two coaches.
Creehan may be coming off a difficult year in Hamilton, but he and Burke have similar defensive philosophies. Burke will also have a strong trust factor with Creehan and will view him as a confidant as he begins his first full season as the head coach in Winnipeg.
Burke and Creehan have a long history, first working together from 2005-07 in Calgary when Burke was the Stampeders' defensive backs coach and Creehan was the defensive line coach.
Burke was hired in 2008 as the Montreal Alouettes' defensive co-ordinator and brought Creehan along as linebackers coach.
They got back together in 2011 when Burke joined the Bombers as defensive co-ordinator. Creehan was already in Winnipeg as linebackers coach.
Hamilton's defence gave up more points than any other team in the league in 2012 and finished dead last in the CFL in 11 of 25 defensive categories.
-- with files from Paul Wiecek
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 29, 2012 D5