Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 11/7/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
AS Winnipeg Blue Bombers CEO Wade Miller plunged into the market for a new GM, he couldn't dive too deep -- the candidate pool is just too shallow, in this league.
The Bombers, you see, are gunning for someone with a heavy handle on the CFL -- which will read like poetry to fans, after the gaffes of the Joe Mack era -- and there just aren't many of those around.
"As a CFL, I don't think that we do a great job in developing the next up and comers that well," Miller said. "So you have limited opportunities of experienced people to come in and do that... I think as a league, that's one thing we could work on."
The team invited media to come for a chat with Miller Wednesday, one last chance to chisel out an epitaph on a 2013 team that never really got off life-support.
Now, Miller and his team are moving on. By 2014, the Bombers' football operations staff could look very different -- or else mostly the same.
Winnipeg's former assistant GM and current acting GM Kyle Walters is still very much in the running, and when his name came up, Miller spoke of him highly. It's just that there have been so many mistakes in this team's all-too-recent history. Right now, Miller feels he has the luxury of just a little time: time enough to choose carefully, to check out all the contenders. Time, he said, to choose right.
"Three to five weeks," Miller said, and that's when fans will know whether Walters is GM or someone new, whether head coach Tim Burke stays or goes.
That time frame isn't cramped by the CFL expansion draft, which is looming on Dec. 16. That's when the Ottawa Redblacks will select three players from each of the existing CFL teams to fill their roster, of which eight will be imports and 16 Canadian players. Existing teams can protect players they want to keep, starting with one quarterback and 10 import players in the first round. Additional Canadians may be protected depending on how the draft goes down.
It will be a busy time for a CFL GM, but regardless of who is in that role for the Bombers by then, Miller is confident in the team's plan.
"We're very well positioned," he said. "Kyle's taken care of that, so we don't need somebody right before that draft."
As for decisions on the coaching staff, that will wait until a permanent GM is installed. Although Edmonton pulled the trigger on Kavis Reed on Monday morning, the Bombers aren't as anxious to make any announcements on that end.
"Now we're going through the rest of the review on the football organization, and that will take some time to go through," Miller said. "The CFL season isn't over... and we have time."
So, three months since he took the helm of the Bombers' badly listing ship, is Wade Miller having fun yet?
"I'll have fun when we win the Grey Cup," Miller said, then briskly headed back into his office.
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 7, 2013 D1
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