Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–15–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rumour mill has Burke, Creehan heading to T.O.

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IT wasn't long after the Saskatchewan Roughriders were slurping champagne from the Grey Cup when the Canadian Football League's annual off-season coaching rumour mill began gobbling up and spitting out names.

And that includes those who last wore their coaching headsets here in Winnipeg with the Blue Bombers, most notably former head coach Tim Burke.

Sources have told the Free Press Burke and Bomber defensive co-ordinator Casey Creehan could surface in Toronto with the Argonauts once the dominoes start tumbling. It was reported during Grey Cup week that current Argos defensive boss Chris Jones, who was also the club's assistant head coach and general manager, will soon be named as the new head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos.

That will leave a big hole on Scott Milanovich's staff in Toronto and there are whispers Burke and Creehan will step in to take over for Jones, who was also rumoured to be on the Bombers' head-coaching radar screen.

The departure of the popular and respected Burke would also end the push by Bomber brass, most notably CEO Wade Miller, to have the new Bombers head coach consider keeping the old boss on staff as part of the rebuild.

And the changes here, not at all unexpected given the disastrous 2013 campaign, likely won't stop there as Bombers special-teams co-ordinator Craig Dickenson -- a longtime pal of Jones -- is now said to be possibly heading to Edmonton to join the new staff there.

The Bombers will make official some time this week, possibly as soon as today, that Kyle Walters will have the "acting" title removed from his gig and be named the team's general manager.

Walters, who replaced Joe Mack on an interim basis in August, and Miller have already begun working through their list of coaching candidates with interviews. Included on the list of candidates are Argos special teams co-ordinator Mike O'Shea, Saskatchewan quarterbacks coach and Bomber Hall of Famer Khari Jones, B.C. offensive co-ordinator Jacques Chapdelaine and CFL director of officiating and former Edmonton/Calgary head coach Tom Higgins.

Word around the CFL is O'Shea is now considered the leading candidate, that Higgins has pulled his name from consideration and Jones might be of more interest to the Bombers as an offensive co-ordinator than head coach.

The Bombers also asked for permission to speak to Calgary Stampeders offensive co-ordinator Dave Dickenson and defensive co-ordinator Rick Campbell -- who also drew interest from the Eskimos -- but were told both men would prefer to remain in Cowtown.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 26, 2013 D5

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