|Smiles no more: both George Cortez (left) and Bob O'Billovich (left) were relieved of their duties yesterday.|
For coaches, we have the usual suspects/leftovers from last year's coaching search in Kent Austin and Greg Marshall, and new candidates such as Toronto defensive coordinator Chris Jones and deposed Blue Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice.
As for general manager, Austin could become the GM/head coach and, of course, Eric Tillman. Duane Forde's name has been thrown out there as well.
I'm going eschew making a prediction as to who I think it will be. I am never right about these things (Last year, I called Cortez a "dark-horse candidate"), so I only set myself up to look foolish. That said, I think the team would bring in Kent Austin if he is willing to leave Big Red (Cornell University) to come back to the CFL.
If Austin passes, I'd stay in-house and name Joe Womack the new general manager. Womack is being courted by Ottawa to run their football operations and I think he would be a tremendous choice for the Ti-Cats. I would also give serious consideration to bringing Duane Forde in. That guy is going to run a team someday and the team that gets him will be getting a guy as knowledgeable about the CFL, especially when it comes to Canadian players, as anyone. Even if he is not offered the GM role, I would recommend highly that the team find a way to bring Forde in for some job.
So if Austin decides he doesn't want the dual role or says he doesn't want to solely be the head coach, I'd make Marshall my head coach and bring in LaPolice as the offensive coordinator. I'd then hire Orlondo Steinauer away from the Argos to be the defensive coordinator, while retaining Jim Daley as special teams coordinator (no need to make a change there). Marshall was given a raw deal in Saskatchewan and LaPolice could do some pretty good things with the offensive talent this team has. I have mentioned Steinauer as a possible defensive coordinator before and I still think he's as good a candidate as anyone else out there.
Remember, these aren't predictions, this is just what I would do. I think the team will go hard after Austin, so if there is any prediction anywhere, that is the one. But if Austin were to pass, my decision would be to go with the Womack-Marshall tandem.