Weighing In On Edmonton
Considering some of the outrageous suggestions that have been made as possible successors to Danny Maciocia as general manager of the Edmonton Eskimos, I'm somewhat surprised that no one has mentioned former Esks linebacker Terry Ray. This isn't just a matter of someone being a candidate because he was once a great player for the Green and Gold. While Ray was a two-time CFL All-Star and three-time team nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player during his five year Eskimo career, his sports management résumé is worthy of consideration on its own.
Following his retirement, he spent three years in the Washington Redskins organization, serving primarily as an advance pro scout. He also participated in player evaluations for the draft and free agency, as well as scouting the CFL and Arena League for potential prospects. Since leaving the Redskins in 2008, Ray has worked at ProStar Sports Agency, a firm that represents countless NFL players and a number of prominent CFLers, including Fred Reid, Keron Williams, Jamel Richardson, and Doug Brown.
As for Edmonton's strategy of waiting until after the season to appoint their next general manger, it's a wise one. It broadens the pool of candidates on the premise that those currently employed by other teams are far more likely to be made available in the offseason than they are during this critical scouting period. Perhaps more importantly, it buys the Eskimos precious time to further evaluate two of the leading contenders for the job, current Eskies head scout Ed Hervey and former Saskatchewan Roughriders GM Eric Tillman. In Hervey's case, the team's brass will watch closely to (a) see how he handles the additional administrative duties he has absorbed since Maciocia's departure and (b) determine how it might impact the organization to have its best talent hawk spend less time beating the bushes for players.
As for Tillman, consider the following. Intentionally or not, club president Rick LeLacheur made it apparent in the aftermath of the Maciocia firing that public opinion is a factor in who works for the Eskimos. Currently, the most common response to any mention of Tillman's candidacy is “He's the best guy for the job...but it's just too soon (after his legal woes),? but LeLacheur and company must quietly be asking themselves if, four months from now, the public will still think it's too soon. Understandably, many people still can't get past the shock factor of what happened and that's why Tillman remains unemployed. However, the more time that passes, the more people will begin to wrap their heads around two key terms in the judge's ruling, “summary charge? and “absolute discharge?. Once that occurs, the public will be more open to his return to the CFL.http://www.tsn.ca/cfl/story/?id=330258