Come on folks, the mention of Shivers name used to
make the hair stand up the back of people's necks here
and shivers go up and down their spines.
Here's a little something
that might prime you guys up.
Shivers could fill hole; Former 'Riders GM
headlines list of possible replacements
The Vancouver Sun Thu 06 Dec 2007 Ian Walker
He's not mad. Nor is he frustrated.
To be honest, Wally Buono's actually a little proud.
For the second straight year, the B.C. Lions G.M.
and head coach finds himself answering questions
on how he's going to fill the hole in his front office
rather than gaps on the field.
Bob O'Billovich -- the Lions director of player personnel
since Buono took over the team in 2003 --
was named G.M. of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Wednesday.
"It's like losing a key player or losing a key coach
it's a part of our business that exemplifies
we've had success as an organization
and people are looking to emulate
or get a part of that," said Buono,
who lost offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine
to the Edmonton Eskimos last off-season.
"It just means we have to go out and find someone else."
Topping a list of candidates is former
Saskatchewan Roughriders G.M. Roy Shivers.
The one-time Lions assistant coach
has a long history with Buono
as a member of the Calgary
Stampeders management team.
The Stampeders went to four Grey Cups
-- winning two -- during their tenure
in Calgary during the 1990s.
"I'm not going to skirt the issue, I had
a tremendous run with Mr. Shivers in Calgary
and I thought he and I were
a pretty good combo," said Buono,
of his longtime friend who was fired
by the 'Riders midway through the 2006 season.
"Now, I don't know what his interest
level is, if he has interest at all.
Other than that there are a handful
of other guys that can fill that bill."
Shivers, who lives in Las Vegas,
did not return calls on Wednesday.
Other names being mentioned include
Mike McCarthy, senior advisor to
ousted Hamilton GM Marcel Desjardins,
as well as Ticats personnel director Craig Smith.
One person it won't be, is Neil McEvoy.
The 31-year-old Lions player personnel
coordinator already has his hands full
handling many of the day-to-day
operations of the team
as well as negotiating contracts
and assisting the coaching staff
with game and scouting preparation.
Did we mention he also does windows.
"Neil has a capacity with us, but we don't want to
put too much more on his plate," said Buono.
"I think for an interim period he could assume
some of the responsibilities, which he does, already.
He deals with a lot of the agents
who are trying to place their players,
he does a lot of evaluation of
the player profiles we get ...
so that's not going to stop.
"O'Billovich's voice was scratchy and horse
when he answered his Lions cell phone on Wednesday.
A day of press conferences and
meetings will do that to a fella.
The CFL mainstay said the decision
to leave the Lions was one of
the toughest of his 35-year
professional football career.
"Wally's right, my hiring is
a compliment to the organization
-- it's top notch from Bobby Ackles down," he said.
"I'd like to think I left the team in very good shape
-- it's a lot better now than when I came in 2003.
I even signed a few new guys
this week from NFL camps.
"My loyalty was with B.C, until
this was announced today.
In fact, I still need to talk to Wally to see
what else I have to do so all is right when I leave."
Like returning their phone?
"I'm sure they'll want it back
sooner than later," he quipped.