Wednesday, November 9, 2016
DUNK: MACIOCIA TO THE ALS, AND DURANT TO THE BOMBERS?
You may be very surprised to hear what he had to say.
"It seems to me that Danny Maciocia is the leader in the clubhouse at this point," Dunk said regarding the Alouettes' search for a replacement for Jim Popp. "There have been some other names bantied about but if I had to put a shiny nickel on who will be the next GM of the Montreal Alouettes, it has to be Danny Maciocia.
"He has such a big profile in that town, he's built the University of Montreal into a power in that Quebec conference. They won the Vanier Cup in 2014 and have a chance to do it again this year. He's a smart man, he's the son of a politician, he knows how to work the public and if the Alouettes hire Macocia, that would immediately be a boon for them financially because a Francophone GM will put people in the seats."
But what about the way Maciocia left the Edmonton Eskimos, seemingly tattered and in need of a years-long rebuild?
"You'd have to think the Alouettes would have a plan after moving on from Jim Popp," Dunk countered. "With Macocia, you can't forget what he's done with the Carabins and no, it's not the pros, but we can't forget he did win a Grey Cup with Edmonton (in 2005) as a Head Coach & GM. Yes it went awry near the end but he has a Grey Cup ring and a Vanier Cup ring, he's been with teams who've been successful and I think that's what the Alouettes are looking at."
If it doesn't turn out to be Maciocia, who else might the Alouettes be looking at as only their second General Manager since the franchise relocated from Baltimore in 1996?
"There's people speculating about Marc Trestman but I'm told he's not too interested in coming back to the CFL," Dunk stated. "Brock Sunderland and Marcel Desjardins from Ottawa have been mentioned but I don't see that happening. To me, it just comes down to Macocia being the favourite.
"Jeremy O'Day and John Murphy in Saskatchewan are two good young names, Shawn Burke in Hamilton, Ted Goveia in Winnipeg, Neil McEvoy and Geroy Simon with B.C., those are all names that might want it but it seems to me Macocia is all but signed, sealed and delivered."
So ... it sounds like Macocia can start shining up his nameplate for the GM's desk in Montreal.
As for the contract talks between the Roughriders and Darian Durant, Dunk it seems to be a long ways from being resolved.
"It seemed like a couple weeks ago that the contract was close," Dunk shrugged. "If I remember correctly, Chris Jones said they were closer with Durant than Naaman Roosevelt and now the Roosevelt deal is done. So at this point, now that the season is over, Durant has left town, I think he's settled in and he wants to get the number he's asked for. It also spoke volumes to me that he wasn't wearing one piece of Rider gear when he spoke to reporters on Sunday."
If not Saskatchewan, where could Dunk envision Darian Durant playing football in 2017?
"Anywhere that needs a quarterback," Dunk reasoned. "It seems Montreal found a guy in Vernon Adams. Toronto would be an obvious candidate for a quarterback and some people think Ricky Ray will follow Macocia to Montreal as a back-up for Adams. In Winnipeg, Matt Nichols hasn't signed yet and maybe the Bombers would like Durant. Wouldn't that be a tale that Rider fans wouldn't like?"
Dunk laughed at his own suggestion, but they say there's always a kernel of truth in a joke and Dunk has his finger on the pulse of the league more than anyone else.
You can follow his reporting at @JDunk12 on Twitter or www.3DownNation.com.