A new name has emerged as a strong candidate to be the next head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
It's not a shock that the 50-year old Toronto product would be in contention for the position vacated by Chris Jones. Benevides parted ways with the Edmonton Eskimos following the 2018 CFL season and is pursuing his next coaching opportunity.
However he's enough of an under-the-radar candidate that he didn't make the initial list of candidates in our Monday morning Out Of The Tunnel column.
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What may be attractive to new Roughriders General Manager Jeremy O'Day is Benevides' prior experience as a head coach with the BC Lions. Benevides was a tidy 33-21 on the sidelines with BC (2012-2014), however his win total descended each year (13-11-9) before being replaced by Wally Buono.
Meh, every great head coach has been fired at one time or another. Even New England's Bill Belichik was toasted in 1996 by Cleveland, or Toronto's Corey Chamblin in 2015 by Saskatchewan. You hope coaches learn from each experience along the way.
Meanwhile there's a rumour the Roughriders' top choice for the job is Marc Trestman, however I don't know how credible that rumour is. Like the Benevides situation, this should come as no surprise. Trestman is available after being fired by Toronto in November, and he's a highly decorated CFL coach with 3 Grey Cup rings. He's spent a generation in the NFL as an offensive coordinator.
Trestman also comes with a high salary, and that's where the Roughriders would likely be handcuffed again by the CFL's new football operations salary cap and staff limitation.
If we were to do a calcutta on this hiring, I'd list Craig Dickenson as a 2-1 favourite to replace Chris Jones followed closely by Benevides at 3-1. As for Marc Trestman? Make it 7-1. These Jerry Glanville reports have me completely baffled, but I'd list him at 500-1. Maybe even 1000-1. That notion seems completely preposterous.
Keep in mind too, that should the Riders hire someone else besides Benevides as head coach they are still in need of a defensive coordinator and that could very well be where Benevides fits into the picture.
He also would likely have an opportunity to return to TSN as an analyst, where's done a very nice job in the past.
TSN's Dave Naylor reported Wednesday afternoon that the Riders have already interviewed current offensive and special coordinators Stephen McAdoo and Craig Dickenson for the position.