Madani: Jim Popp and Marc Trestman set to take over in Toronto

The Toronto Argonauts are closing in on both Jim Popp and Marc Trestman, per 3DownNation contributor and SportsNet reporter Arash Madani.

The two were together for five years with the Montreal Alouettes where Popp was the GM for more than 20 years before being fired in November. Trestman joined the club in 2008 and led them to three Grey Cup appearances, including back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.  Montreal went 59-31 with Trestman at the helm, winning the East Division four times.

Trestman left after the 2012 campaign to become the head coach of the Chicago Bears where he went 13-19 before being fired after two seasons. He was most recently the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive co-ordinator but was let go last October. He has a year remaining on his deal.

The Argonauts have been searching for a general manager since firing Jim Barker in January and watching head coach Scott Milanovich leave for the Jacksonville Jaguars shortly after. CEO Michael Copeland was reportedly rebuffed by a number of current and former NFL executives before turning to Popp and Trestman. The team has been operating with 27-year-old assistant general manager Spencer Zimmerman at the helm with support from consultant Tommy Condell, a former Ticats offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator Rich Stubler. With Popp and Trestman taking over – both have extensive CFL experience and connections on both sides of the border – it’s unclear as to what role the current front office staff will play, if any.

Alouettes beat reporter Herb Zurkowsky offers this little nugget…


49 Comments on Madani: Jim Popp and Marc Trestman set to take over in Toronto

  1. Sure would like to see some evidence that Trestman is interested in a deal. “Per CFL sources” isn’t evidence.

  2. If so, can they fix Argos for 2017. Doubtful. Be interesting to see coaching staff assembled should this happen.

    • I suspect that if they want anyone with CFL experience they’ll have to keep some if not most of the current staff at least for the coming year. And rather ironic that the one person Copeland didn’t want as GM is the one he apparently has to hire!

  3. I hope you’re right on this one Marty, errr Arash.

  4. excellent move for this organization but should have done it 2 months ago!.Even so this organization will turn around some in 2017. Ray might be reinvigorated to play 1 more year and Trestman will get the most out of whatever his roster is.
    If only I could go back 10 days in time…..Derek Dennis,Feb 24 2017
    Its going to be interesting to watch the Argo,Alouettes turn a rounds this year.
    Good news for rider fans..They can spread out and enjoy the CFL basement by themselves

    • Auntie Marta // February 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm //

      its funny how no matter which way you slice it, both the Riders and the Stumps ended up in the same spot, both not winning the grey cup. teeeheeee.

      • with the season well in rear view mirror you can say that,But then again with season well in rear view mirror whoever won grey cup is pretty irrelevant anyways as everyone is in neck deep in 2017 season prep mode. When stamps win cup its celebrated till Christmas and forgotten about. and we move on.riders are only team that to celebrate until their next grey cup win. fact is you would have killed to have season we had in 2016 and likely the season well have in 2017 .Wouldnt you??

    • an article that has zero relevance to the riders and some how you drag the riders into it….why? are you that infatuated with the rough-riders that you must have them in every convo? i challenge you to not say the word Saskatchewan, rough rider, riderville or Jones for 30 days bet you couldn’t do it.

      • I agree this should be devoted to constructive Argo stop provoking an argument to the original comments I made about the Argos and the consequences to other teams

  5. For the good of the league, I hope that this is true. I am not sure how I feel about Popp but Trestman is a great coach and a tremendous fit for Ricky Ray at QB.

    • Won’t that depend on the Argo O Line and Ray’s ability to avoid injury?

      As I recall it, Trestman kept Calvillo in no matter the score, which added to Montreal’s lack of experience when Calvillo was injured.

      Like Desjardins, maybe he’s learned from past mistakes.

  6. Slim Pickens // February 24, 2017 at 1:56 pm //

    This is excellent but still not written in stone, not to mention the Tom Clements siting at Pearson Airport, reportedly picked up in black SUV with ARGO1 license plate… so there is that also???

  7. Big Deal, neither one has had success without Calvillo!

  8. Those saying that Popp didn’t have success without Cavillo have short memories. Won Grey Cup with Tracy Ham and Baltimore Stallions and oversaw reincarnation of Alouettes and move to Montreal. Winningest front office man in CFL over 20 years strong.

    • But in Baltimore he didn’t have a Canadian ratio.

      • maybe we should give the stamps that luxury of no ratio so they could win a cup. heeeeheee

      • Either did any of the other U.S. teams and none of them were any good. Popp and Matthews built Stallions from scratch to one of best teams in league history.

        • it all started with the owner Jim Speros who hired Popp. Who wisely hired a proven Canadian coach who in turn hired many players with cfl experience.They were a remarkable team in their 2 years and probably should have won both cups they were in.A controversial play at a time of no reviews probably cost them the first one.
          Other teams like San Antonio ,Birmingham were pretty good and the Shreveport pirates were getting there too. If those teams survived without ratio considerations you would have seen the end of the ratio period as Canadian teams would not have been able to complete as US teams all improved. 1995 grey cup although painful for me to watch showed this imbalance perfectly as Special teams was the clear difference in this game

    • Slim Pickens // February 24, 2017 at 3:47 pm //

      I am thrilled if it`s Popp and Trestman, but just to your point in Baltimore the real difference was Don Matthews, and Larry Smith deserves a whole lot of credit for Montreal success, just saying, and NO I am not trashing Popp

      • Agreed, but remember it was Popp AND Matthews who worked closely together to build a team from scratch that played in 2 Grey Cups, winning 1, in 2 years. And there was one constant in the nearly 20-year run of sustained success by the Als: Jim Popp.

        • Slim Pickens // February 24, 2017 at 5:57 pm //

          I am hopeful it`s Popp and Trestman, actually on the edge of my seat waiting for official announcement. A couple people suggested the deal could be done but they are stalling it because of the NBA deadline all the trades, and talk of some historic hockey ie Montreal Canadians.

          so putting it off until next Tuesday sounds like a good idea. The Toronto press are going to poo poo it to some degree, but be a good idea to at least try and avoid announcing on the eve of NBA deadlines or Historic hockey events

          Myself I only follow CFL football and PGA Golf for the most part. I would be fine if the Raptors and the Jays left town, I can tolerate the leafs, with exception of listening to people talking about hockey in mid July on The Fan 590 whatever

          • its funny slim pickens I’m a stamps fan and I could care less if flames left town to be honest!most people hear almost want to lynch me when I say that

  9. This is what T. Needs , hopefully it will help put asses in the seats for 2017 and the rest of the league should not have to bail out this franchise

  10. Great move to hire these 2. With Ricky ray at QB they could still be a dangerous team in 2017

  11. This would be an ideal start, but quite right it could have happened 3 months ago.

    (I like the pic accompanying the story… Is it capturing an outpouring of joyful celebration? Or are they trying to bite each other?? Maybe both??? 😉 )

  12. Hopefully this means the end of useless Michael Copeland as president.

  13. Slim Pickens // February 24, 2017 at 6:30 pm //

    My favorite thing about Trestman is this…He says most people say you have to run the ball to open up the pass, but he prefers throwing the ball to open up the run.

    I love a passing game, give me the 70 yard bombs

  14. Copeland is lucky he’s getting Popp and Trestman so late all because he wanted someone from an NFL organization which was arrogant on his part. they were plenty of people with a good CFL background to be interviewed prior to January 30. but he was enamored with NFL experience but in the end he got 2 quality CFL people to run the Argos program

    • Tanenbaum probably went over Copeland and is hiring Popp against his recommendation. Copeland has just lost any power that he possesses and likely ends up elsewhere or banished to the corner somewhere with a fake title.

      Arash Madani is a joke. Guys like Gary Lawless and Dave Naylor have been saying it’s virtually a done deal days ago. Madani is like having a chicken bleep heel as a tag team partner. The babyface partner does all the work. When the time comes for the pin, Madani comes in at the last second, makes the cover, and wants credit for the win.

      • CC Rider // March 1, 2017 at 1:19 pm //

        This is a few days old now but I still want to take the time to acknowledge how much I love the tag team analogy. 🙂

  15. Dick Shadow // February 25, 2017 at 3:07 am //

    You can bet Tannenbaum wants Popp to bring some more big names into camp to grab some attention. Do you think Trestman could get some results with Johnny Football at QB?

  16. How he Argos playout seems dependent on the present rumour mill grinding a lot of stories. If the former Alouettes duo are signed the success again might create fine rivalries and consistency in Argo land. But continually referring to ratio as a open door for Canadians forgets the lifeblood we now see in the NFL. Continuing the so called highly refined Lumonisty brain process is a positive approach but “bulling us that obvious weak physical condition is overcome by this approach, go back to CIS or wherever it came from.

  17. Is it’s true that Argos ownership went over Copeland’s head to bring in Trestman by way of hiring Popp (who Copeland’s was dead set against) then I wonder if this spells the end of Mr. Copeland’s reign of error as Argos president! Between this and the Grey Cup ticket pricing fiasco, not exactly top-notch performance as prez. The honourable thing would be for him to fall on his sword after being totally neutered by Tannenbaum, unless he gets fired first

  18. Js Delorey // February 25, 2017 at 2:40 pm //

    Why would anyone want to coach with popped as gm? Fired in a week..popped thinks he can be a head coach but he can’t. I was hoping the cfl was done with him

  19. Js Delorey // February 25, 2017 at 2:44 pm //

    I meant Popp…lousy auto correct

  20. I always been held by this opinion —- PEOPLE DON’T GET FIRED —- THEY FIRE THEMSELVES

    Copeland has earn’t his dismissal – if it happens

    I’ve been to 8 Grey Cups and 1 Super Bowl , I agree that the 2016 Grey Cup in T.O. was a fiasco ticket sales and a festivity washout

    I thought the game was fabulous – thank you Mr. Copeland for not being involved with that.

  21. At this late stage, Argos need GM with experience. I think Popp has made questionable decisions the past few years but has a long history of success in the CFL ( as a manager, definitely not as a coach). I loved what Coach Trestman did with the Al’s offence and in particular, his work fine tuning A.C.’s game. He got the ball out extremely quickly and took very few sacks. Perhaps Ricky Ray will benefit and have a couple more productive seasons even though the last couple have been far from spectacular. I am a little surprised that other NFL clubs apparently were not interested in Trestman. He could be a valuable QB coach on nearly any club and I would take him as offensive coordinator over several of the current OC’s in the NFL.

  22. Good job, even if it appears to be a plan B. Popp will have a chip on his shoulder, and if he can focus only on the GM job, he is a proven winner. Trestman has shown he can run an offence in the CFL (no, it wasn’t all mIlanovich in Montreal, as his experience in TO shows). Even with the late start, they should be ahead of Barker/Milanovich.

  23. Dan Bombers // February 26, 2017 at 4:48 pm //

    Hope this happens need all the cfl markets to be strong

  24. I wonder if the Popp/Trestman combination can re-kindle the Montreal magic? I am trying to remember similar situations in the NFL or CFL. Maybe Mike Shanahan in Washington…or even the Austin/Condell thing in Hamilton. I don’t remember any success stories though.
    The current Blue Team situation, if it happens, is a gutsy move on the part of Copeland. Perhaps it will help the team attract some more attention and start a winning traditon. I’m still waiting for that to happen in Hamilton.

  25. May bring a spark to Toronto.
    Hope it happens.

  26. Marc Lebut // February 27, 2017 at 9:35 am //

    Hope this can lead Herb to cover the Argos from Toronto.

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