Esks prez cites philosophical differences in firing GM Ed Hervey

By Dan Ralph

Winning wasn’t enough for Ed Hervey to remain with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Hervey was fired as the club’s vice-president of football operations and general manager on Friday just over a year after leading Edmonton to a Grey Cup title. Hervey was in the final year of his deal but president/CEO Len Rhodes said he decided _ with the board of directors’ blessing _ to terminate Hervey after the two sides had reached an impasse in contract negotiations.

“Two major reasons drove this decision,” Rhodes told reporters during a news conference in Edmonton. “First, both parties could not agree to contract extension terms.

“Secondly, there are differences in philosophy over the way we do business. During the course of recent negotiations for a possible contract extension, it became clear that we would be unable to meet Ed’s expectations.”

Paul Jones, Edmonton’s veteran executive director of player personnel, will serve as interim GM. Rhodes said while his search for Hervey’s successor begins immediately, he wouldn’t provide a timeline regarding when he’d like a new general manager in place.

Rhodes said Maas, heading into his second season as Eskimos head coach, will remain in that post regardless of who’s hired as GM.

“Jason Maas is our head coach, there is no doubt about that,” he said. “A new GM is not coming in to fix something that’s not broken.”

Hervey’s departure prompted an interesting response from Eskimos receiver Nate Coehoorn.

“Crazy news out of Eskimo land. I wonder if giving pay cuts to a lot of veteran players had anything to do with it,” he tweeted before deleting his post.

Rhodes said philosophical differences regarding team access contributed to his decision to fire Hervey.

“The resistance to provide access became increasingly an difficult issue over the past year,” Rhodes said. “It became a barrier to what we feel is required to grow our organization in terms of success in a marketplace that’s increasingly competitive.

“We are a major brand in this community. We can’t be held back by our own barriers. When you talk about access, that’s the major gap we had.”

Last season, the CFL fined Edmonton $20,000 and Maas $15,000 after Maas and starter Mike Reilly refused to wear live microphones during a game against the Montreal Alouettes. The live microphones were part of a league-wide move to provide fans with access to the interactions between coaches and quarterbacks.

In his ruling, commissioner Jeffrey Orridge said Maas’s failure to wear the mic “was a direct contravention of a directive for this league’s board of governors, a motion supported by all nine clubs.”

Maas and Reilly wore live microphones in Edmonton’s regular-season finale Nov. 6 against Toronto. But Reilly didn’t play in the 41-17 home victory while Maas pretty much stood silent after relegating play-calling duties to his offensive assistants.

Media access has also been a hot-button topic since 2014 when the community-owned Eskimos abruptly closed their locker-room to reporters. The club still makes its players available on the field after practice but since ’14 has only opened up the locker-room following home games.

Edmonton posted a 40-32 record over four seasons under Hervey, reaching the playoffs three times. In 2015, Edmonton captured the Grey Cup.

“Yes we did win a Grey Cup but it’s not enough,” Rhodes said. “We’ve got to approach this differently.

“After winning the Grey Cup we didn’t fill the stands. Fan access, media access, season seat-holder access, sponsorship access and showcasing our athletes are all important areas allowing us to grow our fanbase and ultimately the success of the Edmonton Eskimos football club.”

Hervey, 43, had served as Edmonton’s GM since 2013 and had built a championship squad. He added the vice-president of football operations job title in 2015.

The six-foot-two, 195-pound Hervey joined the Eskimos as a receiver in 1999 after spending time in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders. He was taken in the fifth round, 166th overall, in the ’95 NFL draft by Dallas following his collegiate career at USC.

He appeared in 118 career games with Edmonton, registering 476 catches for 6,715 yards and 43 TDs over eight seasons. He won two Grey Cups as a player (2003, ’05) and in ’06 received the David Boone Memorial Award his contributions to the community.

Hervey retired March 20, 2007 and served as a scout with Edmonton before being named the club’s GM on Dec. 10, 2012. He added a third Grey Cup title in 2015 when the Eskimos beat the Ottawa Redblacks 26-20 in Winnipeg.

Overall, Edmonton posted a 40-32 record under Hervey, reaching the CFL playoffs in three of his four seasons at the helm.

Last year, Hervey received a bachelor of arts degree in multidisciplinary studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, fulfilling a promise he’d made to his mother to earn a college degree.

The move is unexpected, to say the least, and got several players by surprise.

– CP

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75 Comments on Esks prez cites philosophical differences in firing GM Ed Hervey

  1. That man is a bastard. He treated people like dirt

    • youre in the minority with that sentiment.

    • Darren H. // April 7, 2017 at 9:38 pm //

      Hervey treated people like dirt like Chris Jones treated Darian Durant do you mean. Its too bad Jones didn’t stay in Edmonton and we’d still have Doubles here. The Eskimos could have kept Jones and gotten rid of Hervey. In Saskatchewan we’re now suffering with Jones who runs the team like a lush and has a circus going on all the time.

  2. Marc Lebut // April 7, 2017 at 12:01 pm //

    How can anyone understand this?

    Hervey took a franchise in complete shambles after the horrible Ray trade and built a solid team, leading to a Grey Cup victory in 2015. That’s not centuries ago, and this team was decent last season depite losing almost all it’s coaching staff. That’s good work by all means.

    Guess we’ll know more in the next weeks, but this looks as an unadvised move, especially with the draft coming up.

    • GoCats! // April 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm //

      From the complaints for the last several years in Edmonton papers, it does not seem all the surprising … except for the timing.

  3. Joe King // April 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm //

    Maybe Captain Poop can jump ship and report for duty to the Esks.

  4. Not surprised – he is a Jones clone !

    Oops – Stampland , I do agree with some of your posts on Jonesy , not the greenies but Jonesy

  5. Interesting, very interesting!!! Is there some dissension within the eskimos organization that is going to surface in the next short while? Interesting news 3-Down.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 2:32 pm //

      anything to take away from your own mess hey greenrider 😉

      • LovinLife // April 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm //

        So now we have a big green and gold mess and somehow you have to bring the Riders into the fold…you are not a stamps or cfl fan but merely a Rider hater and that is all you are ever going to be…the grudge/hate you carry defines who you are. The Riders own you stampland…..hahahahahaha

        • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 3:11 pm //

          I didn’t bring up the riders first.Gem did!. If you own me please come over and take care of me like a good owner should. I could use a haircut come give me one.
          Lose the chip on your shoulder

        • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 3:25 pm //

          LovinLife.Look below Rider fans are bringing up “How does this affect us” by contemplating how this could lead to Franklin being traded to riders. So stop alienating me as the one bring up the riders.

          • LovinLife // April 7, 2017 at 5:27 pm //

            You reply reminds me of a 2nd grader, he did it first…If you truly believe what comes out of your mouth that is your business but everyone on here knows what kind of a hater you are…like I said earlier the Riders own you and how does that feel..your easily manipulated…if I have a chip on my shoulder then I am sure you have a brick on yours….hahahahahaha how does it feel to led by a team you hate so much?

          • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 5:36 pm //

            That’s so silly Lovinlife. Why would a stamp fan hate the riders. We are a far superior team last time I looked aren’t we? If you can’t acknowledge the facts you are truly in the dark.

      • Just lookin’ forward to the new stadium. Oh, and I forgot, beating the eskimos.

        • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 5:38 pm //

          LOL well beating the Eskimos may be a stretch but I’m sure you will enjoy the new stadium

          • You know what, in the wild-and-wacky CFL, anything is possible — like worst to first. I’m not saying Saskatchewan is going to make a major resurrection, but anything is possible. I’ve watched this game for nearly 45 years and seen a lot in that time. And if the Riders can solve their quarterback issues, there’s a lot of young talent on the Green and White, especially on defense.

          • Ladd Law // April 7, 2017 at 5:57 pm //

            No bigger stretch then the Stumps beating them.

        • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 6:04 pm //

          I agree. IF they can solve their QB situation . that would help tremendously. However there is still a fundamental problem with this team. Canadian depth.

  6. Dan Bombers // April 7, 2017 at 12:36 pm //

    Too bad really enjoyed heckling him from the stands he always looked so angry must be more to this story

  7. I’m shocked! I really liked Ed, great guy to talk to, terrific player and exec, bled green & gold since coming an Esk in 1999.

  8. sarahsung // April 7, 2017 at 1:03 pm //

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  9. Scottsask // April 7, 2017 at 1:18 pm //

    Well this is interesting, as far as timing goes. The draft is in less than 2 weeks.

  10. What does Coehorn mean by “I wonder if giving pay cuts to a lot of veteran players had anything to do with it”? That management wants to give pay cuts and Hervey wasn’t cooperating, or that management was displeased that Hervey had given them pay cuts? Kind of an aggressive comment, but I’m not sure who he’s sniping at.

  11. Bob knows. // April 7, 2017 at 2:08 pm //

    I liked Hervey, he built a winning organization and the team even managed to OK after the traitor Jones jumped ship. It should be Rhodes who should be fired.

  12. mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 2:19 pm //

    Considering this team has won a cup and played in 3 straight division finals it’s hard to imagine what these sudden “Philosophical Differences are” other than money). Teams are wrapping up their US camps, combine is done so the effects o this aren’t as bad as they would be a month or 2 ago. Wonder who the hire will be and how soon they do it? Wouldn’t be surprised if Jones has inquired already.

  13. You’d have to think Barker would be front & centre as a candidate, what with his previous relationship with Maas & with Rhodes saying Maas & staff are staying regardless. Taman is also available. Not sure if highly regarded Geroy Simon would be on the radar. One thing for sure – Jones unlikely to let Murphy interview if he wanted to. Salary might have been issue in view of Jones haul & recent signing of Trestman for huge bucks. For now Paul Jones as interim is good choice heading into draft – long time Eskimo scout & has been asst GM in Edmonton & Winnipeg.

    • I like Barker but he and Taman are not highly regarded across the league. Simon will never leave BC again. I think they’re grooming him for GM post Buono. Who is Murphy? I think the Esks should hire someone, like Ed, who has skin in the organization.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 2:59 pm //

      Barker and Taman would be the contemporary choices for sure although I think the luster has worn off both recently. Eskimos also have this “hire family” perference and both these 2 have left big foot prints on other teams in this league.
      Perhaps Edmonton does nothing until seasons end and bring in Rick Campbell? Just a thought.
      It would be ironic if Jones wouldn’t let Murphy interview wouldn’t it?.

  14. For us Rider followers, new GM might be willing to part with Franklin for right deal sooner than later. I suspect any trade in 1st year may have to be okayed by Rhodes but he might OK any trade not too outrageous. Remember Ray trade by Tillman? Rhodes & Reed were never on board but Rhodes felt he had to give Tillman the go ahead. Ultimately it led to Tillman’s dismissal & arrival of Reilly in pre-emptive strike by Hervey by getting Wally to trade him prior to FA. Big problem in Franklin trade is who do we have Edmonton wants? Don’t say receivers – Esks are in good shape there even without Walker.

    • I doubt Maas will give up Franklin before mid season.

      • Bob knows. // April 7, 2017 at 2:46 pm //

        I agree. Why give up your #1 back up out of the gate. The Esks are not in bad shape player wise.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm //

      John Murphy for Franklin!!

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 3:54 pm //

      I have always maintained the Ray trade had some intervention from the league in an effort to assure Argos participation in Grey Cup 100.

    • I believe Hervey was as shrewd as they came as GM of talent. Should be much easier to pry Franklin and what does Edmonton have to lose? Franklin will be a free agent next year — get something in return with some value before next season. Hey, I recall Burgess/Austin, or most recently, Durant/Willy– Riders never got a red nickel. Furthermore, my top dollar says this year, or at worst, next year he wear’s Green and White with no compensation strings attached.

      • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 5:25 pm //

        Should be much easier to pry Franklin and what does Edmonton have to lose?

        What they have to lose is the QB stability in 2017. As I say any trade would likely involve the east anyways.
        Greenrider89 based on your strong desire to have Franklin I take it you’re not overly confident in Young?

        • I have absolutely no confidence in the Young transaction working in Saskatchewan — It was a PR move at best. Furthermore, if you really think about this, Durant’s salary would have been between $400-$500,000. Kevin Glenn — who is 5 years older than Durant — was purchased for just over $200,000. What salary do you think the Riders signed Young for? Believe me, it wasn’t $100,000 CDN. Furthermore, Young is not any younger than Durant. Sad to say, a quarterback who hasn’t played a down of football for 6 years, isn’t going to make it in Riderville. And why do you think the Eskimos signed former Rider pivot, Brett Smith? The Eskimos are playing their cards. If a trade is possible — east or west — talent-wise, the Eskimos would be fools not to consider a trade to benefit their club. Everything is on the table in the CFL.

      • Puck Hog // April 7, 2017 at 8:22 pm //

        I’m not sure the Riders should pin their hopes on Franklin. He may turn into a franchise qb for some team, but there are so many variables that could see Franklin in another city other than Regina. I hope Jones, Murphy, and O’Day are scouring the land for an excellent and young pivot for this year – not next year.

  15. Scottsask // April 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm //

    Newsflash, if the Esks have any brains at all and I suspect they do. They will hold on to Franklin like grim death considering Reilly’sI age, playing style and history of injuries. Are Reilly and Franklin both free agents at seasons end?

  16. mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 3:07 pm //

    In all seriousness. I think Rider fans need to give up on this idea Franklin will be traded to you. Esks will use this season to determine what direction they go in with QB and Reilly injuries could be a deciding factor. If a trade occurs it would be to an eastern team.

  17. Scottsask // April 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm //

    Aha, Reilly is signed through, 2018 to the tune of $500000. One of them will have to go somewhere……. next year.

  18. Len Rhodes sounds like a micro-manager.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 4:17 pm //

      You know the saying Breeze. Eternal vigilance is the key to greatness

  19. I believe Franklin will be traded but not to the Riders because they really don’t have what the Esks need. The Riders have a surplus of import receivers & they’ll have to let some of them go. As for getting him for nothing come FA, that isn’t going to happen. But if Reilly stays healthy & Franklin doesn’t play, like last year, his value may go down near season end. They know they’ll lose him one way or another anyway & are grooming Smith, so trade him when the value is high – when teams are fighting for playoffs. Three will be out anyway. I agree that he’ll likely go East. I’ve never believed he would go to the Riders via trade, Hervey or no Hervey – we don’t have the pieces they need.

  20. SaskWatch // April 7, 2017 at 7:20 pm //

    Big mistake in my view. Hervey’s a class act, and damn good manager. I suspect the Esks will soon find that he’s not easily replaced (unless perhaps they promote from within).

    Timing really sucks as well – For both the club and Ed.

  21. a lifelong CFL fan, I couldn’t fathom the arrogance, the rudeness, and the condescending nature of Hervey….he treated people like trash….I said hello to him (walking side by side near a snack booth during an Edmonton game) ….no one anywhere near us and he was too stuck up to return the greeting…nice gesture to a paying customer who just shelled out 200 bucks for tickets….good riddance

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 10:33 pm //

      Yeah I heard other stories like that too. You should have told him if he was any good he’d be in the nfl lol

  22. mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 11:38 pm //

    Prediction: Edward Hervey will be named next GM of Saskatchewan Roughriders. Will make his debut Banjo Bowl 2017

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 7, 2017 at 11:58 pm //

      It was a natural fit as Roy Shivers left his fedora collection behind

    • Your talk is rather cheap. What goes around, usually comes around. I recall the Stampeders were cellar dwellers throughout the 1970’s and ’80’s until a young man named Doug Flutie surfaced for owner Larry Ryckman when Murray Pezim couldn’t afford to keep Flutie. Yes, I know the Stampeders through Hufnagel have done a masterful job in keeping the organization as one of the most recognizable in football. But your jokes get rather tiring, in fact, I’m starting to yawn.

      • mrnehnehincognito // April 8, 2017 at 12:27 am //

        lol Its all in good fun. Stampeders have been consistently good for 27 years (save for the 3 Feterik years). I will correct you on something and give you a piece of history you may not know.
        Doug Flutie arrival was the icing on the cake for this organization. The actual turnaround happened in 1990 after stamps fired coach Larry Kuharick for a young assistant named Wally Buono. His first year Calgary finished first in west for 1st time in 20 years then in ’91 took the stamps to Grey Cup with Danny Barrett at QB.
        Upon catching wind of his firing Kuharich sneaked into stamps offices in the dead of night and released Doug Flutie form Stamps neg list. BC owner Murry Pezim must have been working late because BC added him to neg list that very night. I’m sure it was coincidence BC named Kuharick their coach later that week.

        • Rather interesting. I wasn’t aware of that story at all. But I would consider Flutie a saviour for Calgary. At least, Flutie was the first QB to carry the Stamps to a Grey Cup since 1971. But it seemed to invigorate the organization into a model of success. With that being said, Danny Barrett certainly deserves a lot of credit. I’ve been a fan of the Green and White since the early ’70’s. It was the Eskimos and Wilkinson that tore the hearts of Lancaster and Reed, also, Rider fans with dramatic comebacks in the late going of Western Finals that sometimes concluded in dramatic fashion in the dying seconds — still aches to this day besides the routine age old aches. I still hold a bitter side to the Eskimos since my teenage years, though, I recall sipping on a beer (back in the day) with Cutler and Wilkinson at Taylor Field. Some of those guys were truly a class act. Gone are the days of black and white — everything is now coloured grey (political correctness).

          • mrnehnehincognito // April 8, 2017 at 12:54 am //

            I’m too young to remember much of the 70’s as I was born in ’73. I do certainly know of those names. So you actually had beer with Wilkinson and Cutler during a game?

          • Yes, I did. I was actually 17 years old in 1980 and both players were having a beer outside the dressing room after the Eskimos defeated Saskatchewan in a nailbiter (I believe 29-28). I received both players autographs and had a free beer with them. Both, Cutler and Wilkinson kidded with me asking how old I was. I never revealed my actual age but it’s a game, rather, after-moment I’ll never forget. That was still in the day’s where players were part of the everyday partisan crowd. Players weren’t revered as they are today.

          • mrnehnehincognito // April 8, 2017 at 12:30 pm //

            That’s an awesome tale Greenrider89. Some one should write a book about past CFL lore and have fans like you contribute a chapter (seriously not being sarcastic). That is a bi-gone time for sure.Players doing that now would be suspended and probably charged with influencing a minor. A less politically correct world.I like it!

    • Ladd Law // April 8, 2017 at 12:05 pm //

      There you go again stirring the pot. Your comments reek of childish nonsense in the wake of getting mommy mad before dinner for not cleaning your room. Stick to the Stumps and get ready for a losing season as they are due. Your comedic karma is exactly why – arrogance beyond belief.

  23. Mr. Nehnehincognito, I would just elaborate a bit more that the game was played at Taylor Field (now called Mosaic Stadium) and it was just after Taylor Field had expanded (I believe in 1979) from a stadium of 20,000 to 27,700. And a tidbit of information most CFL fans would not know was that prior to 1979 or 1980, the Roughriders team would have a bus by the stadium and be transported back to the University of Regina to dress and undress before and after every game whereas the visitors received the locker room in Taylor Field.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 8, 2017 at 3:20 pm //

      So there was only 1 locker room? Why didn’t they make the visiting team bus in? That is interesting to know too. I will say this; The riders have come along way when you see the pictures of the new team facility and locker room.

      • The reason why the Riders had the university locker-room simply was because the facility had a lot more to offer the home team than the old locker rooms in Taylor Field. In fact, when expansion occurred at Taylor Field, the Riders obviously received the new locker room while the old room was left for visiting teams. In the 1970’s when I was attending games, all visiting players had only one access in and out of the locker-room, and that was through the turnstiles where fans came in and out. Back then, after the game concluded, players would flock in public distance and visit with family/friends and then pass through the turnstiles onto the awaiting bus in front of Taylor Field. It was pretty neat back then.

        • mrnehnehincognito // April 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm //

          That would truly have been a special time greenrider89. I can’t even imagine watching players walking through the concourse or standing in the washroom line after the game and still in full uniform. I’ll definitely be telling my Stamp friend fans about this!

          • You have to remember, that was a different time period — when the game was just simply a game. Taylor Field always was a loud stadium until the early-to-mid ’80’s when apathy set in due to the team’s losing ways. But when I look at Mosaic Stadium now, I’m amazed how the game has changed from the ’70’s and early-’80s — What I mean is the culture. The younger generation has really taken the Riders by storm. When we go to a game (and we’ve been season-ticket holders for several years) sometimes it feels like we’re attending a Halloween masquerade party, and kudos to the fans of Saskatchewan — the stadium is completely lit up in green. In the ’70’s, nobody had a green and white jersey — absolutely no-one. But there was a strong bond with the players back then unlike any other time. Back then, several Americans along with Canadians, made Regina their year-round home. A lot of those players were teachers or worked with the crown corporations — Sask Power, Sask Energy, Sask Tel. Back then, players were really a part of the community and were treated that way. In the past 10-15 years, Jim Hopson (a former Rider of the early-to-mid ’70’s and former president of the organization) tried to bring some of that culture back into Saskatchewan and I believe he did very well up to his retirement. The Riders and the CFL will always have a special place in my heart, unlike any other sport. But it is amazing how the game has transformed in 45 years and is coming back in different ways.

          • I should let you know that visiting players arrived to play the Roughriders in regular attire and left the stadium in personal attire — obviously, they had their own washroom. Please don’t add more to what I’m saying. Secondly, the Rougriders, back in the early-to-later seventies left with football gear on to the University of Regina. That is how the game was back then.

  24. Mr. Nehnehincognito, thank you for the reply. It would be a privilege to have that opportunity to pass that knowledge on to CFL fan enthusiasts if that opportunity ever existed. Unfortunately, the game today is much becoming a regulated business operation as all other sports. Thankfully, though, the CFL remains one of the last sports leagues, I believe, that fans still can gravitate towards players as you talking to me.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm //

      I enjoy your stories. Its nice to stripe away the biased and share with other CFL enthusiast for sure!

      • Nice Stampland – you actually may have some good qualities. Good dialogue between you and greenrider89.

        • mrnehnehincognito // April 8, 2017 at 6:49 pm //

          Don’t know why you think I’m so horrible all the time.

          • Not horrible – just incorrigible – I guess it’s the green blood that runs thru my veins vs your dislike for them. It’s the yin and yang of life I guess….with every action there is an equal and opposite re-action.

          • SaskWatch // April 8, 2017 at 9:04 pm //

            “Don’t know why you think I’m so horrible all the time.”

            Short answer: Because 99.9% of the time YOU ARE! It’ll take a damn sight more than 1 polite exchange with a Rider fan to change my view of your character.

            I suspect you’ll be back to your usual form in no time.

        • mrnehnehincognito // April 8, 2017 at 9:08 pm //

          Have a nice night Saskwatch

  25. I agree with the posts previous – it’s great when you can actually sit with players from other teams and talk

    My brother in law and myself were in Edmonton 20 years ago and were seated at a fund raiser with Doug and Darren Flutie .
    We were quite comfortable with each other that we went after the event and had supper together.
    One of those nights – I will never forget ( Fluties – very honourable men )

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 9, 2017 at 10:43 am //

      That would be cool. One reason I love the CFL is players generally are pretty down to earth and relate-able. Although I don’t have stories as memorable as Greenrider89 and Gem my encounters have been positive (except one).

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