Drew It Up and Dunked It: Mike Benevides on the outs in Edmonton?

Welcome to the latest edition of Drew It Up, Then Dunked It.

In this randomly-timed column, we (that’s 3DownNation editor Drew Edwards and senior reporter Justin Dunk) present a unique combination of speculation and analysis, using our insider knowledge – what sources from around the league are telling us – together with our own understanding of how things fit together. It’s a little bit of gossip combined with some knowledge and context added in. To be clear, we’re not reporting anything – we’ll do that separately – but we’re not taking wild guesses, either.

The Grey Cup Festivities are underway in Toronto and that means plenty of chatter. Here’s some of what we’re hearing…

Word out of Edmonton is that defensive coordinator Mike Benevides could be one-and-done with the Eskimos. The team’s performance in East Final loss to Ottawa has drawn criticisms of the job Benevides did this season. Head coach Jason Maas would have multiple candidates from his time as a player and assistant coach in Toronto and Ottawa.

The latest out of Toronto indicates that general manager Jim Barker has been given some latitude to negotiate extensions with key Argonaut players. That would indicate that Barker may continue in his role after team brass finishes their review of football operations.

As we mentioned last week, expect Orlondo Steinauer to be a leading candidate for the head job in Toronto if Barker survives: there have been multiple reports that current head coach Scott Milanovich is on his way out, no matter what happens with Barker.

Meanwhile, Danny Maciocia, the leading candidate for the Montreal Alouettes’ vacant general manager job, has been calling around to potential front office and coaching hires. That said, the jury is still out on whether Maciocia will take the job and, if he does, how much of the current staff he’ll be asked (or forced) to keep. Montreal ownership is said to be keen on retaining head coach Jacques Chapdelaine and potentially offensive assistant Anthony Calvillo.

Back in Toronto, there are conflicting reports on the state of ticket sales for the championship game.  After this weekend’s report that TSN staffers have been offered up to five free tickets, there’s word that employees with parent company Bell are being a shot at freebies as well. Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote Monday the CFL is papering the house with discounted or free tickets while the Redblacks are offering a deal that features roundtrip bus transportation from the nation’s capital, a game ticket and entry into a pre-game party. Officially, however, everything is going fine…

Speaking of TSN, the league’s rights holder completely ignored the controversy surrounding the officiating in the East Semi-Final. Despite the fact that the CFL acknowledged making critical errors that potentially affected the outcome of a playoff, TSN did not report the story on any of its platforms. Even the network’s high-profile voices on Twitter were silent on the matter.

Finally, there are reports that Edmonton Eskimo receiver Derel Walker will take a run at the NFL when he hits free agency this winter and another player who wants to explore his options down south is Ottawa’s Greg Ellingson.

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