A handful of CFL head coaches are drawing attention south of the border.
With a number of NFL teams likely to make coaching changes after the regular season finishes on Sunday, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports has shortlisted a number of dark-horse candidates.
Among them are three names that are familiar to CFL followers — Orlondo Steinauer, Scott Milanovich, and Chris Jones.
La Canfora calls Steinauer “an impact NFL coach in the making” and “a master tactician as a defensive coordinator who has a unique ability to bond and connect with players.” He also quotes an anonymous CFL executive who said: “Everyone who has ever worked with him absolutely raves about him.”
Milanovich is highlighted for his background working with quarterbacks. It’s true that he’s had a hand in the development of a large number of star CFL passers, including Anthony Calvillo, Ricky Ray, Trevor Harris, and Zach Collaros.
The head coach of the Edmonton Football Team also recently spent time in the NFL, having served as the quarterbacks coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2017 to 2019.
Chris Jones gets mentioned for his background as a coach and personnel executive. La Canfora writes that “several NFL teams were coveting him to join their defensive staff a few years ago” before he joined the Browns as a defensive assistant coach in 2019.
It’s obviously a long shot that Steinauer, Milanovich or Jones would get hired for an NFL coaching role in the near future, but such an occurrence wouldn’t be unprecedented down the road.
Marc Trestman was hired by the Chicago Bears in 2013 following a five-year stint as the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes. He had gone 59-31 with the Als, winning Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010.
Things didn’t go very well in Chicago with the Bears, going 13-19 over two seasons before Trestman was fired. Despite Trestman’s lack of success, it’s not impossible to imagine an NFL team considering a CFL coach to become their next bench boss.