Insider Talk: four downs, Murphy fired, O’Shea’s future

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

Insider Talk is a weekly feature on 3DownNation that features anonymous quotes from people around the CFL — players, coaches, personnel people, executives, agents, etc. — regarding the latest news around the league. It’s a combination of insight, analysis, rumours, and friendly gossip.

This week’s Insider Talk is full of discussion regarding the possibility of the CFL switching to four downs, the firing of John Murphy, the future of Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ head coach Mike O’Shea, and more.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back next Wednesday for another edition of Insider Talk.

***

The fact that the CFL commissioner didn’t immediately renounce the report about considering a four-down model only underscores how powerless he is. It was embarrassing to have that report come out during Grey Cup week. You can’t grow a league by pissing off its constituents. The league is facing many challenges currently, but the number of downs isn’t one of them.

***

I’d be surprised if John Murphy gets back into the league because I don’t think he has many friends in the league office. With that said, Eric Tillman got back into the league, so anything can happen.

***

I can’t see Mike O’Shea leaving for Edmonton. He made a commitment through 2022 and I think that means something to him. He’s not Chris Jones.

***

I read the article you wrote about the league wasting the last couple of years with CFL 2.0 and the XFL. That’s wrong. “Wasting time” implies that the league could have made progress and didn’t. What they actually did was damage to their own brand. The optics around the XFL talks were terrible. They didn’t stand still: they went backwards.

***

I suspect the two teams that will look the most different off the field in 2022 are Edmonton and Hamilton.

***

I’m not saying that (Toronto Argonauts’ director of Canadian scouting Vince) Magri is ready to be a GM, but he’s certainly ready to be an assistant GM. He’s bright and extremely competent.

***

Sergio Castillo was the best acquisition of the year and it’s not even close. Winnipeg doesn’t win that game without him. Zero chance.

***

I know a ton of coaches down here (in the U.S.) who won’t consider coaching in the CFL because the money’s not good enough. As long as the pay remains low, the on-field product will get worse.