REGINA — There is no doubt Brendan Taman has put his stamp on the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The 46-year-old already had an impressive resume, but has added to it the last two years by bringing in players the likes of Kory Sheets and Tyron Brackenridge, drafting Ben Heenan and Sam Hurl and adding Geroy Simon, Brendon Labatte and Rey Williams in free agency. Don’t forget he is also responsible for bringing in Corey Chamblin to be the head coach of the club.
The management team made the obvious decision on March 28 to reward Taman for his hard work by signing him to a two-year contract extension that will take him through the end of the 2015 season. It was a no-brainer as far as president and CEO Jim Hopson was concerned.
“Brendan and I have always had a good relationship. I’ve had a lot of confidence in him. When I see the improvements he has made and the direction that we are going that this was the right move to make.” Hopson said during a media conference. “It also shows our commitment to Corey and the coaching staff as they have to be in sync with the GM and now it shows we are just as committed to them as we are to Brendan. We know the expectations are high, but I think we are on the right track. I like the direction we are taking and I want to continue going in that direction.
Hopson adds it is great having a guy under wraps that knows the Canadian game and that having someone of Taman’s ilk is nothing but beneficial for the long-term future of the football club.
“It’s hard to find good GM’s,” Hopson concluded. “The CFL is a unique league when you consider the ratio and the salary cap. There are good guys around the league like Ed Hervey in Edmonton and Jeremy (current assistant GM Jeremy O’Day) here, but you need to have someone who can crunch the numbers as well as assessing the talent and I feel we have that here now and for the foreseeable future.
As for Taman, he is pleased to have some job security through the end of the 2015 season.
“It’s nice to have, “Taman stated,” I’m only as good as the people around me and I’ve got a great team. To be rewarded for that is a nice touch. We know what the objective is, and we’re about to set out on it. Having a chance to keep working here is very rewarding.
Taman also admitted that he is relieved to have a contract extension done before the season starts, because it can impact the way things are done when you are in your last season which is what he was in before signing the two year extension.
“It does wear on you a little bit because you start to wonder what is going on as the season goes on when you are recruiting players and doing business,” Taman admitted. “My focus never wavered at all though as to where I was going to be and I’m just happy to have this done and keep on the path we’ve been on. We know we have improvement to do. We aren’t just in this to make the playoffs, we are in this to win the Grey Cup and that’s what I want to do.”
Hopson feels that this move will certainly pay off in the long run because of the stability it brings to the front office.
“He’s comfortable, I’m comfortable and I think Corey is very happy to see his GM in place, “Hopson said. “We’re excited. We think it’s the right move at the right time. The board was very supportive of this and expressed a lot of confidence in this decision so we are all on the same page.
This will be Taman’s 5th year with the football club in what has been his second stint with them. He joined the team in 2009 as an assistant to then GM Eric Tillman and became the full time GM in 2010. He was handed complete control of football operations after Ken Miller stepped down at the end of the 2011 campaign. Before that, he started his CFL career in Regina as a player personnel assistant in 1987.