CFL - Eskimos show Tillman the door, despite upcoming playoff date
By Rob Soria
The Edmonton Eskimos stunned everyone across the Canadian Football League, by relieving General Manger Eric Tillman of his duties on Saturday afternoon. The announcement comes on the heels of the Esks season ending loss on Friday night and just a week before their scheduled playoff date with the Toronto Argonauts.
Edmonton - November 3, 2012 - So much for timing. The Edmonton Eskimos stunned everyone across the Canadian Football League, by relieving General Manger Eric Tillman of his duties on Saturday afternoon. The announcement comes on the heels of the Eskimos dropping their eleventh game of the season on Friday night and just a week before the Green and Gold are scheduled to take on the Toronto Argonauts in the Eastern Semi-Final.
While the dismissal of Tillman comes as no real surprise, the fact the organization decided to do it at this moment, is frankly perplexing. Many have questioned the decision making of the former Saskatchewan Roughrider head man, most notably the trading away of future Hall of Fame quarterback Ricky Ray and the acquisition of kicker Brody McKnight for the Eskimos first round pick in the 2013 Draft. But why make the move now?
Eskimos President and CEO Len Rhodes announced Saturday afternoon, that he had "spent considerable time looking at the future direction of this club and did not see Eric as a part of this team moving forward.” He went on to say, “that we will begin our search for a new general manager immediately and hope to have a successor in place by the end of the calendar year.”
Now unless there is some sort of trigger in Tillman's contract, that will see him get some sort of massive payout or extension, if Edmonton were to advance deep into the post season...this move makes absolutely no sense. The only other reasonable possibility, would be the relationship between the GM and the Eskimos hierarchy reaching such a boiling point that they could no longer co-exist. Having said that, even if that were the case, there is no need for the move to be made now. Both sides would need to suck it up...for the sake of the team.
With the club coming off arguably their most impressive performance in weeks and looking as though they might actaully have a legitimate shot at taking out Ray and the Argos in the East Crossover, this new distraction will make Kavis Reed's job of preparing his team for next Sunday's matchup, that much harder to accomplish.
In a season that has been one head scratcher after another in the Alberta capital, should any of us really be surprised? Good luck with keeping everyone focused and ready to go Kavis...you are going to need it.
Rob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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