WINNIPEG - It's a move that sent shockwaves through the CFL, but Winnipeg Blue Bombers slotback Milt Stegall isn't the least bit surprised to see Don Matthews back coaching the Toronto Argonauts.
"I think that's a PR move," said Stegall, who has seen plenty of wacky things during his 14-year CFL career. "Who knows if the NFL is going to come in here and take over so they want to get a face in there, somebody's who's going to bring some enthusiasm and excitement back to Toronto and he can definitely do it."
Matthews takes over for Rich Stubler, who had led Toronto to just four wins in its opening 10 games of the year. Still, that's good enough to leave the Argos second in the East Division, four points ahead of both Winnipeg and Hamilton, who are tied with identical 2-8 records.
Matthews is also the CFL's winningest head coach with 231 career victories and he's expected to help reverse the fortunes of the struggling Argos. But with the Bombers facing Toronto at Rogers Centre on Friday night in a big game for both teams, Stegall is hoping Matthews' winning ways don't rub off immediately on the Double Blue.
"He's the most winningest coach in CFL history so you know he's going to make things happen," said Stegall, who comes into Friday's game needing 16 yards to tie Allen Pitts' CFL career receiving yardage record. "Him and Mike (Pinball) Clemons have a great relationship and I want to tell some of those guys on Toronto, those players, you better stay on your p's and q's and get things going because Don Matthews don't mess around. He'll make changes.
"Hopefully after this game, we put a whipping on them and he has to make a lot of changes - that's going to be my plan."
It's been a tough week on CFL coaches as on Monday the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-8) fired head coach Charlie Taaffe and promoted offensive co-ordinator Marcel Bellefeuille to the top job on an interim basis.
With Winnipeg also struggling there could be questions regarding the longterm security of Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry's job.
Last week, the Bombers traded Charles Roberts, their career rushing leader, to B.C. for Joe Smith, the CFL's top rusher last year. Then on Monday night, the club worked out a deal to send defensive end Tom Canada and the rights to defensive lineman Corey Mace to Hamilton for linebacker Zeke Moreno.
But later Monday night, it was discovered that Canada has an enlarged spleen so the compensation for Moreno, who has arrived in Winnipeg, is still being working out.
"I don't think about coach Berry's future," Stegall said. "What about Milt Stegall's future?
"That's what I need to be concerned with, Milt Stegall's future. It's unfortunate that we control coach Berry's future. I don't know if coach Berry's thinking about his future or not, but in this game you think day-to-day.
"You can't worry about tomorrow because you don't what tomorrow is going to bring."