In assessing the debris field in Regina — hypothetically, naturally — John Murphy doesn’t consider the clean-up to be as extensive as people might believe.
“I don’t think it’s a ‘project’,” replied the Calgary Stampeders’ assistant GM/director of player personnel, “and if it was, that to me would be even more reason why people would be interested in a job like that.
“You’re interested not only for the opportunity but the chance to put your mark, your stamp — no pun intended — on the roster.
“There’s a lot of quality players there. Guys who’ve won football games. They’ve suffered through injuries just like we have and games just went a different way. It’s not like they lost 50-0 every week this year. They were in a lot of those games early, the ball and the play went a different way and if it hadn’t they’d be a lot closer to possibly even a .500 record and we probably wouldn’t be holding this scrum.
“You’re not going to walk into an (ideal) situation because no 14-4 team is looking for a general manager.”
In his eighth year with the Stampders’ organization, fifth in the dual role, Murphy is a man in demand.
GM posts don’t materialize often, there’s only nine of them in this league, and it’s best not to dawdle if one present itself. The Riders are interested in him for their vacant general manager post at a key time, trying to rebound from a lamentable 3-15 seasonal stinker.
“Myself and 250,000 other people who live out there are probably interested in that job, probably think they could do it,” he said Monday.
“You have to at least professionally take a look at it and see what they have to say, share your thoughts. The Stampeders organization has been great to me. I have no reason to want to do anything other than remain in the position I have, but they’re set pretty good in those roles.
“So from a professional standpoint, it’s just time to take a look.
“It’s a win-win, either way.”
One thing the Stamps have never been short on over the past number of years is talent. Arguably better than any other CFL franchise, they’ve been able to replenish with quality players, even when an injury plague hits.
Which makes Murphy a sought-after commodity. His current contract with the Stampeders expires Dec. 31st.
“When the first person that offers you an opportunity is Jim Popp. Then Jim Barker and (John) Forzani, (Ted) Hellard and Huff and Lyle (Bauer). To be able to interact with those guys over an eight-year period of time, I would think that by now, ‘ready’ would be a good word for it.
“I really have a good idea of what my plan would be and how to implement it, and it comes from working with those guys.
“It’d be exciting to see how your plan would work out. And all the hard work you’ve put into it, to be the decision-maker rather than the idea-maker.”
A couple of weeks ago Saskatchewan expressed an interest in Murphy’s services through Stamps’ GM John Hufnagel. Murphy has spoken twice over the phone to the Riders, but with Calgary’s season now over, he’ll better be able to gauge the level of interest and they’ll be free to accelerate the courtship.
Right now, says Murphy, the situation is just “phone conversations, going through the process.”
“I’m not actively pursuing anything. If anyone wants to speak to me about something they’re more than welcome to contact Huff. But I would have no reason to be anything pleased with the position I have, other than the latest result.
“It (GM job) is a goal in one sense, but it’s not something I need to achieve to feel comfortable with who I am and what I do.
“I do my role and do it well and if somebody wants to take that and give me an opportunity, it shines well on everyone in this organization.”
And the hardest part of the equation if the fit seems right and the Riders deem him the man to put things right?
“Leaving the Stampeders. Period.”