April 9, 2014, REGINA (ISN) – Brendan Taman and Corey Chamblin are now tied at the hip. Taman, the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ general manager, signed an extension that keeps him under contract with the CFL club through the 2017 season. Last month, Taman re-signed Chamblin as the club’s head coach for the next four seasons.
“Corey Chamblin is a big part of making me look good,” Taman told reporters Wednesday. “I had a lot of faith in him when we hired him and he continues to show that.”
However, Taman also received a promotion, adding the title of vice-president of football operations to his job description.
“I’m excited about this,” said Jim Hopson, the Riders’ president and chief executive officer. “I think we have a good team, a good organization and we’ve got some people who are very important to making us a good organization and Brendan is one of them.
“We need continuity so with Brendan and Corey under contract through 2017 I feel really good as I look to the future.”
Chamblin guided the Riders to a Grey Cup title last year, just his second with the CFL club. Taman certainly did his part, not only hiring Chamblin as head coach in 2012 but strengthening Saskatchewan’s ’13 roster by acquiring slotback Geroy Simon — the league’s all-time leading receiver — from the B.C. Lions, hiring George Cortez as offensive co-ordinator and dipping into free agency to add such proven veterans as defensive linemen Ricky Foley and John Chick and defensive back Dwight Anderson.
Saskatchewan finished second in the West Division with an 11-7 record — Calgary was first with a league-best 14-4 record — before downing B.C. 29-26 in the conference semifinal. That set up a showdown with the Stampeders at McMahon Stadium that the Riders won 35-13.
Saskatchewan capped its season to remember by beating Hamilton 45-23 before a rabid Mosaic Stadium gathering of 44,710. It was the Riders’ fourth Grey Cup title but first one on home soil as well as being Taman’s first CFL championship.
“Last year was obviously a pretty special year, that’s not a secret for anybody,” Taman said. “I was in the boardroom (Tuesday) and looked at our Grey Cups on the wall and I went from ’66 to ’89 to ’07 to ’13.
“There’s 23-year gap from the first (to second), then there’s 18 years and then there’s six years. My goal this year is to make that less than six and ideally that would be one if we can do it.
“Everyone has the notion that we went all-in last year and were very aggressive and that’s very true. But this year is no different. We’re driven to win in this business and this organization has been very successful over the last while and we’re going to continue to strive to do that.”
Taman, a native of Saskatoon, has been the Riders’ general manager since 2010 and his previous deal was set to expire following the 2015 campaign.
“Obviously it’s a real special day for me to do this,” Taman said. “I wanted to be here for a while and in this business that’s not always the easiest thing to do.
“Any good organization has sound, consistent relationships at the top. Jim is a great leader, we have a really good relationship, we have an open dialogue all the time. He’s a huge part of our success in this whole organization.”
Taman also praised the work of player-personnel director Craig Smith, football research and development co-ordinator Terry Baskier and assistant GM Jeremy O’Day. Taman went so far as to say O’Day — a former Riders offensive lineman — will be a CFL general manager one day.
“I’m so fortunate to work with him,” Taman said. “He’s such a bright guy.
“He brings a lot to the table and puts me in a good light because of how good he is.”