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Mack a good hire in Winnipeg Add to ...

So while I was away last week in Spokane covering the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, a few stones got rolled into place in the run-up to this coming CFL season.

Brendan Taman got hired as GM in Saskatchewan.

Joe Mack became the new senior football executive in Winnipeg.

Taman is well known from his time in the league over the past two decades, which includes a long run as general manager in Winnipeg that ended at the end of the 2008 season.

But Mack, to most CFL fans, is a bit of a mystery.

Fans may have already noticed that Mack is a consummate pro, someone who comes across as having seen it all, but not in an arrogant sort of way. In other words, he comes across much differently than Mike Kelly did, which is no doubt part of why he was so appealing to the Bombers.

It's true he's had 22 years between stints in the CFL, but it's not as if he hasn't followed the league or kept up his contacts on this side of the border. He may not be a well-known name among fans, but people across the league certainly know who he is.

But Joe Mack could also be vital to the CFL in its search to find a comfortable existence with the National Football League.

Mack's experience as an NFL executive with three teams, including a league-appointed position in Cleveland, means he is respected and connected at the highest levels of NFL administration.

The CFL hasn't had someone like that since the late Bob Ackles passed away, someone whom the NFL knows and respects and who could be potentially influential on all kinds of sensitive matters between the two leagues.

The CFL right now has no working agreement with the NFL. And sooner or later, the Toronto NFL discussion is going to surface again. It helps the CFL to have all the expertise possible to deal with the NFL on any and all potentially important issues.

Which is why Joe Mack is not just a good hire for the Bombers, but potentially for the CFL as well.

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