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Campbell on Lions’ front office: ‘We have a lot of pieces of the puzzle in place’

TORONTO — BC Lions head coach Rick Campbell found out the news that Ed Hervey would be stepping down from his position as general manager at about the same time that everyone else in the CFL world did.

The news broke that Hervey would be leaving the organization last Friday afternoon. Campbell was told just a few hours earlier.

“It was really surprising actually. (I) just learned about it last Friday morning,” Campbell told Donnovan Bennett on this week’s episode of The Waggle presented by Sport Clips. “I’m not going to get into his personal stuff obviously, but he just had some stuff where he needed to step back for a bit.

“I really like working with Ed and he’s actually my friend. I’ve known him for a long time way back to when he was playing in Edmonton so it was quite shocking. We’re definitely going to miss him. My first question to him was to him was he doing okay personally and all that and he assured me that he was, so that’s good.”

The Lions are now without a general manager during this unprecedented off-season, but according to Campbell, the team is in a good spot. With the 2020 season cancelled due to COVID-19, the extended time off has been quiet and the Lions’ front office is filled with many people who have CFL experience.

“From Rick LeLacheur, who’s our president, he knows the CFL and how it operates really well,” said Campbell. “I know it really well. I fulfilled a lot of different roles in my career and so I know the league, I know the players, I know how it operates. (Director of Football Operations) Neil McEvoy’s another guy that’s in this building that’s been here for a long time and again knows this CFL. Then the guys in our personnel department with guys like (Director of Global Scouting and US Regional Scout) Geroy Simon and (Director of Player Personnel and Player Development) Torey Hunter and (Director of Canadian Scouting and CFL Draft Coordinator) Rob Ralph.

“We have a whole crew of guys, again, that have all been in this league so we won’t miss a beat for right now because everybody still working and doing their thing. We have a full coaching staff so we’re going to still carry out all our duties like we normally would and then it gives us also some time to reflect and make sure we do whatever we want to do going forward to make sure we give ourselves the best chance in 2021. We have a lot of pieces of the puzzle in place. It’s not like we’re a bunch of new people here so (we’re) going to miss Ed but we’re definitely carrying on right now and then will keep evaluating as we go forward.”

Campbell and the Lions met as a team about a month ago over a video conference call. He used the time to check in with his players to ensure that they’re taking care of not only their bodies but also their mental states so they’re fully prepared when football returns.

“(It was) about taking care of yourself,” said Campbell, explaining what he said to his players on the Zoom meeting. “I think that seems like an easy thing to do but it can be hard sometimes. I meant that mentally and physically as that they need to take care of themselves, their families, whatever they need to do from that standpoint. I also think you need to have some patience. You can’t be wound up and ready to go for next season in October. You kind of have to pace yourself.”


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