Walters named acting GM of Blue Bombers

Kyle Walters knew there was a problem. He heard the complaints and confusion from jilted Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterbacks Justin Goltz and Buck Pierce after Monday’s practice and the criticism of the decision to make Max Hall the club’s new starter. When Walters was named acting general manager

WINNIPEG — Kyle Walters knew there was a problem.

He heard the complaints and confusion from jilted Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterbacks Justin Goltz and Buck Pierce after Monday’s practice and the criticism of the decision to make Max Hall the club’s new starter. When Walters was named acting general manager Tuesday, those comments exemplified exactly what he feels needs to change within the organization.

“That will not happen,” Walters said at his introductory news conference. “The way you stop that from happening is be open and honest.

“I was a former player, I was a former head coach. You look players in the eye, you tell them matter-of-fact, ’This is where you fit in, this is why.’ Players don’t necessarily have to agree or like the news but I’ve found they respect and accept their roles and buy in and that’s what needs to happen.”

Walters promised better internal communication amid the turmoil of Winnipeg’s 1-5 start and firing of GM Joe Mack and CEO Garth Buchko. That includes “having much more open lines of communication” with coach Tim Burke.

“All the decisions moving forward will be a collaborative effort,” Walters said. “As a whole organizational infrastructure from top to bottom we will be much more open with our communication, keeping everybody in the loop on all decisions.”

In theory, that also means a collaborative effort in setting the depth chart. Walters said Burke has the authority to do that and change it as he sees fit.

Walters’ immediate focus is to maintain the normal course of football operations. That includes communicating with U.S. scouts, working on extensions for impending free agents and preparing for the off-season and December dispersal draft.

“Just make sure that things continue to run smoothly in our organization is what my main objective is short-term,” he said.

Whether Walters, a former head coach of the Guelph Gryphons, is around longterm to run the Blue Bombers’ football operation remains to be seen. Acting CEO Wade Miller expressed confidence in Walters’ ability to know the team and its inner workings but made no promises he’ll be the GM beyond this season.

“We’re still going to look at the end of the year to find and make sure we do an exhaustive search for a general manager, and Kyle will definitely be one of the top candidates for that role,” Miller said. “No matter where we go with that search, he will be part of this organization going forward and start providing some stability to the football operations.”

Walters had served as Winnipeg’s assistant GM after spending three years on the coaching staff. He won a Grey Cup as a safety with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999.

Miller said the football decisions would be made by Walters and Burke, explaining that the demarcation of duties was an ongoing process.

“This is a change that this organization’s going through where we actually work together and proper people are making the right decisions now in charge of players, who’s playing each week, and we’re getting to that process of getting the roles defined where we can all work together,” Miller said.

Ideally, more defined roles will keep issues like Monday’s confusing quarterback upheaval to a minimum. Goltz said the situation was “poorly managed” and that he felt betrayed while Pierce said “a lot of people (in the organization) are making decisions very quickly.”

Walters insisted he spoke with players to iron out the problem.

“From a management standpoint, yes, my concern was that it appeared as though the communication at some level was not where it needed to be and that’s been addressed and fixed today,” he said. “I can assure you of that.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels winger Arshdeep Bains had two assists in the first period Monday against the Lethbridge Hurricanes in WHL action in Lethbridge. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Hurricanes hand Red Deer Rebels ninth straight loss

Hurricanes 5 Rebels 2 (Saturday) Hurricanes 8 Rebels 5 (Monday) The goals… Continue reading

Red Deer City Hall. (File photo)
Red Deerians will see a slight tax increase, but the municipal portion is at zero per cent

The provincial educational requisition went up by about half a per cent

The length of grass on people’s lawns could be part of the new Community Standards bylaw being considered by Red Deer city council. (Black Press file photo).
Loitering, noise complaints, swearing covered in proposed bylaw

A few old rules could be dropped and new rules added

Sweden skip Niklas Edin makes a shot against Scotland in the Men's World Curling Championship gold medal final in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, April 11, 2021. Curling's Humpty's Champions Cup in Calgary has been pushed back a day due to the delayed finish of the men's world championship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Start of Humpty’s Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID scare

New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 12, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Higashioka and Cole help Yankees beat Blue Jays 3-1

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

Alberta doctors say trust must be rebuilt after proposed new labour deal rejected

People line up in the rain for a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up clinic at the Masjid Darus Salaam in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood in Toronto on Sunday, April 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Provinces defend health restrictions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise

Provinces defend health restrictions as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta legislature Speaker apologizes for condemning new COVID health restrictions

Alberta legislature Speaker apologizes for condemning new COVID health restrictions

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

Most Read