Matthews here to finalize pact to coach CFL team

February 05, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

Don Matthews arrived in Baltimore yesterday to finalize negotiations on a contract to coach the city's prospective Canadian Football League team next summer.

At least three members of his former staff with the Saskatchewan Roughriders figure to join him later this month if Baltimore is awarded a CFL expansion franchise.

Although Matthews declined to comment on his Baltimore staff, it is expected that defensive coordinator Bob Price, special teams coach Daryl Edralin and offensive line coach Steve Buratto will come with him.

Jim Speros, a Virginia businessman and lead investor in the bid to bring a CFL team here, expects to get a lease to play in Memorial Stadium on Feb. 15. Until then, he's making final preparations.

Those include getting Matthews signed to a three-year contract, with options for three more, selecting a coaching staff and identifying players the team will try to sign.

Speros will formally introduce Matthews as his coach in a news conference Monday.

Once the staff is in place, Matthews said the top priority is to get a quarterback, who also will be the team's franchise player.

One quarterback Matthews might go after is Tracy Ham, a seven-year CFL veteran who played in Toronto in 1993. Ham becomes a free agent Feb. 15.

The team, to be called the Colts, would begin play next July. Is five months enough time to put a team together?

"It sure is," Matthews said. "If you had to go from scratch, it'd be BTC difficult. But we're not starting from scratch. I've done a lot of work in the last month in anticipation of coming here."

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