That excitement has not gone away, it has just been put on hold amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CFL announced this week that training camps have been postponed from the expected May 17 start date.
After he was hired, Milanovich had to finish up with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars before he went full speed with the Eskimos. After he put his coaching staff together, they went to work and created the playbook and the game plan for training camp and he feels that whenever the CFL gets the go-ahead to start, the Eskimos will be ready.
“When the announcement was made we had finished up the playbook , we are scripted for training camp on all three sides of the ball so that kind of stuff is pretty darn near finished and we are ready to send the playbook out and get printed up,” the Eskimos new coach said from Florida.
Milanovich said when he finds out when and how long training camp is, he will make changes. For now, he has moved on to the CFL Canadian draft set for April 30.
“I am into the draft. I have been spending my time the last week or so really studying the draft guys. Now what happens with training camps? If it ends up being shortened, that will change things that we want to prioritize, the most important things we want to get in.”
Milanovich is also spending time getting to know his new team and has set aside one day of the week to reach out to players.
“I try to give guys a call on Fridays. I talked to about 15 or 20 guys last Friday and will call a bunch of guys (tomorrow). I have been in close contact with Trevor but as far reaching out to all the guys, I try to grab guys on Fridays. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s not. You would think everybody was sitting at home waiting for calls but a lot of the time we play phone tag.”
The 47-year-old was last a head coach in the 2016 CFL season with Toronto, where he coached for five years – winning a Grey Cup in 2012.
Milanovich does not know what the 2020 season will look like, but will be ready to go no matter when and no matter how many games will be played.
“I would think that you would want to get eight in so you can play each team once,” he said about the prospects for his first season with the Eskimos.
“Ideally, we want an 18-game season. We want to play but we want to do what’s right for the community and for people to get healthy and the threat to be gone enough that it’s safe for us to do our jobs,” he said.
“But we understand that taking care of the community is going to come first.”