Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
TrueBlue4ever

The MBB All-time Blue Bomber Team: Defensive Halfbacks

The MBB All-time Blue Bomber Team: Defensive Halfbacks  

26 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Who are the greatest 2 Blue Bomber defensive halfbacks?

    • Juran Bolden
      20
    • Tom Casey
      3
    • Bobby Evans
      0
    • Ken Hailey
      6
    • Jonathan Hefney
      10
    • Gene Lakusiak
      0
    • Maurice Leggett
      2
    • Harold Nash Jr.
      2
    • Vince Phason
      1
    • Ken Ploen
      0
    • Gord Rowland
      3
    • Darryl Sampson
      4
    • Richard Thornton
      0

  • Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.
  • Poll closed on 12/22/18 at 05:59 AM

Recommended Posts

Here are the nominees and bios for the all-time defensive halfback position. Once again, you can vote for 2 nominees.

 

Juran Bolden - 46 games in 4 seasons (1995, 2000-01, 2007), 17 Int., 245 yards, 1 TD, 127 career tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, divisional and CFL all-star 2001 (tied for league lead with 6 interceptions, 61 tackles), Bomber nominee for outstanding defensive player in 2001

 

Tom Casey - 57 games in 4 seasons* (1952-55) (note that he also played a further 26 games in 1950-51, but only on the offensive side of the ball, those accomplishments not to be considered in this debate, he is expected to re-appear in the “running back” and possibly “special teams” polls), 23 Int., 426 yards, 3 TDs, 6 fumble recoveries, 25 yards, 1 TD, 3-time divisional all-star (1953-55) as defensive halfback (also 3-time divisional all-star as a running back 1950-52), led club in Int. in 3 straight seasons (1952-54) and CFL in Int. in 1953 with 7, CFL Hall of Fame

 

Bobby Evans - 89 games in 6 seasons (1990-94, 1996), 20 Int., 215 yards, 1 TD, 7 fumble recoveries, 49 yards, 2 TDs, 8 sacks, 242 tackles, 2 time divisional all-star (1993-94), 1990 Grey Cup champion, 3 Grey Cup appearances

 

Ken Hailey - 110 games in 9 seasons (1983-91), 27 Int. (tied #4 all-time in club history), 483 yards, 2 TDs, 5 fumble recoveries, 7 yards, 1 TD, 161 tackles from 1987-91, 3 time divisional and CFL all-star (1984, 85, 87), led club with 9 Int. for 240 yards and 1 TD in 1984, 3 time Grey Cup Champion (1984, 88, 90)

 

Jonathan Hefney - 60 games in 4 seasons (2009-12), 13 Int., 25 yards, 6 fumble recoveries, 20 yards, 2 sacks, 241 tackles, 3 time divisional and CFLPA all-star (2009, 11, 12), 2 time CFL all-star (2009, 11), Divisional rookie of the year 2009

 

Gene Lakusiak - 102 games in 7 seasons (1968-74), 7 Int., 77 yards, 3 fumble recoveries, divisional all-star 1972 and 1973.

 

Maurice Leggett - 72 games in 5 seasons (2014-18), 16 Int., 432 yards, 4 TDs, 10 fumble recoveries, 24 yards, 12 sacks, 257 tackles, tied for CFL lead with 7 Int. in 2016 (for 262 yards and 3 TDs) and 3 fumble recoveries in 2017, divisional all-star 2016, CFLPA all-star 2016 and 2017 *(both seasons as a linebacker), team nominee for outstanding defensive player 2014 and 2016

 

Harold Nash Jr. - 77 games in 5 seasons (1999-2003), 12 Int., 239 yards, 2 TDs, 8 fumble recoveries, 70 yards, 2 TDs, 196 tackles, divisional all-star 2001 and 2002, CFL and CFLPA all-star 2001
 

Vince Phason - 107 games in 7 seasons (1976-82), 21 Int., 370 yards, 1 TD, 6 fumble recoveries, 23 yards, led club in Int. in 1981 and 1982 (6 each season), divisional and CFL all-star 1982, team nominee for outstanding defensive player in 1978

 

Ken Ploen - 58 games in 4 seasons* (note that he also played a further 98 games in 1961-67, but only on the offensive side of the ball, those accomplishments not to be considered in this debate, he will re-appear in the “quarterback” poll), 17 Int. 216 yards, 3 fumble recoveries, 33 yards, led CFL with 10 Int. in 1959, 1959 divisional all-star as a defensive halfback, CFL Hall of Fame, 4 time Grey Cup Champion (1958-59, 1961-62)

 

Gord Rowland - 163 games in 11 seasons (1954-64), 31 Int. #3 all-time in club history), 395 yards, 4 TDs, 9 fumble recoveries, 52 yards, 1 TD, 5 time divisional all-star (1957-58, 1960-62), 4 time divisional all-star game (1955-58), 2 time CFL all-star (1958, 1962), West nominee for outstanding Canadian 1958, 4 time Grey Cup champion (1958-59, 1961-62)

 

Darryl Sampson - 161 games in 10 seasons (1986-95), 21 Int., 301 yards, 1 TD, 11 fumble recoveries, 66 yards, 2 TDs, 227 tackles recorded from 1991-95, 5 sacks, divisional and CFL all-star 1993, 2 time Grey Cup Champion (1988, 1990), 4 Grey Cup appearances (1988, 90, 92, 93)

 

D-I-c-k Thornton - 69 games in 6 seasons (1961-66), 13 Int., 358 yards, 4 TDs, 6 fumble recoveries, 98 yards, 1 TD, 3 time divisional all-star (1962, 1963, 1965) and 2 time CFL all-star (1963, 1965), 2 time Grey Cup Champion (1961, 1962)

Edited by TrueBlue4ever

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One man's take:

Lots of choices here, some very solid players, but not quite the all-world pedigree or name recognition of other positions. Should make for more varied voting and lots of personal preferences. My analysis -

Lakusiak - next

Bobby Evans - some very nice numbers, quiet solid performer, but never mentioned in the Bomber greats discussions. Pass.

Nash Jr., Phason - both at times were the best on the team, but never had the "wow" impact of an all-timer

Darryl Sampson -same as Evans, Nash and Phason, very solid, fairly dependable, but never took his game to all-world levels. Bonus points for being a ratio-breaker (and teaching me that "non-import" in the CFL refers to any player who was not US born or trained. Who knew that Trinidad and Tobago also meant "Canadian"?

Ken Ploen - hard to overlook his outstanding 1959 year, but let's face it, this is not the category to debate his all-time greatness in.

D-I-c-k Thornton - OK, just the fact that I have to hyphenate his first name to get past the board censors should disqualify him. Actually, his name recognition and reputation may be higher than his actual achievements, but he did as much in Toronto as in Winnipeg, so that boosts his profile and maybe makes me biased against him. But he is out too.

Now the choices that will start upsetting people:

Jonathan Hefney - "little brother" to Jovon Johnson who kind of played in that shadow as well. Certainly some nice numbers and accolades, but his personality may be bigger than his overall greatness. In my mind, not as "all-time" as others on this list. May get more votes due to "recency bias", so I implore people to dig deeper when considering these options and not overlook the old-timers.

Maurice Leggett - The single best Bomber defender for most of his tenure here, but not a true halfback. His defining moments came as a hybrid linebacker, so for me that knocks him down a peg. Half his numbers come from one monster season at linebacker, and surprisingly never made all-CFL (which speaks well of the CFLPA all-star team, this year's player choices sully that honour, though)

Juran Bolden - His 2001 season is one for the ages, and I am hard-pressed to think of another halfback (although he was really a "rover") who forced teams to change their offences to avoid him. Amazingly, was not even the West defensive nominee, much less the overall winner for defensive MOP that year. And take away take revelatory year, and he may not have the overall mileage to be considered "the best of all-time". If we are going to consider longevity as a significant factor (the Bob Cameron debate upcoming later), then Bolden loses points in this group.

My top 3, in no particular order, as I am still deciding who to cut from this trio. I told you you'd be surprised by my choices

Tom Casey - this seems so unfair because I defy anyone to find an overall greater athlete for any era who has worn the Blue and Gold. Running back, passer, punter, punt and kick returner, and defensive back, and an all-star at multiple positions. He absolutely needs to be somewhere on this team, but was he the greatest ever at any of those positions? He may be better known as a running back, but his best shot at the team comes here, and he certainly had the numbers to back up his candidacy. One of only two Hall of Famers in this group. Plus, I have a soft spot for a man who went to medical school in Manitoba with my father 66 years ago.

Ken Hailey - I am the generation of Bomber fan who grew up in the 1980's, so the 1984 team is the one that made me fall in love with football and the Bombers. Even then, when I talk about the best players from that team, I think Clements, Reaves, Murphy, Jones, Poplawski, House, Boyd, Brown. So this name may not at all be familiar with the generation  who was weaned on the 2001 team as their zenith, but take a hard look at his achievements, and you are hard-pressed to say he does not belong at the top of this list. Stats are for losers they say, but how else to judge players over time against others (want to debate Gretzky vs. Orr, look at their numbers compared to each other and to their peers in the same positions over that era to truly appreciate how much better they were than anyone else). #2 in total INTs, games played and seasons on this list, #1 in yardage. One of only 2 players here with 3 Grey Cup rings, and no one had more CFL all-star nods. This guy was glue in that secondary, no hype, just a special player. And absolutely deserving of an "all-time" selection.

Gord Rowland - Never saw him play, but I have heard whispers of the name, which is an achievement in the era of Ploen, Leo Lewis, Herb Grey, Tom Casey and the like. And those numbers are unparalleled (31 INTs!) and his recognition amongst his peers and awards puts him a step above. Listed as a "cover linebacker" which I suppose was the 1960's equivalent of today's SAM linebacker, who is a glorified defensive back covering running backs and fifth receivers. Don't have sack or tackle stats from that era, so I wish I could give a more complete analysis, but no one has more total all-star nods or Grey Cup rings.

 

Edited by TrueBlue4ever

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Noeller said:

This one is Bolden and then who do you alwanr as your second choice. I think the voting will be split, so I tossed a vote to Hefney. He was a huge part of one of the best defenses of all time. 

Wow, and I thought I spewed hyperbole. Which defence is that exactly? When I think of all-time great Bomber defences, I think 1984, 87, 88 (at least the playoffs) and 1990 as the best ever. Nothing from 2009-12 stands out for me as "best ever".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Noeller said:

Juran Bolden was a freak, all-world, NFL talent.... We were just in a fluke situation where we could have him for a brief period. Just like Mike Sellers. They're unquestioned locks. 

Just remember that one of my criteria was that only his Blue Bomber achievements should be considered a.k.a the "Geroy Simon" rule. Otherwise I'll just award the punter spot to Jon Ryan and tell Bob Cameron "thanks, now go back to renovating houses".

Edited by TrueBlue4ever

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, TrueBlue4ever said:

Wow, and I thought I spewed hyperbole. Which defence is that exactly? When I think of all-time great Bomber defences, I think 1984, 87, 88 (at least the playoffs) and 1990 as the best ever. Nothing from 2009-12 stands out for me as "best ever".

The 2001 defense was pretty damned good. I dunno where it ranks all time but they were ******* good and Juran Bolden was a massive part of that. 

 

43 minutes ago, TrueBlue4ever said:

Just remember that one of my criteria was that only his Blue Bomber achievements should be considered a.k.a the "Geroy Simon" rule. Otherwise I'll just award the punter spot to Jon Ryan and tell Bob Cameron "thanks, now go back to renovating houses".

Don't sell Cameron short just cause Jon Ryan kicked the ball into the movie theatre across the street. Cameron could drop the ball just where he wanted it. It'd like saying Michael Bishop was a better qb than Khari Jones because Bishop had an arm like no other. 

 

 

Now I dunno where Bolden compares to other all time DBs cause there's a lot that I just don't remember well enough, but the guy was never bad here. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, 17to85 said:

Don't sell Cameron short just cause Jon Ryan kicked the ball into the movie theatre across the street. Cameron could drop the ball just where he wanted it. It'd like saying Michael Bishop was a better qb than Khari Jones because Bishop had an arm like no other. 

Sure, but you don't punt in the NFL for 10 years just cuz you have a strong leg... My vote (when we get to that) is still Bob... but based on pure talent, Jon is right up there... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jon is, without question, a far better punter than Bob ever was, and that's coming from a MASSIVE Bob Cameron fan.....having said that, I likely vote for Bob because JR wasn't around long enough, plus the 88 GC.... Maybe the single greatest CFL playoff punting display. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Noeller said:

Jon is, without question, a far better punter than Bob ever was, and that's coming from a MASSIVE Bob Cameron fan.....having said that, I likely vote for Bob because JR wasn't around long enough, plus the 88 GC.... Maybe the single greatest CFL playoff punting display. 

And probably the best into-the-wind punter ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, TrueBlue4ever said:

Tom Casey - 57 games in 4 seasons* (1952-55) (note that he also played a further 26 games in 1950-51, but only on the offensive side of the ball, those accomplishments not to be considered in this debate, he is expected to re-appear in the “running back” and possibly “special teams” polls), 23 Int., 426 yards, 3 TDs, 6 fumble recoveries, 25 yards, 1 TD, 3-time divisional all-star (1953-55) as defensive halfback (also 3-time divisional all-star as a running back 1950-52), led club in Int. in 3 straight seasons (1952-54) and CFL in Int. in 1953 with 7, CFL Hall of Fame

Tom Casey was a starter on defence for his entire Blue Bombers career (1950-1955).

He had 3 all-star nominations at DHB (1953-1955) and 3 more at halfback (1950-1952). It should be noted that the WIFU did not award defensive all-stars until the 1953 season. Up until 1952, the WIFU named 1st and 2nd all-star teams based on the offensive position.

Official stats show Casey with 23 interceptions. The WIFU did not record interceptions until the 1952 season. Based on newspaper accounts, Casey had at least 10 interceptions in 1950 and at least 1 in 1951. That would give Casey a career total of at least 34 interceptions which is good for 2nd all-time on the Blue Bombers list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not discounting Casey's efforts as a DB but he was better known as an offensive halfback & returner.  He rushed for 2,104 yards from 1950-55.  During that time he caught  91 passes for 1,621 yards. He scored 41 touchdowns.  A great all around athlete he also returned 147 punts for 1,253 yards & an 8.5 yard average with no touchdowns. He also returned 28 kickoffs for 705 yards, 1 touchdown & a 25.2 return average. Imagine how great he would have been if he was able to play on one side of the ball only? I'm sure the poor guy was sucking wind by the 4th quarter.

 

Edited by SpeedFlex27

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Jesse said:

I just can’t get behind voting for Bolden as an all time great. One good season doesn’t do it for me.

I'm surprised Hefney is doing as well as he is. Wasn't even the best defensive player on his own team when he was here. Don't see him as one the the two best halfbacks all-time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, TrueBlue4ever said:

I'm surprised Hefney is doing as well as he is. Wasn't even the best defensive player on his own team when he was here. Don't see him as one the the two best halfbacks all-time.

Most fans here haven't seen the older player actually play so I'm not surprised.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Noeller said:

Always felt Hefney was better than Jovon but Jovon got the love. If vote Hef over him every time. 

Hef’s 2011 season was better than Jovon’s. JJ got some media love for getting an INT in every secondary position that year because we had to move around so much due to injury.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Jesse said:

Hef’s 2011 season was better than Jovon’s. JJ got some media love for getting an INT in every secondary position that year because we had to move around so much due to injury.

the return stats certainly didn't hurt his case either... but I always believed that Hefney was the better player when they were both in their prime...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Jesse said:

Hef’s 2011 season was better than Jovon’s. JJ got some media love for getting an INT in every secondary position that year because we had to move around so much due to injury.

Jovon was also much more bombastic and thus got a lot of media attention, so that made him a lot more prominent. Hefney just went about his business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2018-12-17 at 1:15 PM, TrueBlue4ever said:

But the return stats are not supposed to be considered in this vote.

I meant as far as getting all the attention and DMOP nomination and such in2011... nothing to do with the vote...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...