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TrueBlue4ever

The MBB All-time Blue Bomber Team: Defensive Tackles

The MBB All-time Blue Bomber Team: Defensive Tackles  

27 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Who are the greatest defensive tackles in Blue Bomber history? (pick 2)

    • Doug Brown
      27
    • Joe Critchlow
      0
    • Joe Fleming
      0
    • Denny Fortney
      1
    • John Helton
      5
    • D-i-c-k Huffman
      1
    • Stan Mikawos
      17
    • Steve Patrick
      0
    • Robert "Buddy" Tinsley
      2
    • Bryant Turner Jr.
      1

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  • Poll closed on 01/26/19 at 05:59 AM

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Choose 2. Here are the bios:

Doug Brown – 188 games in 11 seasons (2001-11), 11 fumble recoveries, 24 yards, 1 TD, 426 tackles, 52 sacks, 8 time divisional all-star (2001, 02, 06-11), 7 time CFL all-star (2001, 02, 06-10), 6 time CFLPA all-star (2006-10), 8 time team nominee for Most Outstanding Canadian (2001, 02, 04, 06-10), 2 time Eastern Division Most Outstanding Canadian (2001, 07), 2001 CFL Most Outstanding Canadian, 3 time team nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player (2004, 08, 09), 2008 East Division Most Outstanding Defensive Player, 2008 team nominee for Most Outstanding Player, 3 Grey Cup appearances (2001, 07, 11), CFL Hall of Fame

 

Joe Critchlow – 80 games in 5 seasons (1969-73), 1 Int., 2 yards, 3 fumble recoveries, 0 yards, no tackle or sack stats available, 1972 divisional all-star

 

Joe Fleming – 49 games in 4 seasons (1998, 99, 2004, 05), 1 fumble recovery, 0 yards, 101 tackles, 24 sacks, 2 time divisional and CFLPA all-star (1998, 2004* - season split with Calgary), 1998 CFL all-star, 1998 team nominee Most Outstanding Defensive Player (15 sacks that year)

 

Denny Fortney – 56 games in 4 seasons (2001-04), 1 Int., 3 yards, 6 fumble recoveries, 4 yards, 90 tackles, 8 sacks, 2002 divisional and CFL all-star, 2002 team nominee Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Grey Cup appearance in 2001

 

John Helton – 61 games in 4 seasons (1979-82), 6 fumble recoveries, 5 yards, no tackle stats available, 16 sacks from 1981-82 (no other yearly stats available), 3 time divisional all-star (1979, 81, 82), 2 time CFL all-star (1979, 82),  team nominee for Most Outstanding Player 1979, 2 time team nominee for Most Outstanding Defensive Player (1979, 80), 1979 West Division Most Outstanding Defensive Player, 1979 Tom Pate Memorial Award (community service), CFL Hall of Fame

 

D-i-c-k Huffman – 58 games in 5 seasons (1951-55), 4 fumble recoveries, 0 yards, no tackle or sack stats available, 3 time defensive divisional all-star (1953-55), also divisional all-star on offence (1952 and 1954) and 2nd team all-star in 1951, 1954 team nominee for outstanding player, 1953 Grey Cup appearance, CFL Hall of Fame

 

Stan Mikawos – 220 games (#4 all-time on the club) in 15 seasons (1982-96), 2 Int., 28 yards, 14 fumble recoveries, 5 yards, 226 tackles from 1987-96, 32.5 sacks, 1993 divisional all-star, 3 time Grey Cup champion (1984, 88, 90), 5 Grey Cup appearances (1984, 88, 90, 92, 93)

 

Steve Patrick – 172 games in 13 seasons (1952-64), 13 fumble recoveries, 41 yards, no tackle or sack stats available, 2 time divisional all-star (1958, 59), 1958 team nominee Most Outstanding Lineman, 1959 team nominee Most Outstanding Canadian, 4 time Grey Cup champion (1958, 59, 61, 62), 6 Grey Cup appearances (1953, 57-59, 61, 62)

 

Robert “Buddy” Tinsley – 171 games in 11 seasons (1950-60), 2 Int., 21 yards, 5 fumble recoveries, 4 yards, no tackle or sack stats available, 2 time defensive divisional all-star (1957, 58), also 5 time all-star as offensive lineman, 2 time Grey Cup champion (1958, 59), 5 Grey Cup appearances (1950, 53, 57-59), CFL Hall of Fame

 

Bryant Turner Jr. – 71 games in 5 seasons (2011-15), 2 fumble recoveries, 5 yards, 89 tackles, 26 sacks, 2012 CFL all-star, 2 time divisional all-star (2012, 13) 2 time CFLPA all-star (2013, 14), 2011 Grey Cup appearance

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Had to think about this. Doug Brown is a given. But the second player?? I considered Joe Fleming as well as John Helton but those 2 players really made their names as Stampeders not as Blue Bombers. Then there was Stan Mikawos, a local boy who had a distinguished career as a Blue Bomber with 2 Grey Cup victories on his resume. I had nominated Joe Critchlow who was an outstanding DT in his own right but in the end I had to vote for 2 HOFers in Brown & Buddy Tinsley.

Edited by SpeedFlex27

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One man's take:

Doug Brown is the easy top choice here. All-time CFL great, and as pointed out arguably the greatest defensive tackle in CFL history. I think we banned Nasty Nate as much for saying Brown was nothing more than a slow moving, bull rushing gap-filler than for any of his other indiscretions.

As for who lines up beside him, well......

My also-rans:

Joe Critchlow - sorry, Speedflex, know you have an affinity for the 1970's players, but he does not measure up to the others when considering all-time best. Limited numbers and league recognition for all-star noms and awards.

Bryant Turner Jr. - same analysis as Critchlow, just advance 40 years. Not a big enough body of work or notable numbers or awards to merit "all-time" consideration.

Joe Fleming - the best of a bad bunch in the late '90's, but the pinnacle of his career came in Calgary between his 2 Bomber stints, and limited games with the Blue and Gold, so not a top 2 candidate, despite a ridiculous 15 sack performance as an interior defensive lineman in 1998.

Denny Fortney - might be neat to see the other "twin tower" who played next to Brown get the all-timer spot beside him, but there are better candidates on this list. put him in with Critchlow and Turner for comparables

The incomplete selection:

Steve Patrick - Big longevity, played in the golden era of Bomber football history, and the rings. Lack of available tackle and sack stats hurt his comparison to the others. Unfortunately, his Hall of Fame bio for the Blue Bombers focuses as much on his political career as his playing days and does not give any huge accolades, so he falls short of the grade for me. Anyone with more knowledge of him, please fill in the gaps.

The "should be picked, but not here" category:

Buddy Tinsley - an all-time Bomber great, made the 75th anniversary team, and a brilliant 2 way player. Very good as a d-lineman as his 2 all-star noms suggest, but he really was more renowned as an offensive lineman, so I will place him in that category and more carefully scrutinize him later. 

My 3 candidates - hard to pick from this list, each has merit to be selected, and knocks against them. I will list pros and cons rather than rank them.

The "Gretzky in LA" template: John Helton - He is Brown's competition for greatest all-time defensive tackle in CFL history, but he is known as a Stampeder great first. His unreal career there makes his Bomber achievements seem like an afterthought. If this was about his whole body of work and the fact he was a Blue Bomber, for part of it, he is a no-brainer for this list. But this team is about Blue Bomber achievements only devoid of success elsewhere (the Geroy Simon corollary), so it is a much tougher call. Still, despite limited time with the team and only partial stats that hurt his comparibles, his first few years with the team were fantastic and helped rebuild the defence to the powerhouse it would become in the 1980's.

The career man: Stan Mikawos - the most tenured member of this group, #4 all-time in Bomber games played behind only Walby, Westwood and Cameron. Limited league recognition, more team success than individual glory (with the huge exception of that fumble recovery touchdown in the 1984 Grey Cup, which was in fact the winning score in that game, and a fine time to score your only career CFL touchdown). Not as flashy as the others, played the nose tackle position like Nasty Nate defined it - a gap plugger who tied up 2 o-linemen and let others get the path to the QB. Because of that style, he is easily overlooked and under appreciated by anyone who isn't a teammate. But you don't knock heads for a decade and a half at that position without some serious talent.

The two-way threat: D-i-c-k Huffman - I think his CFL Hall of Fame bio sums it up best: "Sports reports suggested that enemy quarterbacks simply ran their plays away from D-i-c-k Huffman" so any player who individually forces an offence to change their schemes is an all-timer. He also has the distinction of being the rare player who was a CFL all-star on offence and defence in the same year. Again, lack of stats from that era make a one-on-one numbers comparison tough. More all-star noms than the other 2, but that includes his offensive noms. 

In the end, your choice probably comes down to what you place the greatest value in. Mikawos was a rock and helped others excel, but not flashy or "the man". Helton was the veteran presence who starred in the twilight of his Hall of fame career, but was not the supernova he was earlier on another team, when he was just a man against boys. And Huffman was a star, but at multiple positions and in a different era when the game was fundamentally different and players were not as athletically gifted as the freak specimens they are today. I lean towards Helton personally, as at his best he was still a superstar, but I say that having never seen Huffman play. Coin flip here.

 

 

Edited by TrueBlue4ever

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It came down to me between Buddy Tinsley & Stan Mikawos. I went with the HOFer as it separated the 2 in my mind. You said a guy like D I c k Huffman doesn't deserve the award because he played in an era of smaller, less athletic & slower players then why even nominate players from the 50's & earlier? Just make it the past 30-40 years & be done with it. You are too quick to dismiss these players as non factors. The only thing that makes them non factors is the fact no one here ever saw them play.  Again, just responding to your comments.

Edited by SpeedFlex27

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To be honest, Id put the all-time team in a 3-4 alignment. We've got a killer nose tackle, and 3-4 jack pass rusher and a glut at LBer. my 2c.

I feel like Fortney is a guy who played at a stellar level but isn't easily quantifiable with stats.  I think this is also the nature of DL men. Some guys explode off the stat sheet, while others dominate without stats.

Also, averaging over 17 games per year for 11 straight years with 426 tackles and 52 sacks for a dt that mostly played on the nose, and was abnormally tall, lean and athletic is unreal. This was prior to the next generation big athlete being commonplace. As incredible a person as a player, and every bit as smart on and off the field too. Truly one of the most exceptional people and players in history. 

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24 minutes ago, wbbfan said:

 

Also, averaging over 17 games per year for 11 straight years with 426 tackles and 52 sacks for a dt that mostly played on the nose, and was abnormally tall, lean and athletic is unreal. This was prior to the next generation big athlete being commonplace. As incredible a person as a player, and every bit as smart on and off the field too. Truly one of the most exceptional people and players in history. 

Holy crap, I did not know that you were Doug Brown posting here this whole time!! 

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My first impulse after Brown was Fleming because that guy was like a Terrance Edwards, a lonely legit CFL player who shone on some really really bad no-hope teams.

But I think my non-Brown pick is Mikawos, he was a fixture during the glory days, especially in 1990 when our defence was freaking unreal. That doesn't happen without a real good push up the middle.

Edited by johnzo

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