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TrueBlue4ever

The MBB All-Time Blue Bomber Team - Offensive Tackle

The MBB All-Time Blue Bomber Team: Offensive tackle  

28 members have voted

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

    • Stanley Bryant
      13
    • Moe Elewonibi
      0
    • Bill Frank
      3
    • Martin Gainor
      0
    • Alexandre Gautheir
      1
    • Dan Goodspeed
      0
    • Miles Gorrell
      3
    • Jemarcus Hardrick
      1
    • Richard Huffman
      0
    • Glenn January
      0
    • Dave Mudge
      0
    • Butch Norman
      2
    • Christopher Perez
      0
    • Frank Rigney
      5
    • Roger Savoie
      0
    • Bobby Thompson
      0
    • Buddy Tinsley
      0
    • Chris Walby
      27

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  • Poll closed on 03/30/19 at 04:59 AM

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Choose two from the list. Here are the bios:

 

CFL all-stars first awarded in 1962.

Most Outstanding Lineman first awarded in 1956 and included defensive linemen, Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman first awarded in 1974.

 

Stanley Bryant – 71 games in 4 seasons (2015-18), 2 time divisional and CFL all-star (2017, 18), 3 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (2015, 17, 18), 2 time Western Division Most and CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (2017, 18)

 

Moe Elewonibi – 83 games in 5 seasons (2000-04), divisional all-star (2000), team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (2000), team nominee Most Outstanding Canadian (2000), Grey Cup appearance (2001)

 

Bill Frank – 107 games in 8 seasons (1969-76), 4 time divisional and CFL all-star (1970-73), 4 time team nominee Most Outstanding Lineman/Offensive Lineman (1970, 71, 73, 75), team nominee Most Outstanding Player (1970), CFL Hall of Fame

 

Martin Gainor – 34 games in 4 seasons (1937-39, 46), 4 time divisional all-star (1937-39, 46), 4 Grey Cup appearances (1937-39, 46), Grey Cup champion (1939)

 

Alexandre Gauthier – 36 games in 2 seasons (2007-08), divisional all-star (2007), Grey Cup appearance (2007)

 

Dan Goodspeed – 57 games in 4 seasons (2005-08), 2 time divisional and CFL all-star (2007-08), 2 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (2007, 08), Eastern Division Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (2007), Grey Cup appearance (2007)

 

Miles Gorrell –  72 games in 4 seasons (1992-95), 2 Grey Cup appearances (1992, 93), CFL Hall of Fame

 

Jemarcus Hardrick – 32 games in 2 seasons (2017-18), divisional all-star (2017)

 

Richard Huffman – 58 games in 5 seasons (1951-55), 4 time divisional all-star (1952-55), team nominee Most Outstanding Player (1954), Grey Cup appearance (1953), CFL Hall of Fame

 

Glenn January – 87 games in 5 seasons (2009, 11-14), 3 time divisional all-star (2011-13), 3 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (2012-14), Grey Cup appearance (2011)

 

Dave Mudge – 89 games in 6 seasons (2000-05), 2 time divisional and CFL all-star (2001, 02), 3 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (2001-03), Eastern Division and CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (2001), Grey Cup appearance (2001)

 

Butch Norman – 97 games in 7 seasons (1974-80), 3 time divisional all-star (1976, 79 ,80) and 2 time CFL all-star (1976, 80), 3 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1976, 78, 80)

 

Christopher Perez – 54 games in 3 seasons (1997-99), divisional all-star (1998), 3 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1997-99)

 

Frank Rigney – 153 games in 10 seasons (1958-67), 7 time divisional all-star (1959-62, 64-66) and 3 time CFL all-star (1962, 65, 66), CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1961), 5 Grey Cup appearances (1958, 59, 61, 62, 65), 4 time Grey Cup champion (1958, 59, 61, 62), CFL Hall of Fame

 

Roger Savoie – 191 games in 15 seasons (1951-65), divisional all-star (1962), 2 time team nominee Most Outstanding Canadian (1956, 62), 7 Grey Cup appearances (1953, 57-59, 61, 62, 65), 4 time Grey Cup champion (1958, 59, 61, 62)

 

Bobby Thompson – 65 games in 5 seasons (1979-83), divisional and CFL all-star (1982)

 

Buddy Tinsley – 161 games in 11 seasons (1950-60), 7 time divisional all-star (5 on offense, 2 as defensive tackle - 1950-52, 55-58), 5 Grey Cup appearances (1950, 53, 57-59), 2 time Grey Cup champion (1958, 59), CFL Hall of Fame

 

Chris Walby – 249 games in 16 seasons (1981-96), 11 time divisional all-star (1984-87, 89-94, 96) and 9 time CFL all-star (1984-87, 89-91, 93, 94), 9 time team nominee Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1986, 87, 89-94, 96), 4 team Eastern Division Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1987, 90, 91, 93), 2 time CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (1987, 93), 2 time team nominee Most Outstanding Canadian (1989, 96), 5 Grey Cup appearances (1984, 88, 90, 92, 93), 3 time Grey Cup champion (1984, 88, 90), CFL Hall of Fame

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One man's take -

This is a stacked field, and some of the best players in club and league history will be left off of the top 2 due to the depth at this position. 9 Blue Bomber Hall of Famers, 6 CFL Hall of Famers, 2 members of the 75th Anniversary all-time team, and a third who was feted on the 80th anniversary team, plus a Ring Of Honour member. So if my dismissal of some seems flippant or harsh, consider who I am comparing them against and not just take it as disregard for their skill. With 18 on the list, some will pale in comparison to others.

The also-rans:

Elewonibi, Gauthier, Hardrick, Thompson - these 4 each have only one divisional all-star nom (or in Thompson's case a CFL nod too), and aside from Moe, none were regarded as the team's best lineman in any year, award-wise. Hardrick needs to put many more years before he can rank with the upper echelon.

 

The "best on the team but not league-best" club:

January, Perez - they both got 3 straight nods as the team's best lineman, and January added three divisional all-star noms, but they were not graded as the best in the CFL when they played with Winnipeg, despite being tops on the team. Perez went on to CFL all-star status after going to BC, and January was a warrior who played through some brutal injuries (and was a real gentleman when I met him at a Bomber dinner - a "player's player" for sure).

 

The all-time great before he got here but winding down:

Gorrell - Was league-best in his years with Ottawa and Hamilton, but by the time he came to Winnipeg he was not the same dominant player. That is not to say he was not good, or even very good, but just not as brilliant as with other teams (think Dominic Hasek with the Red Wings - still really good, but a shadow of his Buffalo self)

 

Best in the league in their time but too short a tenure to compete with the legends (NOTE - with weaker competition they may have made an all-timer list):

Bryant, Gainor, Goodspeed, Huffman - Gainor played only 4 seasons but was an all-star and Grey Cup participant every time, a pretty great success ratio. Huffman is a CFL Hall of Famer and had 4 consecutive all-star nods and one of only two offensive lineman to be named the team's outstanding player. Goodspeed was a legit star who blocked for Charles Roberts and had the league accolades to his credit, but his 5 year tenure needed to be tripled to approach the best on this list. Bryant deserves special mention because he is one of only 4 Blue Bomber tackles to ever win the award as Best Lineman in the CFL, and only one of 2 to win it twice (in fact, he is the only Bomber to ever win it in consecutive years), but with only 4 years on the Bombers, he will need to keep up that pace for another 6 years at minimum to enter the discussion as best ever. Check back in a decade to see where he ranks.

 

A tier below the legends (NOTE 2 - again, on another team they may well top the list, but they are in tough here):

Mudge, Norman, Savoie - Mudge was the glue on the line for a team that reached fantastic offensive heights with Roberts and Stegall, and was the team's best for a 3 year run that included a league best award in '01 and all-star recognition. He is just a shade ahead of the group before him due to his games and years played. Savoie has less award and all-star recognition than his counterparts, mainly because the awards were not around when he played. But no one on the list (save one) played more years or games, or had more Grey Cup success than he did. And he's in the CFL Hall of Fame. He is in contention for top 5 placement on this list, no small feat. Norman was the team's best for 7 years and had some league recognition as well spread out over that time, a giant of a man on the line. His longevity puts him higher on the list, his lack of team success or Best Lineman award probably puts him below the other 2 in this category.

 

That leaves me with 4 superstars to choose from, all CFL Hall of Famers. Let's flip things and start with the easy choice as top of this field:

The best ever

Walby - Regarded as the best offensive lineman in CFL history. His stature now (6'7", 325 lbs.) would put him among the larger linemen in the league, but nothing outrageous, but at the time he was a giant in the tranches. Gaudy accolades - his 11 divisional nods are the best in club history at any position, and his 9 CFL all-star nods are the most of any tackle, tied for most of any o-lineman, and 2nd only to linebacker Willie Pless' (who had 11) in CFL history. Although not officially retired, his number 63 will not be worn again by any player for the foreseeable future. And the sole member on this list who graces the club's new Ring of Honour. He should be a unanimous pick here as not only top 2 but the best o-lineman in club history, regardless of position.

So who joins him? For me, from 4 to 2 it is as follows:

Bill Frank - if this list counted a player's accomplishments throughout his whole career, and not just with the Bombers, Frank would be #2 on this list I'd wager, and he still makes a pretty good argument anyway. He was a 3 time CFL all-star and best lineman nominee in 1967 with the Argos before coming to Winnipeg. He continued his dominance here, racking up 4 more league all-star nods and 4 club noms as outstanding lineman (the first 3 when he had to compete with the defensive linemen too). He also achieved something that almost no one ever has, being selected the club's outstanding player as an offensive lineman (granted the team was 2-14 that year). Splitting the thinnest of hairs, I rank him below the other 2 because he was not part of the all-time 75th anniversary or 80th anniversary teams, never got to the big dance, played a few less years than the others, and never won a league award for best lineman, none of which should detract from his amazing career.

Buddy Tinsley - a legendary name in Bomber history (and part of grey Cup folklore for "almost dying" in the Mud Bowl - a "fact" he said was exaggerated), he dominated on both sides of the ball during the glory years. Named to the all-time 80th anniversary Bomber team, he played over a decade with the team and had an astounding 7 all-star nods. Had there been awards for best lineman at the time he surely would have won, and he also played in 5 Grey Cups, winning 2. Just outside the cut line for me.

Frank Rigney - before Walby (who is the only offensive lineman other than Rigney named to the all-time Blue Bomber team that was selected in the team's 75th season), he was in the discussion for best offensive lineman of all-time in the CFL. With Walby, Bryant and Mudge, one of only 4 Bomber tackles to win the award for best lineman in the CFL. 7 divisional all-star noms, and "only" 3 CFL all-star noms because the league did not have that recognition until 1962 (he won his 3 in the first 5 years that they awarded it). He was also part of the greatest era of Bomber football ever, with 4 championship rings. Bonus points for coming from Iowa right after his QB Ken Ploen, and being the lead blocker for Leo Lewis. He will be my other selection as greatest Bomber offensive tackle ever. I will honestly be disappointed if he gets overlooked due to recency bias - he like Herb Grey deserves to be on this team.

 

Edited by TrueBlue4ever

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I had the honour of meeting Bill Frank when he was selling marine equipment. He shook my hand and it almost disappeared in his. I saw Chris Walby when he was being driven down St. Mary's Road in the back seat of a convertible and he nearly filled the whole seat. Awesome.

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Just now, Tracker said:

I had the honour of meeting Bill Frank when he was selling marine equipment. He shook my hand and it almost disappeared in his. I saw Chris Walby when he was being driven down St. Mary's Road in the back seat of a convertible and he nearly filled the whole seat. Awesome.

Walby still such a LARGE man...still a very imposing figure.....even though he's lost a lot of weight.

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3 hours ago, JCon said:

Wow, what a stacked category. I feel bad picking anyone after Walby because there are so many "1B's". 

 

Even today's, Bryant, is a pretty spectacular tackle and so consistent. 

Yeesh, we're lucky. 

Bryant in a very short time has achieved what only Walby before him had - 2 MOLineman awards. Give him 4 more all stat noms and one more MOLine award in the next 4 years and he steps into the conversation for top 2 all time. Hard to believe that a back-to-back lineman of the year “only” ranks anywhere from maybe 3rd to 8th right now, but as was said this category was loaded. 

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31 minutes ago, TrueBlue4ever said:

Bryant in a very short time has achieved what only Walby before him had - 2 MOLineman awards. Give him 4 more all stat noms and one more MOLine award in the next 4 years and he steps into the conversation for top 2 all time. Hard to believe that a back-to-back lineman of the year “only” ranks anywhere from maybe 3rd to 8th right now, but as was said this category was loaded. 

Bryant is a dandy... I have no problem if he wins the second spot behind Bluto. 

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Won't vote for Hardrick as an all-timer but I gotta throw him some love -- that play we run that springs him into the open and gets him downfield on the right side, bulldozing unlucky DBs, that is always so goddamn fun to watch.  Love to see a big man turning space into more space.

Edited by johnzo

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29 minutes ago, johnzo said:

Won't vote for Hardrick as an all-timer but I gotta throw him some love -- that play we run that springs him into the open and gets him downfield on the right side, bulldozing unlucky DBs, that is always so goddamn fun to watch.  Love to see a big man turning space into more space.

On almost any other team, he'd be a true consideration. The fact he isn't for us says a lot about how good our LT/RT have been over the years... 

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1 hour ago, johnzo said:

Won't vote for Hardrick as an all-timer but I gotta throw him some love -- that play we run that springs him into the open and gets him downfield on the right side, bulldozing unlucky DBs, that is always so goddamn fun to watch.  Love to see a big man turning space into more space.

If it was based just on his spirit and energy, he'd win this hands down.  He didn't get my vote for this poll but he's an absolute joy to watch play.

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On ‎2019‎-‎03‎-‎22 at 4:00 PM, Noeller said:

Fwiw, I voted for "The Bookends", and while Walby is an auto-pick as the greatest in league history, I could see Stanley Bryant getting the other spot...

Not if you saw Bill Frank play. He was a mean, nasty & big OL. He protected the backsides of Jonas & Brock. He was considered the best tackle in the CFL when he played. Multiple award & CFL all star winner. To me, the 2 best all time are Frank & Walby.

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3 hours ago, SpeedFlex27 said:

Not if you saw Bill Frank play. He was a mean, nasty & big OL. He protected the backsides of Jonas & Brock. He was considered the best tackle in the CFL when he played. Multiple award & CFL all star winner. To me, the 2 best all time are Frank & Walby.

I just feel like each generation is better than the last. Bigger, faster, stronger...better training. Having said that, Walby is God... 

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9 minutes ago, Noeller said:

I just feel like each generation is better than the last. Bigger, faster, stronger...better training. Having said that, Walby is God... 

With a great sense of humour and a non-inflated ego.

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19 minutes ago, Noeller said:

I just feel like each generation is better than the last. Bigger, faster, stronger...better training. Having said that, Walby is God... 

How lucky did we get with Ottawa's bumbling!? 

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On 2019-03-25 at 3:57 PM, Noeller said:

I just feel like each generation is better than the last. Bigger, faster, stronger...better training. Having said that, Walby is God... 

The average athleticism has improved by leaps and bounds. I feel that the outliers, the real freaks are pretty close though. A big difference too is the preparation that football players put into combines now. Guys were field fast back in the day and not on the track because they didnt run track. (say jerry rice 4.7 40) 

 I feel too that a lot more of the well-rounded athletes lack the football polish that guys had back in the day.  More time on the track and in the weight room and less in pads on the field. 

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3 hours ago, wbbfan said:

The average athleticism has improved by leaps and bounds. I feel that the outliers, the real freaks are pretty close though. A big difference too is the preparation that football players put into combines now. Guys were field fast back in the day and not on the track because they didnt run track. (say jerry rice 4.7 40) 

 I feel too that a lot more of the well-rounded athletes lack the football polish that guys had back in the day.  More time on the track and in the weight room and less in pads on the field. 

High schoolers aren't in pads now more than once or twice a week during practices. They don't work on the fundamentals like players back even a decade ago. Kids are coming up not knowing how to block & tackle. Or how to protect themselves. 

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16 minutes ago, SpeedFlex27 said:

High schoolers aren't in pads now more than once or twice a week during practices. They don't work on the fundamentals like players back even a decade ago. Kids are coming up not knowing how to block & tackle. Or how to protect themselves. 

Geez, that's insane. Training, and learning to play football without equipment on is like trying to learn how to swim on dry land. I feel like less equipment and a heavy focus on proper head protection/hawk tackling would go a long way.(though some teams practice that without pads on) 

 

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We always practiced in full equipment and it didn’t affect me.

 

You know, we always practiced in full equipment and it didn’t affect me.

 

I have a point to make, we always practiced in full equipment and it didn’t affect me.

 

What were we talking about?

Edited by Mr Dee

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10 hours ago, Mr Dee said:

We always practiced in full equipment and it didn’t affect me.

 

You know, we always practiced in full equipment and it didn’t affect me.

 

I have a point to make, we always practiced in full equipment and it didn’t affect me.

 

What were we talking about?

Premature senility?

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19 hours ago, wbbfan said:

Geez, that's insane. Training, and learning to play football without equipment on is like trying to learn how to swim on dry land. I feel like less equipment and a heavy focus on proper head protection/hawk tackling would go a long way.(though some teams practice that without pads on) 

 

I've been out of coaching since 2010 but I still have friends that  do. They tell me about practices with no pads or helmets. How kids play games running straight up & get hurt because they don't know enough about lowering their shoulder to protect themselves.  Then some quit because they're scared. It used to be practices were tougher than games but apparently not anymore. And that Hawk tackling isn't recognized by Football Canada as being safe so it's not taught. They teach similar tackling without the head but with a different technique. Kids are being taught enough of the proper fundamentals. I'm glad I'm not involved anymore.

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