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The MBB All-Time Blue Bomber Team: Wide Receivers Redux

The MBB All-Time Blue Bomber Team: Wide Receivers Redux  

20 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Who are the greatest wide receivers in Blue Bomber history? (choose 3)

    • Darvin Adams
    • Jeff Boyd
    • Clarence Denmark
    • Robert Gordon
    • Mike Holmes
    • Bob LaRose
    • James Murphy
    • Ken Nielsen
    • Jim Thorpe

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  • Poll closed on 05/13/19 at 04:59 AM

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Here are the bios. Poll will run until Sunday night. Vote for 3 (two starters, and a nomination for the 5th receiver run-off vote)



Stats will be broken down into receptions-yards-average-longest-TDs for the career, with the best single season total for each in parentheses with the corresponding year following the career numbers.


Darvin Adams – 56 games in 4 seasons (2015-18), 249-3677-14.8-79-28 (76 rec.-1120 yds. both in 2017, 16.9 avg.-10 TDs both in 2018, 79 long in 2015), 2 time divisional all-star (2017, 18), 2 times 1000+ yard season (2017, 18)

Jeff Boyd – 68 games in 5 seasons (1983-87), 283-5110-18.1-105-46 (76 rec.-1372 yds.-105 long-14 TDs all in 1985, 19.5 avg. in 1983), divisional all-star (1985), CFL all-star (1985), 3 times 1000+ yard season (1984, 85, 87), team nominee Most Outstanding Player (1985), 1 Grey Cup appearance (1984), Grey Cup champion (1984)

Clarence Denmark – 116 games in 7 seasons (2011-17), 417-5478-13.1-82-31 (65 rec.-1080 yds.-16.6 avg. all in 2014, 82 long in 2011, 8 TDs in 2016), divisional all-star (2014), CFL all-star (2014), 1 time 1000+ yard season (2014), team nominee Most Outstanding Rookie (2011), 1 Grey Cup appearance (2011)

Robert Gordon – 63 games in 6 seasons (1999-04), 288-4474-15.5-65-20 (89 rec.-1395 yds.-65 long-7 TDs all in 2000, 19.1 avg. in 2003), 2 time divisional all-star (1999, 00), 1 time 1000+ yard season (2000), 1 Grey Cup appearance (2001)

Mike Holmes – 61 games in 6 seasons (1977-82), 244-3752-15.4-90-33 (79 rec.-1092 yds. both in 1980, 17.3 avg. in 1977, 90 long in 1978, 10 TDs in 1979 and 80), 2 time divisional all-star (1979, 80), CFL all-star (1980), 1 time led league in receptions (1980), 2 times 1000+ yard season (1979, 80)

Bob LaRose – 111 games in 7 seasons (1970-76), 227-4209-18.5-73-29 (58 rec.-1080 yds. both in 1971, 20.2 avg. in 1975, 73 long in 1972, 7TDs in 1971, 73), divisional all-star (1971), CFL all-star (1971), 1 time 1000+ yard season (1971)

James Murphy – 121 games in 8 seasons (1983-90), 573-9036-15.8-86-61 (116 rec.-1746 yds. both in 1986, 18.5 avg. in 1988, 86 long in 1984, 12 TDs in 1984, 86), 4 time divisional all-star (1986-89), 2 time CFL all-star (1986, 88), 1 time led league in receiving yards (1986), 1 time led league in receptions (1986), 6 times 1000+ yard season (1983, 84, 86-89), 2 times 1400+ yard season (1986, 88), 2 time team nominee Most Outstanding Player (1986, 88), West Division Most Outstanding Player (1986), CFL Most Outstanding Player (1986), 3 Grey Cup appearances (1984, 88, 90), 3 time Grey Cup champion (1984, 88, 90), 1988 Grey Cup Offensive MOP, club record single season receptions (116), #2 club all-time in career receptions, yards, receiving TDs, and 1000+ yard seasons (all behind Stegall), #2 (1746) and #8 (1409) club single season receiving yardage totals,  led club in receiving 5 times (tied #2 in club history), CFL Hall of Fame

Ken Nielsen – 81 games in 6 seasons (1965-70), 280-4340-15.5-72-31 (76 rec.-1121 yds. both in 1967, 20.3 avg. in 1970, 72 long, 11 TDs both in 1966), 3 time divisional all-star (1967-69), 2 time CFL all-star (1968, 69), 1 time led league in receptions (1968), 2 times 1000+ yard season (1967, 68), team nominee Most Outstanding Player (1967), 4 time team nominee Most Outstanding Canadian (1966-69), West Division Most Outstanding Canadian (1968), CFL Most Outstanding Canadian (1968), led club in receiving 5 times (tied #2 in club history), led club in receiving 5 times (tied #2 in club history)

Jim Thorpe – 32 games in 2 seasons (1971-72), 140-2696-19.3-97-20 (70 rec. in 1971 and 72, 1436 yds.-20.5 avg. both in 1971, 97 long- 11 TDs both in 1972), 2 time divisional all-star (1971, 72), CFL all-star (1971), 1 time led league in receiving yards (1971), 2 times led league in receptions (1971, 72), 2 times 1000+ yard season, 1 time 1400+ yard season

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One man's take:

James Murphy is an easy choice for best wide receiver in club history. Before Milt came along, he owned pretty much every significant club record for career or single season marks. Also made the most underrated spectacular clutch catch in CFL history to my mind, with his one-handed backwards grab between 2 defenders for a touchdown in the West Final in BC that carried us to the 1984 Grey Cup, yet no one seems to mention in the "all-time great catches" lists.

Now the tricky part, for his counterpart and the runner-up who goes on to the run-off vote.

Darvin Adams - The club's current leading receiver, but has never felt like the "go-to" guy (having a possession receiver in Dressler and a run-heavy offensive set hurts him) and has only 4 seasons under his belt. In the end, not enough mileage to crack my top 3.

Robert Gordon - one huge season in 2000, amassing almost 1400 yards, but still that year (as in his whole career) he played second fiddle to Stegall. Also split his time between the Bombers and the Arena League for a few seasons, which shortened his games played and reduced his stats. In the end, only one 1000+ season and never led the club or league in any meaningful category, and no individual team awards. Falls short for me.

Mike Holmes - the star wide receiver of the Dieter Brock years, but his numbers are not as gaudy as one would expect from a pass-happy offence like that one. Outplayed by his teammate Joe Poplawski and then Eugene Goodlow (who would be on this list but for a career-ending injury that gave him only 1.5 effective years as a Blue Bomber). I put him mid-pack in this group of 9.

Bob LaRose - A favorite target on Don Jonas, but that team's offence revolved more around Mack Herron, so again a lack of "go-to guy" cred and no individual team awards lowers his stock for me.

Clarence Denmark - Looking back, one of the more underrated (and given how he got cut the first time and brought back mid-season, underappreciated) Bomber receivers. Not sure if his bigger career numbers are a product of playing more years than the others, or if his lengthy playing career speaks to how consistently good he was to keep being brought back. Burst on to the scene as a rookie, but not sure he was ever viewed as the true #1 receiver on the team during his tenure.

So that leaves 3 players for 2 spots (one of whom is James Murphy's teammate):

Jim Thorpe - two really impressive years that rival any other receiver over that time span, regardless of position. Only Stegall, Murphy, and Wilcox had more yards in back-to-back seasons than Thorpe. Double his tenure with the same productivity and he definitely has a shot at the second spot in this group, triple it and he is a lock beside Murphy. Alas, too short a time span here to rank with the all-time best for me, but a bona fide star while he was with us.

Ken Nielsen - The best receiver the club had in between its 1950's-60's and its mid 1980's dynasties. Less emphasis on the pure passing attack compared to today make his career numbers look smaller than his counterparts, and unfortunately he was saddled with some bad teams, but he was the go-to guy as evidenced by him leading the club in receiving in 5 of his 6 years here. Plus, bonus points for being a stand-out Canadian in a position usually reserved for an import. In the end, his recognition in the club's individual award nominations puts him one step higher.

Jeff Boyd - Murphy's partner in crime (what a scary offence with those two as well as Poplawski and House at the slots, Clements as QB, and Reaves in the backfield - who do you key on?). The fact that he put up such big career numbers in less years offset his more limited playing career in Winnipeg, and hard to ignore 3 1000+ yardage years and the team MOP nomination. One of the great deep threats in team history. Despite the wealth of talent around him, never felt like an afterthought. As it should be, I have him and Murphy lining up together as the top 2 wide receivers on my team.

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