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Blue Bomber Report (10–8–0)

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Receiver position will complete your Bomber choices

All hands on deck

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/11/2014 (1471 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Now all we need is someone to catch the ball.

The All-Time Blue Bombers Team is all set except for the receiver position.

The candidates include one of the most beloved Blue Bombers in team history in Joe Poplawski and a man some consider the greatest to ever play in the CFL in Milt Stegall. Ernie Pitts, Rick House and James Murphy are the other candidates and all five are highly qualified and capable receivers.

MILT STEGALL, 1995-2008

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/11/2014 (1471 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Now all we need is someone to catch the ball.

The All-Time Blue Bombers Team is all set except for the receiver position.

The candidates include one of the most beloved Blue Bombers in team history in Joe Poplawski and a man some consider the greatest to ever play in the CFL in Milt Stegall. Ernie Pitts, Rick House and James Murphy are the other candidates and all five are highly qualified and capable receivers.

MILT STEGALL, 1995-2008

Milt Stegall finished his CFL career as the all-time leader in receiving yards with 15,153 (since surpassed by Geroy Simon). One CFL record that should stand for a long time is the 147 touchdowns he scored in his career. Winner of the MOP.

JAMES MURPHY, 1982-1990

Milt Stegall

KEN GIGLIOTTI / FREE PRESS FILES

Milt Stegall

James Murphy was a deep threat throughout the 1980s. He caught 573 passes for 9,036 yards during his career and registered 62 TDs. Three-time Grey Cup champion. Winner of the MOP.

ERNIE PITTS, 1957-1969

Joe Poplawski

Joe Poplawski

Ernie Pitts spent the first eight seasons of his career as an offensive end. Pitts hauled in 337 passes for 5,525 yards and 54 TDs. He switched to the defensive side of the ball for his final five seasons in Winnipeg, intercepting 17 passes from his defensive back position. A four-time Grey Cup champion.

RICK HOUSE, 1979-1984 & 1989-1991

James Murphy

James Murphy

Rick House was another solid contributor as a non-import receiver. In two tours of duty as a Blue Bomber, House was on the receiving end of 385 passes for 6,266 yards. House scored 49 touchdowns, including three along the ground. Won two Grey Cups in Winnipeg.

JOE POPLAWSKI, 1978-1986

Rick House

Rick House

Joe Pop was as consistent as they came. He accumulated 8,341 receiving yards during his nine-year career. Poplawski registered three seasons with at least 1,000 yards; with an 18-game schedule he likely would have added another three 1,000-yard seasons. Poplawski finished two yards short of the 1,000 mark in 1978 & 1984 and he came up 29 yards short in 1983.

During his final season, Poplawski proved to be a reliable placekicker, filling in for the injured Trevor Kennerd.

 

Voters have already selected Ken Ploen as the quarterback, Chris Walby as the offensive lineman, Greg Battle as the linebacker, Bob Cameron as the kicker, Leo Lewis as both the kick returner and running back, Doug Brown as the defensive lineman and Rod Hill as the defensive back of the Free Press/TSN 1290 All-Time Blue Bombers Team.

This week it's your turn to select a receiver for the team.

Our panel has had its say. Now you get to weigh in.

We've presented a position each week over a nine-week period with our panel's choices of the top-five Winnipeg Blue Bombers to ever play for the club at that spot.

Cast your vote at alltimebombers.winnipegfreepress.com or see the ballot on page D3 of today's print edition.

Friday at 4 p.m., live on TSN 1290's Hustler and Lawless program, the Free Press and TSN 1290 websites, as well as the Saturday edition of the Winnipeg Free Press, we'll announce the winner and final member of the All-Time Blue Bombers Team.

Legendary Blue Bombers player and coach Bud Grant headlines our panel. Grant was joined by former Bombers player and GM Paul Robson, Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee and Free Press sports reporter Ed Tait, Free Press columnist and TSN 1290 host Gary Lawless and TSN 1290's Andrew (Hustler) Paterson.

Panellists were provided a statistical breakdown of the Bombers dating back to the 1950s, as well as an anecdotal package of the early Bombers teams, when statistics were not recorded.

Each panellist brought a unique perspective and personal set of criteria. Grant joined the group via conference call from a cabin in the Wisconsin woods while the rest huddled around a boardroom table at the Free Press offices.

From Grant's gravelly voice emanating out of the telephone speaker, to Tait's vivid recollections of games and players, to Robson's cold analysis of a player's strengths and weaknesses, to Paterson's views from the upper decks of our stadiums, there were strong opinions all around.

Some players were quickly selected. Others were hotly debated. Sometimes it came down to a clash of eras. Others made it on the merit of championship wins, while those without rings on their fingers were often set aside.

Vote a maximum of once per day and help choose the Blue Bombers player you consider the best receiver.

 

gary.lawless@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @GaryLawless

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