TSN launched CFL 2020 last week, a new program that covers the league during its suspension due to the ongoing COVID-19 health pandemic.

The program unveiled its all-time Blue Bombers roster on Friday, recognizing 27 players and one head coach.

The roster had to include a minimum of seven national players and at least one player from the team’s active roster. In the case of Winnipeg, two current stars made the cut.

Quarterback — Ken Ploen (1957-1967)
Running Back — Charles Roberts (2001-2008)
Running Back — Leo Lewis (1955-1966)
Receiver — Milt Stegall (1995-2008)
Receiver — Joe Poplawski (1978-1986)
Receiver — James Murphy (1983-1990)
Receiver — Rick House (1979-1984, 1989-1991)
Offensive Line — Chris Walby (1981-1996)
Offensive Line — John Bonk (1973-1985)
Offensive Line — Buddy Tinsley (1950-1960)
Offensive Line — Bill Frank (1969-1976)
Offensive Line — Stanley Bryant (2015-present)

Defensive Line — Doug Brown (2001-2011)
Defensive Line — Tony Norman (1980-1986)
Defensive Line — Herb Gray (1956-1965)
Defensive Line — Willie Jefferson (2019-present)
Linebacker — Tyrone Jones (1983-1987, 1989-1991)
Linebacker — James West (1985-1992)
Linebacker — Greg Battle (1987-1993, 1997-1998)
Defensive Back — Rod Hill (1988-1992)
Defensive Back — Less Browne (1989-1991)
Defensive Back — Jovon Johnson (2008-2013)
Defensive Back — Ernie Pitts (1957-1969)
Defensive Back — Paul Bennett (1980-1983)

Placekicker — Trevor Kennerd (1980-1991)
Punter — Bob Cameron (1980-2003)
Special Teamer — Wade Miller (1995-2005)
Head coach — Bud Grant (1957-1966)

The two active players who made the cut were offensive tackle Stanley Bryant and defensive end Willie Jefferson.

The selection of Jefferson was a surprise given that he’s only been a member of the team for one year. The edge rusher was brilliant in 2019 — he put up 12 sacks and was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player — but that’s a short time make an impact.

A surprising omission was Troy Westwood at the placekicker spot. Kennerd left a legacy in Winnipeg, but Westwood has a higher career field goal percentage (72.3 percent to 66.6) and is the team’s all-time leading scorer.

The three selected linebackers — Tyrone Jones, James West, and Greg Battle — were teammates in Winnipeg for four seasons (1987, 1989, 1990, 1991). One could argue that the trio comprised the most formidable linebacking corps in CFL history.


John Hodge
John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.