Three Bombers Named CFL All-Stars
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are still getting up close and personal with the prize that really matters – hello, Grey Cup trophy – but three members of the 2019 Canadian Football League championship team have now received an added bonus.
The CFL unveiled its 57th All-Star team on Wednesday, with defensive end Willie Jefferson, offensive tackle Stanley Bryant and cornerback Winston Rose selected to the squad following the voting of a panel of 49 that included the league’s head coaches and members of The Football Reporters of Canada.
And yes, once again notable by his absence was three-time rushing champion Andrew Harris, who missed two games this season after testing positive for use of a banned substance, but just made history on Sunday by becoming the first player in Grey Cup history to be named MVP and the top Canadian in the game.
The CFL All-Star running back, FYI, was William Stanback of the Montreal Alouettes.
Bryant, the Bombers durable and consistent left tackle, was named a CFL All-Star for the fifth time in his career. He anchored an offensive line that opened giant holes for the league’s top rusher and running attack, while working in front of three different starting quarterbacks this season in Matt Nichols, Chris Streveler and Zach Collaros.
Bryant was also a runner-up for the CFL’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman award, after capturing the honour in both 2017 and 2018.
Jefferson was named an all-star for the third time in his career and first as a Bomber. Named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player last week after a regular season in which he led the Bombers with 12 sacks, and led the CFL in both forced fumbles (6) and pass knockdowns (16), Jefferson then capped that off with a sensational performance in the Bombers 33-12 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Grey Cup. Jefferson had two tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles in the championship in another of phenomenal performances for the dominant defensive end.
Cornerback Winston Rose was one of 16 players named to the CFL All-Star team for the first time. Rose, who tied for the CFL lead in interceptions in 2018 as a member of the B.C. Lions, owned that crown alone in 2019 in his first year with the Bombers with nine picks.
The Bombers named to the CFL squad is the lowest since 2015, when defensive end Jamaal Westerman was the lone Winnipeg representative. The club had five CFL All-Stars through the 2016-18 seasons.
* Denotes a national player
9 – Hamilton Tiger-Cats
5 – Saskatchewan Roughriders
3 – Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Montreal Alouettes, Calgary Stampeders
2 – BC Lions
1 – Edmonton Eskimos, Ottawa REBLACKS
BY THE NUMBERS
14 – West Division All-Stars
13 – East Division All-Stars
6 – National CFL All-Stars
MULTIPLE CAREER CFL ALL-STAR SELECTIONS
6x – Charleston Hughes and Almondo Sewell
5x – Stanley Bryant
4x – Brandon Banks
3x – Bryan Burnham, Willie Jefferson, Richie Leone and Chris Van Zeyl
2x – Simoni Lawrence, Henoc Muamba and Brandon Revenberg