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All-Roughriders Team led by Lancaster and Reed

Paul Hoogkamp

9/4/2010 11:43:11 AM

Over the 100 year history of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, many great players have worn the Green and White, many well-prepared coaches have roamed the sidelines and many astute general managers have found the talent so whittling it down to one All-Star team is a tough task. But let the arguments begin.

On the occasion of the Roughriders' anniversary, the best players, head coach and general manager in franchise history are honoured with TSN's All-Roughriders Team, as chosen by Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post.

Some choices are tougher than others but there is no question the offence would be led by quarterback Ron Lancaster and running back George Reed. No one can question their place on the all-time team but what about QBs Kent Austin and Tom Burgess as backups or RBs Wes Cates, Ed Buchanan and Bobby Marlow sharing the backfield?

When you move to the receiver position, there is a wealth of talent led by Hall of Famers Ray Elgaard and Don Narcisse. And any quarterback would love to have the choice of throwing the football to Hugh Campbell, Joey Walters, Jeff Fairholm or Matt Dominguez.

The offensive line has long been a strong point for the Riders and the evidence can be seen today in the likes of Gene Makowsky and Jeremy O'Day. If you go back to the 1950's, you'll find Martin Ruby, who was an All-Star on both sides of the ball. In the 1960's, it was time for Jack Abendschan, Al Benecick, Clyde Brock and Ted Urness to shine. Ralph Galloway from the 1970's and Andrew Greene from earlier this decade are two more stalwarts who warrant some attention.

On defence, how many opposing quarterbacks would fear the sight of players like Bobby Jurasin, Bill Baker, John Chick and Stevie Baggs coming around the corner? And how many running backs would dare run between the tackles if they had to face Ron Atchison, Ed McQuarters or Bill Clarke?

Should you be lucky enough to break through the first line of defence, there would be an angry linebacking crew there to greet you, including Reggie Hunt, Eddie Lowe, Wayne Shaw and Cleveland Vann.

At safety, TSN's Glen Suitor may be best known for holding Dave Ridgway's Grey Cup-wining kick in 1989 but he still holds the team record for interceptions. Bruce Bennett was no slouch at tracking down errant throws either.

The rest of the defensive backfield has been littered with some of the best CFL talent over the years, including Eddie Davis, Ken McEachern, Lorne Richardson, Omarr Morgan, Steve Dennis and Albert Brown.

When it comes to special teams, everyone's favourite field goal kicker is Dave Ridgway for his heroics in 1989 but current Rider Luca Congi is building a solid resume. In the punting department, Ken Clark and Larry Isbell are among the best to play in Regina. The return game would be in good hands with either Corey Holmes or Albert Brown.

On the sideline, Hall of Famer Eagle Keys could be calling the signals with Grey Cup champion Kent Austin guiding the offence and John Gregory rallying the defence, all under the watchful eye of general manager Ken Preston.