I certainly can't remember another free safety for the Cats that was better than Hitch in his prime. We have missed his presence back there ever since he was moved to LB. We were never able to replace him at safety and the opposition certainly took advantage of us when he was moved. He was such a intimidating hitter, that many a receiver didn't want anything to do with the ball when Hitch was nearby. He really epitomized Ticat toughness.
Hitch is #2, IMHO.
Rob hasn't played safety for at least a couple years now. He's a LB now.. too big to be a modern safety.
By far the hardest hitting safety ever. I'm sure Tyree Davis would agree.
To amplify re Henley:
“As a defensive back he intercepted 59 passes for 916 yards and 5 touchdowns, being selected as an All Star nine times. Being an excellent two way player, he was an All Star for the 10th time as a wide receiver in 1972. He also won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award that year.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garney_Henley
That’s All-Canadian nine times in a row (1963-71) as a DB.
He played at the rover position for most of his career. Simply the best DB ever for Hamilton (Less Browne at CB is in THAT convo, however, although he went on to great years in The Peg).
What Hitch did bring was physical intimidation – the most punishing hitter in the secondary the Cats have ever had, I believe.
Oski Wee Wee,
And Milt Stegall -- here is what he said in 2002:
"Stegall absorbed the highlight hit of the season from Hamilton Tiger-Cats safety Rob Hitchcock on Oct. 28.
Stegall lay motionless for just a moment before springing to his feet and sprinting to the sidelines, seemingly unfazed.
"I was trying to be a tough guy," admitted Stegall, who returned to the huddle just three plays later.
"If I'm going to be hurt, I'm going to be hurt on the sidelines and not on the field. It was a great hit and I didn't see it coming.
"That's the hardest I've been hit in a while. It was the first time he got me and it will be the last." "[url=http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2002/11/13/calvillo-stegall021113.html]http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2002/11/ ... 21113.html[/url]
It was a decleater-meets-snot dislodger collision people will be telling their grandkids about.
As I recall, Stegall tied the single-season TD reception record later that same drive, eclipsing it later that same game!
A legend saluting another. Can't get better than that.
Oski Wee Wee,
- Paul Bennett
I'm with hendy77, although Bennett was past his prime when he was a Cat.
Henley #1 without a doubt.
Bennett would be my number 3, Hendy. I found Hitch was better in run support and in his hitting. Paul was faster and made clutch INTs. A very tough call.
Oski Wee Wee,
IMO, Paul Bennett and Hitch are neck and neck.
I'm young and dont know any better;
Hitch = the best ever!!!
(sorry folks, give me some game film of henley... lol)
Garney Henley was the best Ticat DB ever, I think the best to ever play that position in the CFL. Nine consecutive All-Star selections only tell part of the story of his athleticism, creativity, ball sense, burning speed and leadership.
Hitchcock was darn goood, so was Paul Bennett, so were Lewis Porter, David Shaw, Less Browne,and some other notables. But Henley was in a league of his own.
Not to move Hitch TOO far down, but after Henley would come Al Brenner (held league record for interceptions) then Paul Bennett...then Hitch...he could hit, but was not that ggod in coverage, despite interception numbers...
Mike is in the top 3..
I Got to see Paul Bennett
I Got to See Hitch
Wish I got to Henley
But From Films
I have to say it comes down to this .
Garney Henley was not only the best safety ever to play in the CFL, he was hands down the best player ever to wear the Black and Gold. Another safety we tend ot forget is Al Brenner. During the 72 season the dude was an absolute ball hawk. Didn't stay long enough to compare with the others though. Hitch was a crushing hitter, a classic rover that closed on the ball. A real force. We don't tend to see that kind of player at safety anymore. The league is pass happy and the role of the safety has evolved in most defenses. A wall of fame guy, that's for sure...
There may not be any game film of Henley readily available, but you can read his biography:
Garney Henley: A Gentleman and a Tiger, by Robert F. Neilson.
I don't remember the 1960s either, Espo, and the chapters on those years and the 1970s simply leave me shaking my head in disbelief -- he was that good. In addition to the all-star selections, let's not forget that he was the only Ticat player in the top ten of the TSN Top 50 players of all time. If the coaches could have played him every down, on offence and defence, they would have.
For anyone who saw Henley in his prime, the question is a no-brainer. As an Argo fan, Henley is one guy I can still get a real hate-on for. He was a wonderful player (and another gentleman).
An Argo-Cat fan
The only game i ever actually saw hime play (and i think i'm not mistaking him here...) is the 66 cup against Saskatchewan on ESPN Classic Canada.
but i think this was later in his career, do i have it right?
Espo, I think you are either talking about '67 Grey Cup (cold and on natural grass in Ottawa) or '72 (here in Hamilton where he played wide receiver...)