Joe Montford - Defensive End - 1995-06 - South Carolina State
Joe Montford was an unstoppable force in the CFL for 12 seasons. For the majority of his career it was as a Hamilton Tiger Cat that he terrorized opposing quarterbacks from his Rush End position. Following in a line of great Ti-Cat Defensive Lineman that contains Angelo Mosca and Grover Convingtion. Montford captured 3 Most Outstanding Defensive Player Awards while compiling an incredible 135 sacks over his career.
The South Carolina native started his career in the CFL with Shreveport 1994 as a linebacker. It was with Hamilton in 1995 and coach Don Sutherin who saw in Montford the speed and potential to excel as a Defensive End and suggested the position switch.
The change in position would set-up Joe for the rest of his prolific career. His Quickness off the ball set him apart and as a pass rusher he was in a league of his own.
In 1999, Joe came within half a sack of the league record for sacks in a season held by James Parker of 26.5. The club captured the Grey Cup that year with a 32-21 victory over Calgary at B.C. Place. Montford would surpass 20 sacks 3 times with the Tiger Cats with 19 in 2001 for good measure.
Montford was traded to Toronto from Hamilton in 2001 in a controversial move for Mike O’Shea. Under new Argonaut head coach Gary Etcheverry; Montford struggled to find a place in the complex defence with more of a zone emphasis. Etcheverry was fired and by the next season Montford had returned to Steeltown doing what he did best – sacking quarterbacks.
He proved to still have it with 6 sacks in 2003 and then 13 in 2004 as he mentored the next generation of Tiger-Cat pass rushers among them Tim Cheatwood.
Montford would have one more move out of Hamilton in 2005 to the Edmonton Eskimos where he captured a Grey Cup championship in 2005. In the 2005 Grey Cup, it was Montford applying pressure on Alouettes’ QB Anthony Calvillo in overtime for the last play of the game that clinched the victory for Edmonton. Over his career the South Carolina State product was a CFL all-star 5 times.
Always a great interview and gentleman in the community Joe Montford always did his best to promote the league. A supreme talent with an unforgettable smile – Joe Montford is an all-time great.
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