This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Stampeders’ 1992 Grey Cup championship squad.
In the coming months, we’ll be taking a look back at the squad that snapped the Stamps’ 21-year title drought and the cast of characters responsible for the conquest.
This time, we take a look at defensive lineman Tim Cofield.
Position: Defensive lineman
College: Elizabeth City State
In 1992: 29 years old, 2nd season with Stamps
Regular season: Played 14 games and made 24 defensive tackles, 6 special-teams tackles, 6 sacks and 5 pass knockdowns
Post-season: Had 2 sacks in the West final
Chris Schultz says Tim Cofield is the reason he retired as a player and embarked on a second career that eventually brought him to TSN’s CFL panel.
After failing time after time to block Cofield during a game, Schultz knew it was time to look at other options.
Cofield made a profound impression on Schultz and many others during a six-year CFL career that started with a couple of seasons in Calgary. The Murfreesboro, N.C., native joined the Red and White in 1991 after having played 54 NFL games over five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.
Lining up at defensive end after playing linebacker in the NFL, Cofield was part of a ridiculously deep QB-terrorizing Stampeders defensive line that featured the likes Will Johnson, Kent Warnock, Stu Laird, Harald Hasselbach and Srecko Zizakovic.
Cofield dressed for just four regular-season games in his first season with Calgary but he was a standout in the post-season, recording nine tackles in the West final win over Edmonton and two tackles and a fumble recovery in the Grey Cup.
That was a sign of things to come as he became a regular in 1992 and finished tied for second on the team with six sacks in the regular season and added two sacks in the West final.
Cofield’s game was a potent combination of speed, technique and strength, and he reportedly could bench press 500 lbs. Still, he admits he needed a period of adjustment after the move north.
“You have to have good feet around here,” Cofield told reporters during his time with the Stamps. “You can beat the tackle but that doesn’t mean you can get the quarterback. In the NFL, you’re basically going straight ahead. The quarterbacks in the NFL are going to duck. These guys are going to try to elude you and they do it better up here than in the NFL.
“Football is football, I don’t care what level you’re at. They play just as hard, they hit just as hard and the competition is just as good here.”
Cofield was traded to Hamilton prior to the 1993 season and was a CFL all-star three consecutive seasons – twice with the Ticats and once with the Memphis Mad Dogs – as he recorded a ridiculous total of 59 sacks in 54 games over that period. In other words, Schultz wasn’t the only offensive lineman Cofield dominated in those days.
Cofield, an alum of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, concluded his brief but distinguished CFL career in 1996 with Toronto.