Barron Miles is the all-time CFL kick blocking king. But why am I thinking about him now? Well as we hit the festive season it becomes a time for reflection.
One of the major themes emerging looking back over the CFL stories we ran on ninetynineyards this year has been celebrating the past. We have looked back at great players, teams and the general history of the game.
That is why we have looked back at some great careers. Including Tony Gabriel, Grover Covington, Paul Osbaldiston, Michael “Pinball” Clemons, Henry ‘Gizmo’ Williams, Lui Passaglia, Bob Cameron, and Dave Cutler.
A veritable collection of All-Time CFL greats. Threaded through that too is a strong collection of great special teams players. All of which got me thinking about Miles.
He earned All-Big Eight honors in 1993 and 1994. Foreshadowing things to come in his pro career, he also blocked a ‘Husker-record seven punts during his career.
Miles’ Route to the CFL
Miles’ was a sixth round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1995. However a knee injury in preseason derailed his chance with the black and gold.
After a year with Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europa he arrived in Montreal with the Alouettes. That would prove to be the start of a fruitful 12 year CFL career.
A great Career
In total, Barron Miles played 189 regular season games and 13 more in the playoffs, winning two Grey Cups (2002, 2006) and appearing in two others with the Alouettes (2000, 2003).
Miles started out with the Montreal Alouettes in 1998. An impressive rookie season with 74 tackles and 6 interceptions sew him named the Outstanding Rookie in the East.
As a starting cornerback he was named a division All-Star four times with Montreal (1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003) and a three time CFL All-Star (1999, 2000 and 2002).
Miles won the Outstanding Defensive Player in the CFL in 2002, and in total had 30 interceptions in 6 years with the Alouettes.
After the 2004 season, following a career low two interception year the Als let him go as a free agent to BC.
The Lions converted him from cornerback to safety and he continued to be successful. Miles was named West Division All-Star four time (2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009) and awarded CFL All-Star status three more times (2006, 2008 and 2009).
By the end of his career Barron Miles moved up to tie Hall of Famer Larry Highbaugh for second place on the all-time CFL interception list with 66.
Kick Blocking King
As the title of this piece suggest though, Miles had another special talent. He is the CFL’s all-time leader with 13 blocked kicks.
11 of those blocks came on punts and 2 on converts. That includes a memorable one against Saskatchewan where he leapt over the snapper!
So dominant as a kick blocker is Miles that he holds the franchise record for both the Alouettes (seven) and Lions (six)!
Barron Miles CFHOF Class of 2018. Image from CFL.ca