AFI’s All-Pandemic Team: Defensive end – Thiadric Hansen, Wroclaw Panthers

The AFI All-Pandemic Team selection committee did not have many unanimous choices but Wroclaw Panthers defensive end Thiadric Hansen was one of them.

The Panthers dominated Poland’s COVID-19 delayed and shortened season this year winning the title beating the Bialystok Lowlanders 48-12 in the championship game, thanks in no small part to a truly shutdown defense that gave up a total of 32 points in seven games. One of the leaders of that defense was 27 year old Hansen, a veteran of the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes in the German Football League from Flensburg, Germany who became such a force on defense that opposing teams had to regularly use double teams to try to slow him down wherever possible.

Wroclaw Panthers head coach Kuba Samel was definitely grateful to have had Thiadric Hansen on his team:

“Thiadric made a huge difference to our team. He was a great leader by showing our players how to perform like professionals not only on gamedays but throughout the whole week of preparation. It was obvious from the start why he achieved so much in the CFL with his talents and work ethic. We were very lucky to have him on our team this year.”

The 6’3″, 247 pound Hansen had joined the Panthers after the Canadian Football League season was canceled and his team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, released him to play for Wroclaw. Although he had built a reputation as a defensive end to be reckoned with in his seven years with the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes amassing 527 tackles, 62 tackles for loss, 8 sacks and 7 interceptions, it was his late season and playoff play with the Bombers that truly captured the attention of the football world. As a Global addition, he impressed the coaches and played in every game for Winnipeg, recording 5 defensive tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles, along with 2 special teams tackles in the playoffs. Although he basically was a special teams player to start the year, he was in the defensive line rotation by Grey Cup time.

Hansen’s thundering tackle in the first half of the Grey Cup game made highlight reels the world over.

His spot on the AFI All-Pandemic Team was virtually a given.


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