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22 Jun 2005

2005 CFL Preview

Guest Column by Ian Hollohan

Since the failed “American experiment� of the mid 1990's (anyone remember the Las Vegas Posse?), the Canadian Football League has hit its stride and is enjoying popularity and prosperity not seen for decades. With 9 teams currently in the league and all of them more or less financially stable (as stable as a CFL franchise can get, at least) and talk of possibly expanding into the Atlantic Provinces, it's a good time to be a CFL fan right now. The 2005 season began on Wednesday night (Montreal 31, Hamilton 21), so why not take a look at football north of the border?

Canadian football, while very similar to the American game, has some key differences that make the gameplay unique. I'll highlight some of the more important ones for the CFL rookies out there.

  • Field dimensions: CFL fields are 110 yards long and 65 yards wide. And the end zones are 20 yards deep to boot. This makes for some more interesting routes with the goal line offence, that's for sure. The uprights are at the front of the end zone rather than at the back as in the NFL.
  • Game play: One of the better-known CFL rules is 3 downs per offensive series. This, of course, puts a premium on passing, and the CFL is known as a passing league. There is more running than most first-time viewers would expect, but teams generally don't have the grind it out, control the clock type offenses that you sometimes see in the NFL (like the 2004 Steelers, for example). There are 12 players on the field on each side, not 11, and offensive players are able to go in motion towards the line of scrimmage prior to the snap (similar to what happens in the Arena Football League).
  • Scoring: Scoring is essentially the same as in the NFL (e.g. 6 pt TD, 3 pt FG, option to go for 1 or 2 pts after a TD, and a 2 pt safety). The one exception is the “rougeâ€? (more commonly referred to as a single) in which one team is awarded a single point by kicking the ball into its opponents end zone, where it then either goes out the side or back of the end zone or the returner is unable (or elects not by taking a knee) to get the ball out of the end zone. One of the more common ways a team scores a single is on a missed field goal that goes through the end zone. After a single is scored, the team that has been scored against takes possession at its own 35-yard line, or (in the case of a missed field goal) can elect to take possession at the previous line of scrimmage.
  • The CFL season is 18 games long. The season kicked off Wednesday night, and will end on November 27th with the Grey Cup championship game in Vancouver, B.C.
  • Nobody in the CFL plays defense. They do, however, play a lot of defence.

Here's a brief look at each team, with a number of names that you may recognize from the NFL (and occasionally XFL) past.

Eastern Conference

Toronto Argonauts

The 2004 Grey Cup champions were the CFL's feel-good story last year. And that's saying something for a Toronto based team. Head coach (and all-time CFL yardage leader) Mike “Pinball� Clemons found a way to lead the Argos to their first Grey Cup since some guy named Doug Flutie was under center. Expectations are high in the “Big Smoke� again this year. The “Ageless wonder� Damon Allen returns at QB with former New England Patriot Michael Bishop backing him up. All-time XFL rushing champion John Avery returns at RB, and is a threat catching passes out of the backfield as well. Rookie Hakim Hill should get some carries. Ex-NFLers abound at wideout, with R. Jay Soward, and Andre Rison getting more catches than they have in years. Arlen Bruce is dangerous whenever he touches the ball. LBs Mike O'Shea and last year's defensive MVP Kevin Eiben are the heart and soul of a solid Argo defence.

Hamilton Tiger Cats

The Ticats are coming off a disappointing year in which they went 9-8-1 and were bounced from the playoffs by their southern Ontario rivals (and eventual Grey Cup champions) the Argos. QB Danny McManus returns with veteran Mike Morreale and big play threat Craig Yeast (ex-Bengals) at wideout. McManus looks to cut down on his league-leading 30 interceptions thrown last year. Last year's leading rusher Troy Davis (you may remember him from Iowa State) will be called upon again this year to shoulder much of the offensive burden. The defence will have to adjust to the loss of emotional leader DE Joe Montford, now in Edmonton.

Ottawa Renegades

Like Hamilton, the CFL's newest team (part of expansion a couple years ago) looks to bounce back after a disappointing season in 2004. The Renegades regressed last year, finishing 5-13 and out of the playoffs. Their success this year will depend largely on QB Kerry Joseph staying healthy, and young WR Jason Armstead continuing to develop. RB Josh Ranak must continue to run effectively as well. A familiar name is former Ram and Buc Yo Murphy. Ottawa's defence was the worst in the league last year, and has to improve significantly this year for the Renegades to have a chance. There were plenty of personnel changes over the off-season, but it remains to be seen how this unit will perform.

Montreal Alouettes

The continued success of one of the CFL's best franchises in recent years depends heavily on the health of QB Anthony Calvillo. Calvillo has put up some monstrous numbers the last few years: he's passed for almost 25,000 yards in his last 5 seasons, including over 6,000 last year (becoming only the 4th player in CFL history to do so). His favorite target will continue to be WR Ben Cahoon, the two-time Most Outstanding Canadian. The Als have a crowded backfield featuring Jonas Lewis, Michael Jenkins, former Patriot Robert Edwards and two time Hec Creighton award winner (Canada's Heisman Trophy) Eric Lapointe (from my alma mater, THE Mount Allison University). On defence, the front seven is as good as any in the league, but the secondary is young and will be tested this season.

Western Conference

B.C. Lions

The Lions ended last season on a bitter note, losing to the Argos in the Grey Cup despite being heavily favored. B.C. was arguably the CFL's best team throughout the 2004 season, led by league MVP Casey Printers who threw 35 TDs and only 10 INTs filling in for the injured Dave Dickenson. Despite those gaudy numbers, Printers found himself on the bench in the Grey Cup with a healthy Dickenson getting the start. Printers should once again find himself # 2 on the depth chart, and with two quarterbacks of this quality, head coach Wally Buono might have difficulty keeping them both happy. Geroy Simon and outstanding Canadian Jason Clermont will be the primary targets. The addition of DB Barron Miles should make a solid defence even better. Recognizable ex-NFL players include former Giants DE Frank Ferrara, and, if you can find him hiding way at the end of the bench, Fighting Irish star turned Bronco scrub turned third-string Lion QB Jarious Jackson.

Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Green Riders will benefit this year from the return of QB Nealon Greene, who missed virtually the entire season last year due to injury. Greene will find solid targets in WRs Travis Moore (who led the team with over 1000 yards receiving last year), and Matt Dominguez, who should settle in nicely after bouncing around some NFL camps for part of last year. RB Kenton Keith leads one of the best rushing attacks in the CFL. The defence is lead by veteran Daved Benefield up front and LB Reggie Hunt in the middle. The secondary is young but improving, and the Riders may surprise some people this year.

Calgary Stampeders

The Stamps were a league-worst 4-14 last year, and the rebuilding effort will continue this season. Off-season acquisitions QB Henry Burris and WR Jermaine Copeland will help the aerial attack. You might remember Copeland as Tommy Maddox's top target in the XFL, and he's just one of the many recognizable names in Calgary. (MarTay Jenkins! Ken-Yon Rambo!) DE Demetrius Maxie is a presence up front on a defence that was respectable last season. LB John Grace leads the way in the middle, and free-agent signings Sebastien Roy (also a former Mount Allison Mountie) and Jude Waddy, formerly of the Packers, will add depth. The Stamps look to be a couple years away from the playoffs yet.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Winnipeg struggled last year, finishing 7-11 and missing the playoffs. QB Kevin Glenn is entering his first full year as a Bomber. The offensive line will have to do a better job protecting him this year, last year yielding 40 sacks. Special teams standout Keith Stokes (5 special team TDs last year) may be used more on offence, taking some of the load off WR Milt Stegall (Winnipeg's career receptions leader with 626 receptions) and RB Charles Roberts, who had over 1500 yards on the ground in 2004. All-stars Joe Fleming and Tom Canada anchor what is likely the league's best defensive line. They'll need to be outstanding again this year for the Bombers to make a run at the playoffs. (By the way, if you've been looking for Tee Martin and Spurgeon Wynn, they're sitting on the bench up in Neil Young's hometown, waiting for Glenn to sprain something.)

Edmonton Eskimos

Edmonton looks to battle with the Lions for top spot in the West this year. QB Ricky Ray has returned from the New York Jets and will be the number one QB this season (although he may miss the opener due to injury). Jason Maas will be the backup, giving Edmonton solid depth at quarterback. WR Terry Vaughn was lost in the off-season to Montreal but the offence shouldn't miss a beat. Veteran tackle Bruce Beaton was lured out of retirement to help solidify the offensive line. LB Seignor Mobley, newly acquired DB Kelly Wiltshire and DE Joe Montford (signed in the off-season) will lead the defence.

If you're looking to watch some CFL action, here's a schedule of games on a variety of U.S. sports networks including Comcast SportsNet, NESN, and MSG.

Posted by: Guest on 22 Jun 2005

42 comments, Last at 29 Aug 2005, 5:38pm by bob

Comments

1
by richard (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 7:43am

"Nobody in the CFL plays defense. They do, however, play a lot of defence."

huh? do you mean they play a lot of offence?

2
by Nick Evans (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:05am

Spelling, Richard. Canadians are still part of the Commonwealth, and so spell 'defence' correctly.

3
by beedubyuh (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 11:57am

Nice to see Troy Davis is doing well in the CFL after striking out in New Orleans. He had a tremendous career for the Cyclones.

4
by MDS (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 12:24pm

The CFL's Web site sucks. You have to open a PDF just to see stats.

5
by Steven (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 12:59pm

I'm a former US resident and NFL nut (Go Vikes!) now back living in Canada. Both the talent and popularity of the CFL have hit new peaks since I've been back in Vancouver. Sure, the "rouge" still bugs me, because getting a point for missing a field goal is just stupid - but the on-field quality is definitely improving.
What the CFL does most for me, is expose the odd and perhaps political/monetary/old white boys network nature of the the NFL QB position. An NFL team will hang onto a horrible QB because they drafted him high, the coach has a personal investment in seeing his "guy" be #1, the QB was great in college etc etc. The CFL is a QB's league. If you got game, you get to play. None of that political or racial BS.
Yes, the overall quality of play is not up to NFL standards, but I watch some of these guys playing at the QB position and can't for the life of me figure out why they didn't get a proper look in the NFL.

6
by houlie (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 1:38pm

MDS: The CFL's website does suck. Badly. Check out www.tsn.ca and www.cbc.ca/sports for better coverage of the CFL than its own site.

7
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 3:42pm

Does anyone know how the Canadian rules ended up so different than the NFL rules? Was there an evolutionary split decades ago or was there a conscious attempt to be different?

8
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 4:12pm

It's cause the Canadian Dollar is worth 80 cents. So you need 110 yards Canadian to make 100 yards American.

9
by Richie (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 4:16pm

Is there still a limitation to the number of US-born players permitted to play in the CFL?

10
by Björn (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 4:24pm

This is really nice - the CFL gets its fair share on FO! My favourite thing about the CFL is that out of 9 canadian teams, only 2.5 of them play in domes. (Montreal plays in Olympic Stadium for their playoff games, because McGill Stadium only holds 20 000 or so - but that is a really fun place to watch a game!) The other two, Toronto and B.C. play in the most moderate climates in Canada!

11
by Björn (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 4:25pm

RE: #9

Import (non-canadian) players count as 2 players on a roster. So one guy from the States or any other country takes up the same roster space as two guys from Canada.

12
by houlie (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 4:27pm

Richie: There is a roster limit of 17 "imports" (non-Canadian players) per team out of the 39 players desiginated on a game roster. Obviously, nearly all imports would be Americans.

13
by houlie (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 4:30pm

One other thing... I believe QB's have their own roster allocation which means an import QB doesn't have to be counted as one of the 17.

14
by Richie (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 4:34pm

Do CFL fans like the "import player" rule, or would you like to see the best possible players on the field?

15
by Björn (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 6:38pm

Personally, I would like to see the CFL tighten up the import rule even further. I think it would strenghten the league down the road, as Canadian university players would feel more certain of having a place to play after school. I think that more players would go through the minor systems and we would end up with more quality homegrown players. For an example, look at the Swedish Elite League for hockey; they have a rule that each team can only carry 2 import players. This policy has led to the strong state of Swedish hockey today. It is so strong that the Swedish olympic team destroyed the Canadian team at the last winter games by a score of 5-2. It was also funny during the NHL lockout last year, where NHL stars were being cut by Swedish teams when better players were deciding to play in Sweden.

A lockout situation in the NFL is very scary to a CFL fan. If the NFL players decided to follow the same route that many NHL players did and came to play in Canada, it might cripple the CFL for decades to come. Many CFL players have jobs outside of football, since the pay is so much lower. Many of these players would lose their jobs to NFL guys, and would find something else to do for the season, and might not come back. Then the teams might be forced to fill spots with lousy players who might in turn alienate the fans - again.

16
by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 7:18pm

I think that there is great support for the import rule. You can find great players in almost every position that are canadian, and the support to have canadians playing what we call "our game" is high. The only position you almost never see canadians playing is QB. Because QB is outside of the roster quota, there is no incentive to try to groom canadians for that position

17
by Martin (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:24pm

"Does anyone know how the Canadian rules ended up so different than the NFL rules? Was there an evolutionary split decades ago or was there a conscious attempt to be different?"

I'm pretty sure that the CFL is older than the NFL, so I would think we should talk about long, different evolutions. I can't confirm though, as the CFL web site really sucks. They do have a history section, but I saw nothing about the history of the league.

18
by Cory (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 8:36pm

Click on my name for a comparison of the Canadian and American games.

19
by houlie (not verified) :: Thu, 06/23/2005 - 11:50pm

Re # 15: "It is so strong that the Swedish olympic team destroyed the Canadian team at the last winter games by a score of 5-2."

...and then promptly went out a few days later and lost to hockey powerhouse Belarus. While the Canadians went on to take the gold medal. Not that I'm trying to start a hockey debate on a football website, however, lol...

The player development point is a valid one however. There hasn't been a lot of controversy about the import rules in the last few years, to my knowledge, likely because the league has been doing pretty well, and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"...

20
by Paulette (not verified) :: Fri, 06/24/2005 - 9:40am

Re evolution of CFL rules, I had done the research and posted it last year when a similar question came up.

The substance of it is that the first football game was Harvard-McGill in 1874, with each team playing by the other's rules for awhile.

Football was largely a collegiate game for the next 50 years and the rules evolved fluidly.

The Canadian game is circa 1909 rules, maybe because the Grey Cup stabilized the rules up north, while in the US things kept changing rapidly until the 30's.

Since I can't find my post, google "history of American football" if you want the long answer.

But yes, the large field and three downs were once the rules in the US, too.

21
by jack (not verified) :: Fri, 06/24/2005 - 12:09pm

The CFL is always an interesting diversion for me until the NFL kicks into high gear.

That said, I'm in the camp that wants to see the import rule done a way with completely. Its a guarantee of jobs for some Canadian atheletes, but it does nothing in terms of improving the quality and skill in the game. If anything, removing the import rule, would far and away improve the talent on the field.

And the kicking the ball through the end zone for a point rule must be removed ASAP. Nothing like rewarding a punter or a kicker for a good effort!! Argh...

22
by El Angelo (not verified) :: Fri, 06/24/2005 - 1:30pm

Weren't there at one point two teams with the same name: one called the Rough Riders and one called the Roughriders?

23
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Fri, 06/24/2005 - 1:37pm

"Import (non-canadian) players count as 2 players on a roster. So one guy from the States or any other country takes up the same roster space as two guys from Canada."

Hey! We're not that fat!

24
by houlie (not verified) :: Fri, 06/24/2005 - 1:46pm

El Angelo: you're right on the money with that. The Saskatchewan Roughriders, still in the league, once shared a name with the Ottawa Rough Riders, who went belly-up sometime in the mid-late 90's I believe.

The "Green Riders" nickname used in the article is actually a carryover from the time when they were both in the league, as it was an easy way to distinguish Saskatchewan (and their green uni's) from Ottawa.

25
by Richie (not verified) :: Fri, 06/24/2005 - 2:19pm

There really was no cooler feature of the CFL than having 2 teams with virtually the same name. What, there were about 12 teams at the time? When that 12th team came along, did they try to figure out a name. Eh....Blue Bombers is taken, Eskimoes is taken, Roughriders is taken....hmmm.....WHAT SHOULD WE DO, EH? THERE'S NOTHING ELSE LEFT!!! Eff it, let's just call ourselves the Rough Riders. That's not quite the same, eh?

26
by Mike B. (not verified) :: Fri, 06/24/2005 - 3:58pm

I still think it was funny that Baltimore's CFL team was just called "the CFLs" for a while during the lawsuit with the NFL.

I also think it's funny that they were in the Grey Cup both years of their existence, and won it in 1995 - and then the U.S. teams were disbanded. (They're now Montreal, I believe.) I miss being able to drive up the road and see a CFL game, even though I live in Virginia.

27
by Richie (not verified) :: Fri, 06/24/2005 - 7:28pm

I wish CFL games were broadcast on my cable system.

That's one of the crappy things about ESPN being so big-time now. 20 years ago ESPN thrived on CFL, USFL and Australian Rules football (amongst other obscure sports).

28
by TMK (not verified) :: Fri, 06/24/2005 - 9:27pm

For the unaware:

The Baltimore team in the CFL originally was to be called the Colts -- sue us if we have an attachment to something.

Which is what the league and the Irsays threatened to do, on the specious argument that it was an infringement of a trademark that no longer existed.

Rather than pay the court costs, which the cash-strapped CFL was in a bad position to do, they at first suggested the compromise "CFL Colts" -- I still have memorabilia with that name on it. That was rejected, so for the first season, the team was referred to as "Baltimore" or "the CFL's" -- sort of a chicken game with the Irsays.

By the second season, having seen how unwilling Indy was to budge, they changed the nickname to "Stallions," which is how they went into history -- and an episode of Homicide, where the cops were feted at a game. The team played for the Grey Cup in every year of its existence.

29
by newballcoach (not verified) :: Sat, 06/25/2005 - 12:52am

I really enjoy the CFL coverage. As a Canadian and a football fan, I don't see enough respect being paid to our league. The American players who play in the CFL are all great players and could have played and had long careers in the NFL.

The import rule is a great rule. It allows each team to have a local type of connection to players and gives canadian players a place to play.

It would turn into NFL Europe (with all import players) if this rule didn't exist.

30
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Sat, 06/25/2005 - 1:21am

Paulette (#20 )--

The first (official, intercollegiate) football game was played November 8, 1869, with Rutgers defeating visiting Princeton, 6-4. (Voluminous detail linked on my pseudonym.)

Go back far enough, and Rutgers was a college football powerhouse...

31
by -Shawn (not verified) :: Sat, 06/25/2005 - 3:14am

Enough with the harping on the Rouge. Basically it penalizes a team for taking a touchback. Which makes it an an interesting decision for a team, as teams can choose to run a missed field goal out of the endzone, like returning a kick (this is allowed in the NFL too, but almost never seen)and having the uprights on the goal-line means that more missed kicks are returnable.

If I recall correctly, one significant difference between CFL & NFL that was omited is over-time. In the CFL, each team trades offensive possesions starting at the oppents 45 yrd line (I think) and have 3 downs to score. The football equivolant to penalty shots.

32
by Paulette (not verified) :: Sat, 06/25/2005 - 9:34am

Starshatterer

That Rutgers game although called the first football game was soccer. The first American style football embryonic game was the one I made mention of according to the reading I did last year.

33
by Paulette (not verified) :: Sat, 06/25/2005 - 9:48am

re 32

Sorry for my post. I was aware of the Rutgers game buteven though the NFL recognizes it as the first football game didn't realize hands were allowed to move the ball.

The Harvard-McGill game was a lttle more evolutionary according to my readings,being something that led to Yale's Walter Camp developing it into something we might recognize as an ancestor using downs and so forth.

Anyway, my apologies.

34
by yep (not verified) :: Mon, 06/27/2005 - 10:45am

By all means, leave the Rouge alone. Shawn is dead on.

Considering Hamilton was 1-17 in 2003, I would hope that the fanbase would hardly consider a 9-8-1 season in 2004 disappointing. The fact that they laid a stink bomb in their playoff game at Toronto should be considered very disappointing. Greg Marshall earned his coach of they ear award for getting a bad team that far.

Andre Rison is currently "injured". If he sees the field to any great extent this year (and he was nothing special last year, either, despite what he might try and tell you) I'll be surprised.

Jarious Jackson was thrilled he was finally going to get his shot at QB. He as amped. Then he went out, in the first pre-season game and, on the third play, slammed a finger on his throwing hand against an opponents helmet and broke it.

He's injured. And when he comes back to the Lions, he'll be the fourth QB.

Damon Allen is Marcus Allen's brother. And he's a grandpa to boot.

Click the link on the difference between the two Roughriders.

The ratio rule isn't going anywhere. It guarantees Canadian jobs in a Canadian league, which is reasonable. The CFLPA won't lower that ratio, it would likely cost jobs, especially on the offensive line where the bulk of the non-imports play. It won't raise the limit, because that would lower the value of the existing Canadians in free agency.

35
by Aaron Boden (not verified) :: Mon, 06/27/2005 - 4:24pm

Two other things that set the leagues apart. First, the CFL has bigger balls. I love writing that. Yes, that's right the CFL has bigger balls. In fact, the football is quite a bit bigger. It is thicker, but and a little bit longer that an NFL ball. It was very hard to throw when I was a kid.
Second, the O-line and D-line must line up a full yard apart. I don't know what the NFL rule is but I know they don't have to be that far apart. It makes it easier to go for it on third and inches, and also makes for a little bit more protection for the QB, as is necessary with the emphasis on throwing in the league.

On another note, Week one of the CFL season has come to a close, the Roughriders have won their first game in convincing fashion over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The game was over after the first kickoff when the riders returned it for a touchdown. GO RIDERS!

36
by yep (not verified) :: Mon, 06/27/2005 - 6:22pm

The CFL ball isn't any different than the NCAA ball.

http://www.canada.com/sports/football/cfl/rules1.html CFL Ball.

http://www.ncaa.org/library/rules/2004/2004_football_rules.pdf NCAA Ball.

Compare and contrast.

37
by Björn (not verified) :: Mon, 06/27/2005 - 8:55pm

RE: #35

I don't think that the game was over right after the first kick return. The Bombers' Keith Stokes returned a punt for a touchdown, and then Troy Westwood missed a field goal for a single. With the score 19-8, Winnipeg marched to Saskatchewan's 20 yard line. Then, Kevin Glenn saw Kamau Peterson in triple coverage 10 yards downfield. Interception.

It's going to be a long year in Winnipeg.

38
by Mike Larsen (not verified) :: Wed, 06/29/2005 - 7:18pm

One more reason to love this site!
As a refugee of the former USFL and a CFL alumnus I can only say, thanks!
the Manchild

39
by Nick Evans (not verified) :: Fri, 07/01/2005 - 10:01am

Paulette, that old Rutgers game sounds more like 19th century rugby than soccer (moves such as the flying wedge) had been banned in soccer by this period.

Harvard-McGill seems to be one of the earliest games where it's possible to tell that North American football is diverging from rugby. And then, of course, the US and Canadian versions made their own separate changes to the basic rugby structure.

40
by John (not verified) :: Wed, 07/13/2005 - 2:27pm

The Reason the CFL is soo different from american football is, it's a different country. The CFL is actually older than the nfl as well.
The cfl was formed when a bunch of smaller rugby, and early football leagues combined. They needed one common
set of rules. And the rugby guys wanted some of there own rules, and the football guys wanted there own football rules. What we have now, is a combination, of rugby rules, football rules, and evolution over time. The american game, was based on rugby. And was then changed directly into a new game.
Our game has stronger rugby routes, and was made by people of a different culture.
The import ratio is a very good thing.
I would like to see it tweaked though.
I want to see a return of the naturalized canadian rule. Where an american who lives in canada full time, and plays on the same team for 4 or 5 years, is counted as an non import.
I love the rouge. It makes return men want to return missed field goals. It makes for alot more exciting plays.
Plus, my blue bombers have a punter who has the strongest leg in the history of football. Thats not an exageration. I've seen him punt kick the ball 80 and 90 yards ina games. And thats through the air. Not bouncing. He's averaging 50 yards per punt right now. And he's punting alot with our poor offence.
The cfl isn't a less talented legaue than the nfl. It's just very different.
Many players who are well suited to the canadian game and very talented just aren't suited to the nfl game. Like our rb. Charles roberts. Who had one of the best ncaa careers ever. And got no interest what so ever from the nfl. becasue he's small. Listed as 5'7 171, But more like 5'6 165. He's as quick and agile as any one. The way he can make people miss, is just mind boggling.

41
by Vjay (not verified) :: Tue, 07/26/2005 - 3:02pm

#35: "Second, the O-line and D-line must line up a full yard apart."
As far as I know in NCAA and NFL, it's the neutral zone that separates the offense from the defense. In the end it's the coaches that decide to put the defensive line as close to the ball as possible. Although the defense isn't allowed to line up in the neutral zone, they can crowd the immediate vicinity, but they can also line up as far away as they want, but no-one does line up 1 yd or more away from the ball.

42
by bob (not verified) :: Mon, 08/29/2005 - 5:38pm

nfl is boring!!!