Editorial: NFL Stars Joining CFL

NFL Stars Joining CFL
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Welcome to LWOS CFL Insider with former CFL quarterback Tanner Marsh. This season, get weekly content from someone who has played in the league, only at LWOS.

NFL Stars Joining the CFL

As we all know the Canadian Football League is different. Canadian football is a game of its own with different rules, crazy motions, larger field, field goal posts in the middle of the field, having a ratio of how many National and International players can be on the field and roster. These different rules from the American version could take up an entire page and still have more that fans have never even heard of. This emphasizes the point that there is no other game like that of the Canadian Football League.

One trending topic is teams signing former NFL superstars. The problem that we as fans—and certain General Managers—forget about during these transactions is the fact that the NFL and CFL are absolutely nothing alike when it comes to the style of play. Those who have experience in playing quarterback in CFL and down south in NFL camps, this article will compare the transition of the quarterback position from NFL to CFL.

The Quarterback Transition

This is where the difference of the game really shows. First, the obvious: the quarterbacks coming from the NFL to the CFL will have to prepare for all the crazy motions on the offensive side; which honestly is not the difficult part, something we tend to forget is with all of those crazy motions going on the offensive side of the ball, the defence is doing the exact same thing. That is where learning a whole new and different game comes into play. NFL style reads for a quarterback can be difficult, but once you start your cadence you have an idea of what coverage/blitz the defence will be in. When you have four offensive guys attacking the line of scrimmage and as they are, the defensive safety takes off to the field. You cannot just stop everything and change the play like you can in the NFL. If something happens you did not expect, you have to find a way to make it work. This is why some of the most successful CFL quarterbacks are known for making amazing plays on their own.

Play Clock

That brings up the next HUGE difference: the play clock. This is what makes the CFL a different game than the NFL and gives every quarterback that signs up north problems. A CFL game clock is 20 seconds long; an NFL style game clock is 40 seconds. This means that in the NFL style of game clock, quarterbacks have the opportunity to get into a better play versus the defence that is presented to them. An example would be Peyton Manning yelling “Omaha, Omaha” having the opportunity to audible his team into a better play. The CFL 20-second game clock does not give a quarterback this opportunity. Whatever play is called, that is the play being run and you have to make it as successful as possible. This is where quarterbacks come into the league and struggle.

Positives of NFL Stars Coming Up North.

They help bring butts into the stadiums very much. Everyone wants to see how well a big name guy is going to do against the “weaker foe” Canadian Football league. Certain teams will sign these guys just for the publicity across North America. This is where General Managers really bring out the business side and have to create a stir around their team.

Negatives of NFL Stars Coming Up North.

It is easy to understand how excited the fan base of a team can get after they sign a former NFL star, which is exactly what the team wants. But what is not seen is the impact it has on the team in the locker room. This is why it is either a hit or miss with this situation. Bringing in a big name guy takes away from all of the other stars on the team. Players that have made a name for themselves and make the CFL the great league it is.

It brings attention to one individual that might not even play or help immediately instead of the team. The CFL is an amazing league first and foremost because of the fans. What also makes the CFL great is the veterans that have been playing in the league for many years. Bringing in former NFL stars take away from this.

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