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Buc on the Move

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: January 16, 2013, 10:18:35 AM

The CFL has been coming up in discussion lately as a place to look for players and coaches as well as a place to send NFL rejects to try to resurrect a career.  I know there are some of you who watch significant amounts of CFL action, so I was wondering about some of the differences in the game, as I have not even seen a Grey Cup.  I know the field is bigger, but beyond that, what strikes you the most different?  Here are some specific questions:
1) Are there many rule differences?
2) Do teams employ many different offensive/defensive schemes than are used in the NFL, and would they make sense in the NFL?
3) Are they putting the players in dresses the way the NFL has been trending, or do they hit pretty hard under the rules up there?

I know the NFL is a 'copycat league'.  I was wondering how much the CFL copies the NFL or if they do things their own way up north.

big_JLB

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#1 : January 16, 2013, 10:30:16 AM

The CFL has been coming up in discussion lately as a place to look for players and coaches as well as a place to send NFL rejects to try to resurrect a career.  I know there are some of you who watch significant amounts of CFL action, so I was wondering about some of the differences in the game, as I have not even seen a Grey Cup.  I know the field is bigger, but beyond that, what strikes you the most different?  Here are some specific questions:
1) Are there many rule differences?
2) Do teams employ many different offensive/defensive schemes than are used in the NFL, and would they make sense in the NFL?
3) Are they putting the players in dresses the way the NFL has been trending, or do they hit pretty hard under the rules up there?

I know the NFL is a 'copycat league'.  I was wondering how much the CFL copies the NFL or if they do things their own way up north.

1. football is football, CFL is just a different brand. 12 players on the field, 3 downs, linemen line up 1 yard apart (doesnt sound like much, but has a huge impact on the game)
2. being 3-downs its naturally a pass-first league, CFL teams have been running shotgun, 4/5 receiver sets for years
3. CFL has some dirty hits. they lay the wood up there...CFL is also much more lenient in regards to celebrations, and allows group TD celebrations...so awesome

http://www.cfl.ca/video/index/id/82565 - top 10 hits of the 2012 CFL season


Buc on the Move

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#2 : January 16, 2013, 10:55:02 AM

Ahh, hit videos...thanks.

I especially liked #8 and #2.  Appeared to mostly be legal NFL hits, though a couple may have received the new "defenseless receiver" flag.  On #2 they could have called it 'senseless' receiver as hard as that hit looked.

Interesting only 3 downs (still trying to get 10 yards?).  Does that mean 2 and outs?  The moving forward at the snap hardly seems fair the way that guy took out the DE.  Looks like fun stuff up there.

TBTrojan

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#3 : January 16, 2013, 11:06:43 AM

^^^This
Plus wideouts are allowed to be running towards (but not past) the LOS before the ball is snapped.
No illegal motion
You still get 1 point if you miss a FG
There are no touchbacks on punts, they have to get out of their own endzone or you are awarded a point.
Touchbacks are placed at the 35 yard line not 20 (but remember the field is longer)
If you conceed a FG you can pick if you want to try to return a KO or simply take the ball at your own 35.
There are no fair catches but there is a "deadzone" of 5 yards around the catcher until he has the chance to catch the ball.
20 second play clock
3 minute warning instead of 2
Goalposts are on the goalline not at the back of the endzone
Only 1 timeout per half
1 foot inbounds for a catch
Clock stops after every play during the last 3.5 minutes of a half
If a fumbled ball goes out of bounds it's the team who touched it (just a touch , not possession) last that get the ball

It's a totally different version of the same game and IMO is just as good to watch as the NFL when you get used to it.
: January 16, 2013, 12:39:00 PM TBTrojan

Buc on the Move

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#4 : January 16, 2013, 11:22:48 AM

Thanks Trojan, for the clarifications as well.  Sounds like most of the different rules make the game pretty exciting.

dalbuc

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#5 : January 16, 2013, 11:34:23 AM

Thanks Trojan, for the clarifications as well.  Sounds like most of the different rules make the game pretty exciting.

Much faster wide open game. 3 downs instead of 4 really changes the game. On the continuum of football CFL sits midway between the NFL and AFL. 

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

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#6 : January 16, 2013, 10:27:09 PM

Very exciting game but the talent level isn't even close, the NFL can't be matched in that area. That being said some NFL players would really struggle in the CFL. I don't think anyone has mentioned the size of the ball yet the CFL ball is bigger around more like a rugby ball, not quit that big but still bigger.

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#7 : January 17, 2013, 10:12:15 AM

Very exciting game but the talent level isn't even close, the NFL can't be matched in that area. That being said some NFL players would really struggle in the CFL. I don't think anyone has mentioned the size of the ball yet the CFL ball is bigger around more like a rugby ball, not quit that big but still bigger.

its true that some NFL players would struggle. i watched ricky williams play for the argonauts live vs. the hamilton tiger-cats and he was hardly the best player on the field.

...the CFL also changed the size of their footballs in the mid-90's, they're pretty much the same as the NFL ball now, except they have the white stripes on either end


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#8 : January 17, 2013, 12:17:30 PM

I live in Saskatchewan, Canada home of the riders.

People have more or less covered the important pieces here but i think the most important difference to mention is the size of the endzones, CFL endzones are 20 yards deep, I won't delve into the implications this has on the game of football as i am sure you guys can imagine the impact it would have.

The main reason I prefer the NFL to the CFL is talent level alone, the CFL is full of players who are not good enough to play in the NFL, when players absolutely dominate the CFL game they are recruited to the NFL.  (See Cameron Wake)

Buc on the Move

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#9 : January 17, 2013, 12:22:01 PM

Thanks everyone for the updates on the CFL.  It would be interesting to get to watch some games to get a feel for the differences myself.  Maybe I will have to make an effort to check out the Grey Cup next year.  When does that take place?

Buc on the Move

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#10 : January 17, 2013, 12:22:41 PM

Also, it will be interesting to see if Trestman mines the CFL on his way into the NFL, since he will have great knowledge of the players there.

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#11 : January 17, 2013, 03:40:43 PM

I live in Canada and I don't even watch the CFL often. My main complaint is the camera angles and the field. If it looked more NFL like, I would maybe watch it more frequently.

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#12 : January 17, 2013, 04:20:53 PM

I also live in Canada, and the size of the field bothers me.  Wider field and ridiculously big endzones.  Could you imagine trying to stop Calvin Johnson on a fade route in a CFL endzone? I don't really like that offensive players can have a running start either.  Desean Jackson would be 50 yards down field in a few seconds every time he had a running start and that he could take the top off of D's too easily.  Overall just subpar football in my eyes but I'm sure that some good offensive and defensive principles can be borrowed from the CFL same as with college ball.

tog

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#13 : January 17, 2013, 04:30:42 PM

The 101st Grey Cup takes place on November 24th, 2013.

Most of the differences between the CFL and NFL have been covered.

One I didn't see mentioned is that there is no fair catch for punts, instead every player has to give the punt returner a 5 yard halo until he touches the ball. The ball used to be quite a bit bigger than an NFL ball (I loved it) but all the American QBs hated it (being so different from what they played with their entire lives) so it was shrunk down some, it's still bigger than an NFL ball.

Some other random facts:

Football actually originated in Canada - the first game in America being played between McGill University (from Montreal, Quebec) and Harvard on May 13 adn 14, 1874.  Harvard loved McGill's rules (running with the ball, downs, tackling) that they introduced them to Yale in a game the following year. And while the NFL (as the "American Professional Football Association") didn't come into existence until 1920, the Grey Cup was first played in 1909.

The CFL is built for smaller, faster players so guys like Cam Wake dominate here.  That's also why bigger power guys like a Ricky Williams don't have much success. Contrast that with Stefan Logan who was a very good RB for the BC Lions but is primarily a kick returner due to his size in the NFL.  This affects all the interior positions, as the OL is smaller and quicker as well.

There are rules for the number of Canadians that must be on the field every play. The purpose of this is to ensure the game stays "Canadian" and prevent it from becoming a feeder league for the NFL.  I'm a big fan of the rule because it forces the team to develop Canadian talent and invest in the game at that level. 

The one difference between Canada and the USA is the attention to sport.  The biggest college here draws something like 15000-20000 fans to its football games.  But its not just football, hockey and other sports draw similarly small crowds.  While you could argue its a benefit to glorify sport less, it also means that there is less development of players/coaches as the structure/money isn't in place. That's why many CFL head coaches are American (and QBs too).

But for those that think the NFL would be more popular here than the CFL, the last NFL game in Toronto drew as many fans as the University championship game (which is crazy).

While I love both leagues - I actually prefer the CFL.  First of all - you aren't flagged for hitting nor are you flagged for ticky tack pass interference rules. Go to 1:20, and you'll see what I mean: .  Things like players falling into the knees of the QB and getting flagged, or a DB touching a WR while the ball is in the air and getting flagged... drive me CRAZY.  Because the CFL is on a bigger field with fewer downs, you get the offensive explosion without have to come up with dumbass rules to do it.  The NFL definitely has the elite of elite athletes, but given all the other advantages of the CFL I think you get a more interesting game.  Doug Flutie, who played extensively in both leagues, has stated he thinks the CFL is a better game.
: January 17, 2013, 04:34:21 PM tog

tog

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#14 : January 17, 2013, 04:37:35 PM

I also live in Canada, and the size of the field bothers me.  Wider field and ridiculously big endzones.  Could you imagine trying to stop Calvin Johnson on a fade route in a CFL endzone? I don't really like that offensive players can have a running start either.  Desean Jackson would be 50 yards down field in a few seconds every time he had a running start and that he could take the top off of D's too easily.  Overall just subpar football in my eyes but I'm sure that some good offensive and defensive principles can be borrowed from the CFL same as with college ball.

You'd stop Calvin Johnson on a fade route in the endzone the same way you stop him normally on the field... The bigger endzones allow you to play more of your defensive playbook (sometimes will even play cover 3 on the 10 yard line).  BUT the offence also can do a lot more.  A guy like Desean Jackson would fit great in the CFL, but there are already a lot players with his speed/size combo (they're common in the CFL).  CFL also plays they're safety much farther back than in the NFL for this reason.  You'd stop Jackson by roughing him up - this isn't the NFL where it's titty bump - and playing zone overtop.  CFL incorporates a lot of zone and read/match coverages.
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