Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 14)

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The NFL is officially underway with two weeks over in the season and the start of that season always has an impact up north.

Both leagues are so different but they do share a relationship where they are taking from the same talent pool.

The majority of players in both leagues is from North America with much of the internationals in the CLF made up of Americans and almost the entire NFL made up of Americans.

The CFL provides a place for much of the Canadian talent to play as they have a place to play and develop into something special.

For Americans, the CFL provides one of the few options to play pro football if they are overlooked by the NFL.

A lot of Americans will come up to the CFL to develop their skills and then take another shot in the NFL.

For Canadians, the CFL provides one of the few places that they can play professional football but more than ever a lot of the best talent in the country is headed south.

Canadians are heading to the NCAA to play in their college years and with that exposure comes interest from NFL teams.

As much as the CFL would love for them to come to play up north the money and exposure is too much to pass up for these players.

There are more Canadians than ever before playing in the NFL and it is becoming a legitimate option for many players.

Still, there are a lot of people who want to play in the NFL and for many of the Canadians and some of the Americans their dreams are ended at the end of August.

That is cut-down day in the NFL where teams have to get from their bloated training camp rosters that contain up to 90 players to their 53-man rosters that will play in the season.

Not everyone who joins an NFL roster will make their way to the 53-man roster as some will be signed to practice rosters and others will simply be cut.

For many players that means that they have an option as they can continue to grind it out and hope that an NFL team will need them at some point in the season or they can head north.

Cut-down day is a big day in the CFL as it is the one time that the negotiation list comes into focus for so many teams.

CFL teams are watching NFL camps closely hoping that they can find some talent that might work well in the CFL.

Although they will always be selecting from the talent that couldn’t make it in the NFL it isn’t as simple as it seems.football-sidebar

The NFL is always looking for the biggest and fastest guys in the world but often they can miss guys who aren’t the biggest or the fastest but have a lot of talent.

The CFL loves those players like Doug Flutie or Pinball Clemons have shown with a league that prefers to work around talent rather than fit talent into schemes.

In Canada, teams are watching as the NFL teams make their final cuts and when they do often the league begins a signing period where they bring up some of the best talent that could make an impact in the league.

The other factor on cut-down day though is those Canadian players who couldn’t quite make it in the NFL or spent years down south only to end their careers.

Many of those players are the ones that teams took a risk on and drafted in the Canadian entry draft only to see them make a name for themselves in the NFL.

After a few years, these players find it harder to stick around with the young talent always making their way through.

These players then decide to retire or make their way back home to lay for the teams who hold their rights.

This year a number of names will make their way to the CFL as Jordan Williams-Lambert returned to Saskatchewan after a stint with the Bears.

Meanwhile, one of the best U Sports defensive linemen ever failed to catch on with the Bears and found his way to Edmonton in Mathieu Betts.

Perhaps the biggest signing came this week though when the Eskimos added yet another name to their defence.

Stefan Charles was one of the top Canadians in the 2013 draft but was already getting interest in the NFL.

After six years in the NFL where he played for multiple teams, along with a stint in the short-lived AAF, he decided to return to the team who drafted him in 2013.

It is another addition to the best defence in the league as Charles adds to a loaded defensive line for the stretch run into the playoffs.

That after all is the biggest part of the cut-down day signings as teams get their chance to reload before the playoff push.

 

Fourth Down

The Fall

When the season began the Ottawa REDBLACKS were considered one of the top teams in the east but a lot has changed. They were always heading into the season with a question about who could lead them under centre after the departure of Trevor Harris. Dominique Davis won the battle while new signee Jonathan Jennings would be forced to sit on the bench. So far neither have been able to get them on track as they are now facing elimination after losing their last two games to the worst two teams in the league. The question for the rest of the season is whether or not they can get back on track in time.

Look to the Future

As the game continues to grow throughout the country the first Scouting Bureau rankings feature a host of players in the NCAA. Leading the list is Neville Gallimore who is starting for Oklahoma with one sack so far this year. Right behind him is Chase Claypool of Notre Dame and the top Canadian QB in Nathan Rourke who is currently starting for Ohio. The top U Sports athlete is at #7 where Ketel Asse is the most likely candidate for the top spot in the draft. If the rankings are any indication the game continues to grow and Canadians are getting more attention from schools in the south than ever before.

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