A little Speculation

Not sure what to make of all these QB injuries within the first 2 weeks (could be more to come once week 2 is done).

My theory is that it could be directly resulted to the stupid and poorly assessed no contact rule beyond 5 yards. Defenses seem to be blitzing a heck of a lot more than in past years and the QB's are paying the price. Now I know that its possible that not every QB injury was the result of a blitz but psychologically if you blitz as much as teams seem to be compared to other years, that gets into the O-line and QB's heads and it makes disguising them or dropping back all the more deadly which lead to poor blocking from fatigue or blocking errors from poor reads.

Thoughts?

Interesting theory.

That theory might have legs. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. :wink: These absurd rules changes are going to mess up the game in ways that the CFL brass haven't even considered.

I doubt it has anything to do with it. Lets see here, no contact after 5 yards so your saying instead of the defender sticking with and covering their man they are now just blitzing repeatedly? This would leave a whole lot of hot routes open for the QB, dump passes.
I don't know for sure if it has altered the game in a subtle enough way to be leaving QB's at risk. Maybe?? if that's the case then offenses will be learning to take advantage with quicker and shorter passes.

Which is a lot harder to execute on a regular basis. Knowing how to beat a good blitzing defense is one thing; doing it consistently enough to sustain a scoring drive and avoid injury is another thing altogether.

I disagree, blitzing has been around since the beginning of time and only used sparingly in games, there is a reason for that. While blitzing can be very effective it can also be devastating if not properly executed which is why OC's don't blitz on every second play.
I find it hard to believe that blitzing is all of a sudden the new normal because of a no contact after five yards rule. Linebackers still have a zone to cover regardless of whether or not they are allowed to grab someone coming through, corners still have to cover. If everyone is blitzing now and this is the cause for the increase in injuries then you can bet screen passes will be the new normal with good YAC yards being piled up.

I really think this is just BAD luck.

As with anything, you have to have the right players to blitz, as well as the right coverage, defensive fronts, and disguises. One could very credibly argue that blitzes have been sparingly used because contact beyond 5 yards allowed defenses to jam up receivers way downfield, disrupt timing, and allow five-man pressure to force the QB into a sack or an incompletion. The theory was that it's much harder for an offense to put together a sustained drive using short passes and runs with only two downs than it is to go deep for 40 yards and immediately get into scoring range. However, I would say the trend back towards blitzing began a couple of years ago in response to the ball control offenses that Trestman and Hufnagel brought into the league. Everyone has basically copied what T & H brought into the league, because they showed teams how to run a West Coast offense in elite style. So the response has been to ramp up the blitzing and force offenses to beat you with low-percentage deep balls.

The new rules on contact beyond 5 yards have likely incentivized DCs even more to turn up the heat. Coordinators who like to sit back in soft zone, like Richie Hall, are getting killed by the new rules, because you can't defend your turf in a zone now by "switching off" a receiver with a shove or bump even if you are square to the receiver. So now it's open season with truck-size gaps in intermediate seam zones down field. Just my opinions, though.

I really think this is just BAD luck.
Personally, I think that the hyper-focus on all the new rules has meant officials are not properly focused on calling late / illegal hits on the quarterback. As a result, DCs are willing to take out a QB as the cost of doing business, since the player is mostly not even getting a penalty on the play, let alone being ejected.

In any event they should have just left the damn game alone. Here's hoping BLM makes it through tonight's game without getting crippled.

Maybe Huff starts Tate against the Al's with the new Canadian QB making his first start. Better keep his head up.

Yes, this is why Harris was 24/27 and Willy was 22/25 in week 1. This is also SPECIFICALLY why the Riders switched from Cortez' run-or-chuck-deep-from-the-pocket-and-protect-with-as-many-players-as-possible offense, to an all-hot-heavy-read-quick-release Chapdelaine offense. Use of hot routes IS up.

Hot-route emphasis is going to punish teams with inexperienced QBs (which is now, like, most everyone, given all the injuries!) who aren’t as capable of reading hot and finding the open man.

That is true and an excellent consideration, but the offenses were drawn up in the off season when everyone’s vets were healthy (except Ray) so it will be interesting to see if anyone changes to more conventional approaches.

Right on and then some especially on second and long when you can afford to give up 5 yards or so anyway.

I'm inclined to believe Eskimorock's hypothesis.

Last night during the game in the now overheating game-day thread, my own hypothesis after Schultz's remarks at halftime was that the talent and skills gap between the offensive lines, plus the running backs with inexperience in reads and blocking, and the defensive front-seven has widened to perhaps record levels.

I'm thinking we are seeing the most talented and skilled defensive lines and linebacking corps in CFL history. Consider that so many of those guys have been through the NFL too with a few who could still play in the NFL but for usually heavy financial considerations for any payments of more experienced players on rosters.

Only used sparingly in games? Hamilton spent most of the first half blitzing against the Bombers. Blitzing is an art though. An experienced, well coached Oline that can pick it up effectively can easily neutralize it. What made it so effective for the Ticats yesterday was, as Dom Picard acknowledged, was that Hamilton was effective and hiding exactly which guy would blitz and the Oline made mistakes in picking out him out.

As far as the cover thing goes, sure LBs and DBs have their protections but if you drop them into zone coverages and have a really effective blitz then the QB won't have time to get the ball to the hot read. What the new contact rule may be doing is encouraging more zone coverages to avoid having your corners and halfs get into the handfighting that happens more readily in man coverages, which then makes the decision to send an extra pass rusher easier. I could see some validity to this idea. The CFL stats trackers aren't as detailed as the NFL's so I have no idea if this data is available, but I'd be curious to see what the %'s are for blitz's compared to this early last year.

I’d think it has something to do with the 4 hour work days the players have now.
4 hour work days took effect last year, and last year this epidemic started and continues as does the 4 hour work day.

Almost every cover DB in the CFL are imports who played college and many in a pro league NFL or other. Even those National players playing other positions than S played in NCAA.
So this 5 yard rule is something these players played there whole life. The old 5 yard chuck rule.
Heavy Blitz packages have been going on for a few years now.

IMO it is a result of teams dropping the FB on offense and playing 5 wide.
For awhile the 5 wide formation dominated defenses with the SamLB being a traditional LB.
As defenses and players evolved from playing DB spots to moving a cover DB up to the SAMLB position.
Now that so many DBs have learned the SAMLB spot. 5 receivers being covered by 5 DBs made D match ups better.
with out a FB that left one less blocker and here came the blitzing.
Now offenses are playing more TE/FB packages. Guys who can catch as well as block.

Winnipeg does not have a FB/TE who also is a pass catcher.
After the blitzing on every down in the first half I think we saw more St Pierre and Cronk.
Cronk making his first catch ever in his 5 year career and St Pierre was shocked to have a pass thrown his way that he was not even looking.