Building a Team

Watching the CFL this year has me thinking about the emphasis on positional considerations.
If I was building a team I would throw away some old perspectives and traditions.

I would build the absolute strongest o-line I could regardless of passport, then build around them.

If it meant going with 5 Imports then so be it. And I’d pay for it.

If you did that teams would have to find enough Can talent to field up to 3 more starter positions elsewhere as most teams play at least 3 Canadians on their O-line. And most top tier Can O-line draft picks spend significant time in the NFL. But right now I don’t think teams are focusing enough on protection.

I would not be focusing on O-line talent in the Canadian draft. Rather I’d look at RB, LB, DB and WR.

The protection issues the past few seasons have been abysmal.

Exactly, that’s why all the q.b.’s are concussed . A good canadian fullback who. Can block and take swing passes out of the backfield wouldn’t be a bad idea either , Sleeper. It used to work really good.

If teams commit to blocking the pass rush, QB’s will have time to pass the ball.

I watched the 1967 Grey Cup game on youtube. On a scoring play near the goal-line, the Ti-Cats used a twin tight-end offensive line, with two fullbacks and a halfback forming a secondary blocking cocoon around the QB. Joe Zuger had all day to find his receiver, in fact no pass rusher even got through the first wall of blockers. Sure, the offence only had one receiver but he got open. Easy TD Hamilton!

If current teams want to sent 5 or 6 receivers in pass patterns, then of course, the QB will be a sitting duck and will likely get injured sooner or later.

(p.s. The entire 67 Grey Cup game, in about 10 parts, was on youtube for years but seems to be no longer available.)

I agree 100%!

Consider. Every GM avows that the key to a team's success is the team's Canadian talent. Yet none of them behave that way! Quite simply NONE of them draft the best Canadian players available. They all target Canadians in the Canadian player ghetto positions, OL, DL, LB and safety. This means that there is tremendous competition for Canadians playing these positions which means that no team is likely to get many of the best.

But the hundreds of Canadians playing QB, WR, RB and such are not equally targetted meaning there is far less competition for these players. Therefore statistically the best Canadians are easiest to find in these positions.

Ya…you used to hear that teams in all sports draft the best player available in drafts. It’s been a long while since it was practice. Belichick practices it but he is never in the top 20 in picks because of his teams success. He just drafts football players.
Just think that Sinopoli was a 4th round pick. 29th overall.
He was a QB of course but beyond that he was a great football player.

Edmonton Esks used to routinely draft the best available player even if they were “stacked” at that position.

Sask too. That’s how they ended up with 4-5 starting Canadian receivers.

Indeed. Somehow CFL GMs now have difficulty grasping the concept that the best Canadian QB or RB available is a better football player than the twelfth best center.


…you two seriously think you’re better football minds than any CFL GM currently drawing a paycheque? honest question here, not sarcastic…that you’ve found some secret formula that’s gone over the heads of guys like Buono, Popp or Huf?

Not necessarily bad thinking… but it’s LONG TERM thinking and that is a quality sadly missed in most circles these days.

If I were building a team, I would start by looking for 0-linemen that were not tubos. Weight thru muscle, not fat. Some Schultz and some Benjamin, etc.

I have often thought I would centre at least the offense around the best pass blocking line possible.

If you mean "pay for it" in the context of the ratio, then there would be a "cost" ... but in cap terms comparable Internationals usually make less than equivalent Nationals.

With these one year contracts all a team needs is a competent G.M.from Feb 10 - May 1 and you can build a team from scratch in that time frame with the unending free agents every year.

From what I have seen the nationals are more than capable of playing RB , FB , WR , TE , safety , DB , DE , LB etc … .

Probably QB as well if they were given the same opportunity as let’s say a few others I have seen stink it up not just once but many times over before being given the door .

I would use the best available like the Stamps who go over the ratio for nationals over the years .

The job with the Sanopoli transition is proof they get the most of out of their Nationals .

Just because we’re not GMs doesn’t mean we can’t experiment with new ideas, especially on a board that exists to inspire such discussion. After all, few if any GMs always get things just right. And we’re not actually agitating for the firing of any GM, which is something that I think much of the membership here might find refreshing for a change.


…hey, all for hypothetical concepts and high falutin ideas, but making a statement such as the one above sounds like you know more than nine pro GMs in this league…

…anyway, back to the topic, who’s to say that a CDN lineman isn’t the next best available player in this hypothetical draft? Next Best Player theory doesn’t exclude linemen. Quite often they are in fact the NBP and are taken accordingly…

The trouble with building a roster of free agents is often the costs. Generally you have to outbid 8 other teams to land a free agent which puts a team in a position to have the league's highest paid payer at several positions each year. But again, if I was building a team, and if what I thought a very strong O-Lineman was available as a free agent I'd look very hard at this guy and pay highly for him. Ottawa did their due diligence awhile back, and landed Sirvincent Rogers in FA. And they paid highly for him.

I think the best teams are very selective in adding free agents. And build their team generally through astute scouting throughout the States and solidly drafting Canadians through the draft.

And certainly drafting the best player available does not preclude that a Can O-line player is the best player available in one's estimation.

The original post said focusing and building the strongest O-line possible and not being driven by passport issues in this 5 man unit. The best 5 man unit here does not mean that Canadians are excluded from considerations.

Whether that's a "high-falutin" idea is in the eye of the reader I guess. In my view it's no more "high -falutin" than playing their best QB. But this is, after all, a football discussion board. Not a group that should have to be a GM in order to contribute ideas. That rhetorical question seemed like an odd "contribution" to the thread. If that question was asked throughout the various topics we'd have a football discussion board left to discuss the weather or ratings for the most part. The original post did preface things with " If I was building a team I'd.."

…fair enough everyman, that is what a message board is for, contributing ideas, narrow and far…it’s also a place to challenge those ideas when it seems the contributors think they know more than the paid professionals that actually play the game…

…building the strongest possible o-line is not a new idea, in fact it’s football 101…your OP is confusing though, you claim you’d build it including Canadians now, and before it was slanted (ha ha) towards not using canadians, in fact I think the angle you went was you’d ‘pay the cost’ to use imports only…so what exactly are you saying? You’d use a combo of nationals and imports or strictly imports?

If I may jump in here, what the OP said was that he’d use the best O-linemen. If that means all-internationals, that’s what he’d do, regardless of the price.

Or all nationals.

More likely it would be a mix.

…okay, I read it differently, that he’d use only imports and put nationals elsewhere, which seemed to fuel subsequent discussions regarding the capabilities of actual GM’s…that’s why I asked for clarification…

R&W…you have more than once been very cute about referencing me being slant. If this is a bee in your bonnet then just do what you want to do. But you don’t need to try and pick a fight about it.

But again I’m tired of you trying to be so passive aggressive about it. Just ban me if you think that’s fair or the right thing to do or leave it be. This is the last I’ll say about it.

…’haha’ set you off? It’s an Internet forum dude, don’t get your knickers in a knot

…back on topic, as you can see BD and I read your OP differently, can you clarify?