All, it's offseason and in discussing the great game of Canadian football with a friend down here in the US for the football junkies we are, and working to sway him to give the CFL a solid chance again this year and educating him about the greatness of the Canadian football game, he asked me openly about what it takes for success for a QB in the CFL.
It's hard enough to know the answer on that for any pro league for that matter.
Well I've been around as a fan of the CFL long enough since 2009 to form an educated opinion, and I'm sure the sparks will fly as for most any offseason discussion and debate in slow-time, but well let's grant at least that this is not the dead-horse expansion thread!
Common American Myth:
If a QB is good enough to start or play in the NFL, he has to be good enough to play and do well in the CFL.
Question from Friend, paraphrased:
'What NFL QB's who are solid or stated starters, which excludes those in a QB battle to be starters, would NOT fare well in the CFL?'
I come up with 12.5 of them who are otherwise mostly talented pro QBs of various winning capability in the NFL, but I don't see them succeeding in Canada with one less down to play on offence. And as an American indeed I answered him with Canadian/British spelling just for extra credit. 12.5 is about half the solid or stated NFL starting QBs mind you.
Have a look at my answer with my list and comments, and fire away with your opinions!
In a spread offence in the CFL with only three downs to make it practically 9 yards that requires more often mobility than in the NFL, I can't see the following NFL QBs who are starters doing well in the CFL:
AFC Known Named Starters
Ben Roethlisberger -- All kinds of talent and very tough 4th quarter QB who is hard to beat in close games, but he has no consistent deep game and would not benefit from near as much solid protection as with Pittsburgh's usually tough offensive line with the CFL offensive lines. He needs all four downs.
Joe Flacco -- Same as Roethlisberger
Andy Dalton -- No consistent deep game in pro football unlike in college
Matt Schaub -- He might be on his way to clipboard duty and has never had any deep game but to throw it up for Andre Johnson, and I have not seen him operate much out of a spread formation
Geno Smith -- He was trained in the spread formation at West Virginia and excelled, but he sucks in any pro football; then again it's only been one season on a bad team
Ryan Tannehill -- No consistent deep game
EJ Manuel -- He does not play out of the spread formation and has no consistent deep game - see Christian Ponder also from Florida State from the same college offence below and a similar offence now
NFC Known Named Starters
Tony Romo -- I've never seen him succeed consistently out of the spread formation
Mike Glennon -- He does not play out of a spread formation
Jay Cutler -- No pocket mobility behind a weak offensive line in the NFL, so in the CFL he would be crunched about as much behind even weaker lines
Christian Ponder -- He does not play out of the spread formation and has no consistent deep game -- see EJ Manuel
Sam Bradford -- Ditto Jay Cutler
50/50 on Colin Kaepernick - He does not possess a consistently effective deep ball, but he does possess superior mobility, a very strong arm, and improvisational skills when on the move. If he improved his deep game to show flashes of performance like in the 400+ yards passing against Green Bay early in the season, he would be an outstanding CFL prospect I would think.
I left off the list Russell Wilson, who has a similar game as Kaepernick, because he seems to have a better deep ball than Kaepernick.