CFL or NFL Talent.. Which is better?

Forgive me for not replying to the Gigeure thread that included this topic's question..... but I felt it needed a thread on it's own.
With regard to the question: Which league is more talented...... here is my 2 cents;

?Comparing the NFL to the CFL is like comparing apples to oranges. The CFL linebackers are
lighter and more mobile to cover the pass. Ray Lewis is a dominant, superstar, NFL linebacker
and a big inside hitter. But how well would he do up here? He’s too heavy to cover our field
like old man Otis Floyd can do now. Derrick Pope an NFLer who was just released admitted he
had to lose weight to play our game. Sure he can hit, but can he cover a much wider field in a passing
game? Is his body structure more about making impacts or being able to run like a deer when need be? Our field also requires QBs to be more mobile. Great drop back NFL QBs are not as inclined to play in the CFL. I firmly believe, Steve Young and Brett Favre would never have done what Flutie did in the CFL due to our game and style. So who's more talented? (Side note to anti-Canadian football sentiments..... the CFL had Theisman, Moon, Garcia for years before they played NFL. Sean Salisbury was cut by Winnipeg then played another 5 years in the NFL winning player of the week in the early 90's . Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien was born in Canada.) There are a lot of NFL to CFL busts like Ricky Williams, etc, etc. The NFL “tight end? is not used in the CFL. Instead we have “slotbacks? who are lighter, faster, more mobile, and a deeper threat. Canadian born O.J. Santiago made a career as a TE in the NFL, but with his body structure (6'7, 270 lbs)and positional attributes he probably would not have made a CFL team. The same goes for superstar tight ends like Tony Gonzalez, etc. I personally think, the only position between the 2 leagues that really matters to a "certain degree" when it comes down to raw talent regardless of body size or the wide receiver. That is where skill, speed, and natural ability will be the difference between the No Fun League's $$ and CFL $$. HOWEVER, to say one league is more talented doesn’t really apply. One league is not better just different. The CFL is more exciting, improvisational, less structured, and lets talent overcome size. That happens to be my personal preference.
Go Tiger-Cats!!!!

I think the talent level is superior in the NFL, although I still maintain the CFL game to be of superior quality.

Someone once asked Tony Champion if the players hit harder in the NFL or the CFL. His reply?

"If you get hit by a truck in the States, it feels the same as getting hit by a truck in Canada".

Don't eat the spam.

well apart from the style of the game you have to go for the NFL for the same reason Canadian Hockey players are better than the Americans .. it's all about how the younger guys are brought up. The states have much better orginizations for breeding football players .. right from little league thru high schools , college and the pro's. As for the styles .. well the dream is to land a big NFL contract so you focus on that style of play. And also you never hear " well he came to the NFL after not being good enough to land a spot on a CFL team" Not to take away from the CFL . Canada doesn't have that same level of grass roots training . And it is also the reason why you see American hockey teams loaded with players from Canada and other countries.

Saying they have the superior talent while we have the superior game is a cop out. How can we say straight out that the talent is superior when so many have treaded this way and failed after modest and even championship success in the NFL?

The more accurate assessment would be that in the NFL, there is the absolute best assembled talent in the sport of Amercian football. In the CFL, we have the best talent in the sport of Canadian football given the conditions that the rosters are comprised of a quota of Canadians and some athletes who would otherwise be greatly successful in the CFL are associated with other professional gridiron football leagues for financial reasons.

There's no question as to who has the superior training system. The point still stands that while the investment in football training is hundreds of times larger in the U.S., they train and breed players for American football. These players often, but not always possess the physique and skillset to use in the unique Canadian game and in many cases, like the aforementioned Pope, great talent plied in the NFL doesn't necessarily translate to the CFL.

This is true despite the economic disparities between the sports..

synthcat - I believe that Steve Young would have made an excellent QB in the CFL. Remember, he was quite dangerous rushing the ball as well as his pinpoint passing. Ricky Williams said that the only difference in the calibre of players between he two leagues is the level of consistancy. The NFL has players that are bred to do EXACTLY the same thing every play. He was extremely impressed by the athletes and level of play in the CFL.

Bang on.

At the very highest end of skill positions, it is safe to argue that most NFL superstars would excel -- dominate -- if in the CFL. Joe Montana would be Joe Montana. Larry Fitzgerald would be unstoppable, IMHO. Barry Sanders? ROTFLMFAO Perchance to dream!

Warren Moon is but one example of a player who excelled in both leagues. Doug Flutie's CFL success eclipsed his NFL accomplishments, but he proved he could perform in both leagues.

Busts? Many of them, the NFL ones up here tend to stick out more because of the hype not matching the reality. Folks thought Ricky Williams would dominate the CFL. He had a decent time up here, but his power running style wasn't a deciding factor. His speed, though prodigious on a NFL field, didn't translate as well to a CFL one, playing 20+ pounds lighter. Injuries also factored into it.

Vince Ferragamo and the Als' NFL airlift of the early 1980s was probably the biggest example of hype hitting the guardrail. Ben Zambiasi -- an undersized cut of the Bears -- DECLEATED Ferragamo into next week in an IWS preseason game and effectively set the tone for Vince's stay up here. There are other examples of guys who made it here as "undersized overachievers" (a Benism) after not sticking in the States.

First principle is that speed kills on both sides of the border. It is essential for anyone at RB, WR, SB, or in the defensive secondary to have speed.

Second principle is that at DE and all LB positions, speed is a huge factor while size is not as much an issue as it is in the NFL. Quick Parker and Joe Montford owned the CFL because of their speed off the edge. Their respective sizes would not be considered "NFL material" because instead of facing a 6'4" 300 lb. tackle across from them, it would be a 6'6", 340 ls. obstacle. I am generalizing here, but the way that things are done, speed trumps strength. The CFL lines' splits are wider, so speed and the ability to block or pass rush "on an island" is more an issue on CFL lines.

In the NFL, a 3-4 DE can vary widely in size, up to 300 lbs. on some teams. Different operating principles, strength and the ability to hold up from poundings is emphasized.

Lineman are bigger in the NFL. Power running in tighter offensive formations. The skillset demands are different. Defensive tackles in Canada have to be able to move to create penetration and to maintain gap control. Pat Williams of the Vikings IS gap control. LMAO

The demands of some starters on CFL clubs having to be special teams players as well factors into this. You have to have endurance, speed, agility, and adaptability to be able to block on the line, then be able to pursue and tackle. In the NFL, bigger roster sizes mean backups can specialize as special teams players. Not so much in Canada -- backups are expected to scrimmage more. It changes the skillset demands of what kind of guy can do double duty on your team.

The non-import quota only intensifies this need. Guys need to be multi-functional.

The NFL return ace is a rarer breed that in the CFL. Devin Hester is a megastar today in the NFL for his prowess, but in the CFL, the dominant returner is par for the course. Gizmo Williams, Earl Winfield, Johnny Rodgers, Garney Henley and on and on...the CFL guys are generally smaller and have a premium on agility. Coverage guys must have the wheels to pursue and tackle because the no-yards halo forces teams to tackle as opposed to the fair catch scenario where a Ray Guy punting can dominate with hangtime and directional punting.

I am scratching the surface here. Needless to say, loving football on both sides of the border, I appreciate the skills of players who excel in both leagues. However, I recognize they are two very different games. I am reminded of Garney Henley's first thought as a CFL defender -- he took a look back into the end zone and realized he had a cow pasture behind him to defend! LOL

Oski Wee Wee,

There great Talent in both leagues

There some Players who could not make the The CFL and some who could not make the NFL
There are some who could do both

It takes special Athlete to play on the bigger Field.
They both have my Respect

These debates are always silly.

Actually, I think these debates are great. They are a LOT better than the drivel that we usually get...


Excellent opening post. Well stated. :thup: :thup: :thup:

Silly, no. Pointless? Probably.

I think, above all else, the talent is different in the CFL. Some of the most talented players in college and CFL ball may not cut it in the style of the NFL. And, conversely, we've seen loads of NFL'ers come up here and huff and puff their way to mediocrity.

I give the NFL the edge sheerly on the economic factors. Their dollars can buy the most gifted athletes possible -- plus, the U.S is the football factory, and players dream of playing in the NFL. However, many similarly gifted athletes who may not have the size will end up here.

Also, for all the football players this continent produces, there are really only 40 teams to choose from. One could certainly argue that the difference between, say, 9 through 40 (...allowing some respect for the powerhouses of football) wouldn't be all that different.

Unlike hockey, there isn't really a pile of legitimate farm systems that professional players can go to. So, I think the differences maybe less than what many people would have us believe.

Pretty much all are NFL rejects and at somepoint have been cut from multiple NFL teams except maybe the CSI guys. Talent goes where the money goes plain and simple. You'd be very hard pressed to find a CFL team that could beat an NFL team on a CFL field. There is a reason why they are playing in the CFL and its not because it was their first choice.

^^^^ The big name nfl players that came up were all washed up, chewed up and spit out of the nfl system.

This is like asking if the NHL's talent is better than the AHL

It's completely ridiculous.

The NFL scouts and drafts the best football players in the world end of story, the debate should be how big of a gap is there in talent.

And yes players have to condition differently for both leagues, but still in the NFL you have a lot of freak athletes who are built like tanks and yet still have great speed.

Fans have these debates yet if we were to sign some bust of an nfl first round pick tomorrow we'd be all hailing him the next big thing in this league.

Player attributes end up where they are required. Yes everyone will give the NFL a shot first if they can. Money determines that. Where you end up depends on what attributes you have to offer. Some requirements are different between the leagues.

NHL and AHL are affiated and play more or less the exact same variant of the game without differences in roster requirements (size, proportionality between positions for the game, import quota)...

There are so many more differences that exist between the NFL and CFL. Your hockey analogy is a moot point.

I’m firmly in the camp that the talent in the NFL is definitely superior, and any debate is just with respect to the degree. Until I was about 14 or 15, wishful thinking allowed me to believe this was not the case.

Also, somebody quoted Ricky Williams’ comment about consistency. I think discussion of consistency is fair game when evaluating talent. I can throw an occasional strike at the bowling alley, but I can’t do it consistently. I can sink the occasional three-point shot in basketball, but I can’t do it consistently. Competition at any level is measured to a great degree by the ability not just to perform, but to perform consistently. Part of gaining that consistency is about practice and training, but no matter how much everyone else practices, there are some guys who have more natural ability than the rest, and if they are willing to work as hard or harder than the others, they will win out over the long term. That difference in innate ability is what we usually call talent. Walter Payton’s success was built largely on his willingness to work harder than anybody else, but it wouldn’t have translated into the same level of success if he didn’t have talent to go with it.

Consistency is evidence of talent. A player who misses one tackle out of 100 is a better player than one who misses 1 tackle out of 50, 1 tackle out of 10, etc. And at the elite level, it is all about results.

slodrive2’s comment about degrees of difference reminds me of a quote about golf I read online. Golf is another game where small things can make a big difference in the final outcome.

This is a paraphrased quote about putting, posted in a golf forum and attributed to Geoff Ogilvy (currently number 8 on the offical world golf rankings):

Someone asked him how good do you have to be to play on tour. He said it was real simple. You need to be a good ball striker, but that putting was the real difference. If you are the best putter in your city, you can compete for State Amateur titles. If you are the best putter in your state, you can make a living on the mini tours. If you are the best putter on the mini tour, you can play on the Nationwide Tour, and if you are a consistently good putter on the Nationwide Tour, you can play on the PGA Tour. If you are good putter on the PGA Tour, you will win some tournaments. If you are the best putter in the world, you are Tiger Woods.

The mandate of the CFL is not to compete with getting the very best available football players otherwise there wouldn't be the import rule. I would say a more accurate mandate might be, along with others, to see which team can excel to be Grey Cup champion gelling a team that consists of the required number of non-imports, Canadians, combined with whatever other players are available out there, American or otherwise.

What I would like to see is an incentive system to have as many Canadians on a team as possible. For example, if your team consisted of 100 percent Canadians and you made it to the Grey Cup, you would be allowed some bonus the next year such as being able to exceed the salary cap by 5 percent or whatever, just an example. That would be neat I think. Encourage teams to employ more Canadians.

THAT'S interesting Earl. Having an "all CAnadian" GC winning team would be awesome. Good luck getting 3 NI QBs though... lol

True enough sig but can you imagine a team being Grey Cup champs with a Canadian qb? Man, not only are you the GC champs but your team also gets an added bonus of something else, hey, maybe the league gives all players a free cruise or something, whatever, all relative to the more Canadians you have the better the added prize.