CFL SURVIVAL PLAN

[b]CFL SURVIVAL PLAN[/b] by Herb Zurkowsky

Here's one man's thoughts on how the CFL can survive what's perceived as an NFL invasion into the southern Ontario market. Please feel free to comment:

Make the CFL less like a poor copy of the NFL by opening up the running game and giving mobile quarterbacks room to perform:

  1. Move the hashmarks back where they used to be (15 yards from sidelines rather than 22 yards)

  2. Reverse the rule that allows blocking with hands (introduced around 1975, about the same time as the hashmarks were moved closer to the centre)
    (These rules were copied from the NFL in order to make the CFL more like the NFL, ostensibly to favour the passing game.)

which would result in

A. more room to run the ball on the long side, i.e., to the outside

B. use of rollout passing schemes rather than pocket
and require

C. linemen who are fast enough to pull and lead block to the outside, as well as trap and run mobile blocks on rollout pass plays

D. quarterbacks who are more athletic and able to run as well as pass

E. use of an extra running back for more variety and deception in the running game (fakes, reverses, etc.), as well as pass blocking.

*NB for extra speed of execution the RBs would line up 3-4 yards behind scrimmage rather than 7-10 yards as they do now.

Result: the game assumes more the character of the golden age (50s and 60s), more dynamic, fluid, less like the NFL.


I thought this was an interesting take from Herb's blog...go back to the 50's with Winged-T or Flying Wheel formations featuring 3 running backs? From watching old films from that era I know these formations put alot of pressure on the defence, coupled with frequent double-reverses they had no idea which way they were going to run... :thup:

What a dumb article.
CFL survival plan for what?
Anybody watch the two games Thursday night?
The NFL appeared to be going in slow motion compared to the CFL.
We both play football, so their will be some similiarites, but the game is not the same.
I don't know what this guy is trying to prove with this article.
Must have been a slow day, I guess?

I think Herb could be on to something. We have had too many American coaches who want to put the NFL style of offense into the CFL. Probably because they don't know anything else.
IMO a lot of this change really came into the league when Hugh Campbell's Edmonton teams were winning 5 straight.
They came up with the idea of finding 5 big Canadian O-Lineman who could pass block (made easier by allowing hands), a Canadian fullback who could block and a safety on defense, they could then fill in the spaces with more skilled American players. They eliminated the TE in favour of 4 and 5 WR's which also cut down on the running plays.

I believe the rules committee should maybe look at some of the past and say, hey, you know maybe they were better rules then we have now. Lets bring back the real CFL football and stop trying to imitate the NFL all the time.

yep, perhaps the forward pass has ruined the game, but at least the CFL banned passing inside the 20 yd lines for many years. When you score a touchdown, you should earn it the olde fashioned way. :slight_smile:

When you see CFL films and cinemascopes of the 50's, back then all three backs were a danger to run the ball. Coupled with double reverses, fakes & laterals, it was nearly impossible for the defenders.

Very interesting, but i cant agree with changing the blocking rules back because the players are more athletic and there would be no QB protection at all. Moving the hash marks would create a different play set for sure, but the way it is Good CFL offences DO roll the pocket anyway. the rare exception being D macs O which featured a quick release. Which should be the Template for a Pocket passing orientated CFL offence in the 21 century. Looking at the league leading (Rushing) Tiger Cats, IMO it would be wise of Obie and Taaffe to look at Edmonton's running game from the fifties, with Lumsden, Cualley, Smith in the backfield and two scrambling QB,s . They may never need to PASS the ball.!!

About the topic, IMHO a good survival Strategy for the CFL would be to focus on the grass roots IN Canada, particularly in eastern Canada, southern Ont,is awash in NFL propaganda, and the CFL HAS to show the Public that it is built on Quality Home brew talent, Not NFL rejects!!! and expand to Quebec and the Maritimes Once franchises are established, The schedule could be adjusted so there would be Less travel east to west (to save on travel expenses.)and the East west rivalry would be rekindled at Grey Cup time. LONG live CFL

Rule changes other then a minor tinkering on an annual basis is OK, but this is totally unnecessary.
Besides the "old" exciting edge of your seat CFL is back this year as scoring is up and so are the long TD type plays.

Rule changes are not necessary. The NFLis tire kicking and that is it. When you get a prospective ownership group having to give away thousands of tickets just so there would be a crowd there is not what the NFL would like to see. It is smoke and mirrors and the only thing the CFL needs to do is spend money on promoting its stars and teams.
Again why would the NFL have interest in TO when the largest market for a team is in LA. Seem pretty dumb does it not. Look at LA and Vegas getting a team soon.
But TO is nothing but trying to attract more TO fans down to a Buffalo game.

We don't need a survival plan,It's the USA that's heading for a full blown recession. The World Congress of Sports main topic of concern is the noticeable drop in ticket sales and sponsorship revenue for Major League teams, this will directly effect team budgets.......In next few years i think there may be a reduction in the number of large cap sports teams within the USA.

Very good point, 05. I would also think with Buffalo’s local economy in a serious downturn, its another reason to try to attract NFL fans from Toronto. Our economy hasn’t declined like the American one has, so the money is needed by the Bills to stay afloat. I still believe that too many American cities want an NFL franchise, plus with the US economy the way it is, expansion is out of the question, but the only way for Toronto to get an NFL team is through relocation- that scenario is more likely.

,,,,survival plan: Get the league balanced again by adding teams in the east....T.O. ain't going anywhere...except maybe to a new field...CFL WILL SURVIVE ...in spite of the nfl wannabes ..like Rogers and his pals...who will in time see the error of their ways.....ya see Canucks are a stubborn lot... a powerful force...oft times over-looked :wink:

I wasn’t aware the CFL had a problem generating enough offense.

Besides, I like defense. Too much offense, where teams do little else but trade touchdowns, is also pretty dull.

I also disagree that too many Americans brings too many American-style plays to the game. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that a wider field, twelve guys and unlimited motion automatically means much more varied and complicated offensive schemes.

I don't think many would argue that the innovations and new blood infused in Mtl & Cal by Trestmann and Hufnagel, both Americans, has been bad for the game.

I agree the best survival plan for the CFL is to expand the league to new cities and show this a growing sport.

Also they need to change the perception many Canadians have about CFL athletes, that they are sub-standard and that any good NCAA team would cream a CFL squad, for instance. This is a popular misconception amongst many of Canada's NFL-only lovers and probably half the CFL fans too. The league should try to re-educate Canadians about just how talented CFL players really are, compared to NCAA and NFL teams.

what id like to see if the cfl use narrow hashmarks, the hashmarks should be the same width as the goalposts, therefore the kickers would have better angle on field goals, plus it would open up the game more and allow rollouts and pitches.

-remove the rouge.

-allow direct snaps to RBs that allows RB to pass outta the QB position.

-allow more imports on rosters

-get rid of the corporate logos on the field.

-annual all-star game

-annual video game

-weekly tv program that recaps games and gives all access passes and behind the scenes looks.

-install a mic inside a defensive player's helmet similar to the qb system, this would stop teams from stealing defensive signals.

About your points?
No, no, no, no, maybe, why not?, sure, a bit much.

Hope that helps.

it dont help, if you dont like it, then dont read it, and dont reply

hope that helps.

there's no rule against this.

Improve the CFL by reducing revenues! Brilliant! Why didn't anyone think of that before? :roll:

And, the narrower you make the hash marks, the less wide side you have. I've said for a long time the NFL needs to widen its hash marks.

Does that help me TD?
No.