Is CFL That Good or NFL That Bad?

Watching Mike Macmahon tonight, a former NFL starter, you wonder what the hype about the NFL is? Especially since this guy looks totally inept in tonights game. After being putrid the last game.

Outside of the top level superstar player, the difference in talent between the average NFL player and average CFL player appears to be miniscule.

A guy like Macmahon, or the guy in Calgary with NFL experience haven't shown anything that would make them superior to the average CFL QB.

In fact you wonder how guys like Casey Printers and Dave Dickenson couldn't even make second string in the NFL, when guys like Macmahon have actually started games? Very strange if you ask me.

I'm sure a superstar NFLer could star anywhere. But outside of the superstar, the average NFLer ain't anything special.

I really believe the main difference are different style of games. NFL players are mostly bigger. But just because you QB in the NFL doesn't mean you can in the CFL. If you're a control QB and manage the clock you're not useful in CFL. You need to be able to throw and often.

If the money was the same in both league the CFL would get much more respect. The only reason people think the NFL is better is because of the management of the league itself.

It's really hard to compare since both leagues are so different style wise.

its about adaptability. They can have superior physical skills, and can even have more football smarts, but often they just cannot adapt to the Canadian game. Dont forget these guys have been playing 4 down balls for 12 plus yrs, its ingrained in them. Not easy to adapt. Kudos to those that do.

I guess. But when a CFL star goes south and doesn't make it, its because the CFL sucks.

But when an NFL guy comes up here and fails, its because of the game? I say it works both ways.

But it does make me respect our hockey players more. We can go from playing on the Canadian sized rinks to the European sized rinks and still kick their asses!

I’d go as far to say there is considerably more different between Canadian and American football than there is between NHL and IIHF hockey.

I’m not going to, but if one were to make a list of particular rule and roster differences, the football list would far surpass the hockey list in length.

I don't watch nfl anymore so I can't say whether he was or wasn't a starter. If he was?...Then he stunk!!!

I think certain positions, like Offensive Linemen, transfer well between leagues. As far as "skill" positions, CFL RBs and WRs generally aren't athletic enough for the NFL. I do think more CFL QBs could be good back-ups in the NFL, but a lot of them choose to start in the CFL instead of riding the bench in the NFL.

I think its more to do with the "style" of the particular player, and how he fits the style of the league.

Well you have guys like Jammel White, who was an NFL starter not long ago. I wouldn't say he's that much of a standout up here.

The above site does a good job of explaining the big difference with the exception of the unlimited motion.

Don't forget, there are a lot of guys playing in the CFL who could be playing in the NFL if not for money being the issue. The NFL casts these guys away and brings in cheaper younger guys, so really their isn't that big a stretch talent wise, with the exception of a few guys.

Mike McMahon sucked pretty bad in the NFL...

Yeah. Its not like this guy made a career out of the NFL. He did not make any impact. not to mention, the NFL has serious cash to find and buy the best Coaches the world has to offer. The coaches really know how to design offenses around the right QB.

If Tom Brady slipped thru the NFL scouting combine and started his career in the CFL, he would still be a great QB (IMO).

Look at the Good CFLers that had NFL Success like Doug Flutie and Jeff Garcia not the forgettable ones like Mike McMahon and Ricky Williams.

Doug Flutie's NFL career was average at best. I would suggest you look at someone like Warren Moon, instead. Who was incredible in both leagues.

There are examples of players going both ways that have had success in one league and not the other. Ricky William good in NFL failure in CFL, Joe Theisman average in CFL excellent in the NFL, D. Dickenson, and H. Burris couldn't succeed in the NFL but are considered stars in CFL.

I dont think one league is necessarily better than the other one. While the style of football is similiar, there is enough varation in both games for a partiuclar type of athlete to succeed in one, but be terrible in the other. Remember when Ferragamo and "White Shoes" Johnson came up here? All the so-called experts thought they would have a field day in the "inferior" league. It turned out that they did nothing in the CFL. There have been others that have tried and failed going from one league to the other. If salaries in the CFL could match the NFL's you would not see many of our best players take their shot at playing in the other league.

A lot of different opinions of why the NFL players have trouble adjusting to the CFL...and most of the opinions are correct...its a combination of things IMO.
Its a different game and takes a different type of athlete to succeed in the CFL. A drop back (NFL type) QB can succeed in the CFL but the most successful ones are generally the ones who can run the ball and move around. But they have to have a strong throwing arm.
DE's in the CFL are generally what the NFL would consider LB's, but that doesn't mean they are any easier to play against on a CFL field.
The OLB's most CFL teams are playing now are in most cases large NFL safties, but IMO are even tougher to play against then the LB's of twenty years ago or so because of their speed to go along with their hitting ability.
The DB's in the CFL on a whole can cover receivers just as well (as former NFL stars have found out). This shouldn't be a surprise when you see the number of Division 1 players coming out of the US colleges every year. The NFL does have roster restrictions.

I'm not an advocate for open rosters in the CFL, but I have to admit its tough for the CFL teams to keep finding enough Canadians good enough to compete with the cream of the crop US players. The depth just isn't there. Something that the powers that be should take into consideration if and when expansion takes place. Maybe the number of non-import starters be lowered to five or six to maintain equality in the league.

Another thing that people sometimes overlook is that players that play together for several years on a team are better as a team then a bunch of so called super stars.
But there's nothing wrong with the calibre of the CFL play, but you're always looking for better players.

i think more than anything - its situational. No one player is going to leave one league, and single-handedly dominate in another league, without the other 10 or 11 players he is surrounded by making a large difference in his success (coaching included, players are often misused). Comparing individual performances from one league to another is just stupidness - and further underlines the football ignorance of those making individual comparissons.

Ricky Williams, is a good example of this .. Had he been given an offensive line and 25 carries a game we may have seen different numbers. Who knows?!

Had Ricky Ray been on any other team than the Jets .. he may have had success as well.

How good can your allstar wide receiver be, if you have a loser throwing the ball? How great can your allstar running back be if the Oline doesn't block, or your play calling is terrible? How great can your allstar DB be, if there is no pass rush? Football - more than any other sport is a team sport ... and individual success can be accredited to team efforts, not just the individual.

sure there are CFL players that can cross over given the right situation ... the vast majority cannot. Fact is - playing professional ball, in any league, at any level, is chalk full of politics, favoritism, right place at the right time, depth situations, and making the most of an opportunity ... HUNDREDS of great football players never make it to a professional level for dozens upon dozens of reasons .. injuries, fell thru the cracks, poor teammates .. just because its the NFL, does not mean there are not errors in their selections.

success is not an easy thing to find in the game of football, no matter where you are playing.


Having sat in stadiums to watch both NFL and CFL games, I can honestly say that I could not see any glaring differences in the quality of play. Yoy have to be a great athlete to play in either league.

Farragamo was an absolute embarrassment in the CFL.

There is just a lot more to why a player does or does not play in the NFL than simple athleticism or talent. Roster sizes, salary, personality, and maybe even some intangibles all figure in the mix. I mean if it was all talent then ANY talented player could play for any team and succeed and that just isn't the case.

I have to agree. Looking at his numbers, he was nothing special. I think this was just a case of, "Ooh, an NFL player is coming to the CFL. Wow!"