Just when i Began thinking about Canadian Return specialist here comes perhaps the top Return specialist coming out of this years draft. Already talking special teams and being a Canadian return specialist at the next level.http://cfl.ca/video/index/id/83413/autostart/true
I see that no one has much to say about the possibility of Robertson being a return specialists. Even Duane Fordes comments are of him being small at 5'8" but quick enough to be on a coverage teams. As for a DB not many Canadians have been able to become HBs or CBs and at 5'8" with bigger receivers it could be a problem.
He was a top return guy at Concordian and at 5'8" hiding behind a wedge or a quick jab and a burst of that 40 speed would be worth a shot to have your return specialist come from your Non import part of the roster would be a huge plus
When I see Kris Robertson I see a guy who has the potential to be a pretty good NI field corner or FS.
Now he'll have a learning curve like anyone else coming to the CFL, but after a season or two as a special team demon and backup at one of those spots I can see him starting, ala Chris Rwabukamba.
The big thing for Robertson will be if a team will actually give him a chance at starting, odds are he only get a look if injuries happen like a lot of NI's at non-traditional spots(talking field corner here)
The Canadian players have made slidly made the move into several "Non Traditional Positions" Still have a ways to go at DE and HB/CB/SAM LB. RTs are being groomed and playing great at an awsome rate. LT is also a spot that will still need work on, although one of the best in the CFL is Canadian he is the only one. So the gap will begin to close sooner or later.
lol, Steve got to love your optimism but I don’t see it happening.
Now not at all because there aren’t NI’s that can do it, on the contrary I completely agree that the gap is getting smaller every year, overall of course every position of course has booms/busts, but I don’t see coaches changing their attitude about how they deal with NI’s.
The only way I see this changing is when a new coach comes in with “radical” thinking towards NI’s, does things differently and is successful.
Or on an individual basis if an NI plays at a high level at a top NCAA school then they will be accepted for SAM or HB or QB.
I still would have liked to have seen what say Sinopoli could have done with a few starts at QB, but no way a CFL team would spend a regular season game ‘testing’ a NI QB(heck it’s rare for any QB to get his first start without injuries) let alone 2 or 3.
Just funny how some of the top players at every other position like WR, OT, DL, LB can be Canadian and even CIS trained but somehow the coaches don’t feel that a QB who played his whole career in the Canadian game can do it at the pro level…
The attitude has really began to change at RB. of the Canadian RB of the Tailback style only Cornish came through a fairly big time University in a BCS conference. The rest that have started came from different walks of college football, Lower NCAA division, CJFL, a couple of back ups last season and this from a mid major, and one from the CIS.
I do agree that the gap betwee Canadian cover DBS; NB, CB, Sam LB are still pretty far behind and there 5 players that need to cover these similar type spots that we will see imports dominate that position as a whole for quite a while but for each team to have at lest one of them become a Canadian spot in the near future i reasonable. Canadian RT are one position that CFL coaches are pushing to find for Ratio flexibility but the LT blind side there are still just so many good import OTs out there that are bubble practice roster players but come to the CFL and the one yard neutral zone makes some CFL all stars very quickly.
DE is another spot just a position there is a shortge of everywhere do to the modern DLine rotation.
QBs will be always the big talk but there are two this year that are interesting have spent there prime college years at DI programs as mostly back ups and not household names in Myle Gibbon who lit it up at york with that pro style no huddle offense and Cayman Shutter who blew his starting chance do to legal issues off the field. Unlike a guy like Jesse palmer who was a high profile DI QB who most likely did not put his best foot forward when entering the CFL because of a much safer higher paying job in college football broadcasting.
These relatively unknowns could be the ones who break through
It is only a matter of time before we will see Canadian Return specialists as coaches will lookto use that DI position for other positions and with 20 NI spots to fill 7 starter a Kicker and punter and some back up Oline/DTs man receiver that leaves about 5 or 6 spots a few for top special teams coverage players leaving a few spots to toy with for a return specialist.
How exciting would it be to have a Canadian rookie return specialist running wild.
We need to rember now that the CFL has become to sports programing in Canada now. So having Canadian players at skill positions will be very popular for the game so the management will want to at least give Canadian players a better chance at these positions in which they can star.
Having Cornish and Harris as All star RBS and Cornish as an MOP candidate was very big for the popularity of the CFL
KR's CIS Stats : KR: 29 attempts, 636 yds 21.9 ave longest gain= 59 yds
PR: 32 279 8.7 54
21.9 average is positive at KR. PR ave is low but the 54 LG on a punt demonstrates speed.
PR: 32 attempts 279 yards, average= 8.7 longest =54 yards.
It is really hard to list players stats on this site, if one especially wants a player comparison. I did attempt to put Als players in a position of comparison a while back but, the listing came out in a manner which made comparisons all scrambled up. I enjoy playing with stats but to my despair the manner in which I listed comparative stats came out in a manner which was scrambled up, not privy to comparisons. Does anyone have a suggestion concerning this.
Thats what teams look for in a punt return specialist a player who has the ability to break one once in a while. With speed like that he could be a return specialists.
I have no doubt we will see the return specialist again, but it isn't all that long since the last Canadian return specialist, Markus Howell only retired 2 years ago(2010).
He was the main return man for years with Calgary, they kept trying to replace him but could never really find an import as good as him.
But the fact it's main stream will mean between jack and squat in terms of giving Canadian players a shot at skill positions, it's up the coaches to give the guys a true shot, all management does is bring the guy to camp(and hire the coach of course)
There are Canadians that can play at a high level that aren't on CFL rosters for various reasons including the coach didn't think they had "it"
The only way to solve that would be to have a way to help these guys get noticed, like an extra pre-season game or some off-season games for rookies with stricter ratio (like 30 NI's and 12 I rosters, meaning 12 Canadian starters) forcing teams to start more NI's in those off-season games. developmental games Reason imports are still needed is to have a 'measuring stick' to show coaches the NI's can play as the 12 I's would be guys with NFL experience or from top NCAA schools.
AGAIN that's only talking about a different ratio for developmental games NOT TOUCHING IT for CFL games.
Definitely only two pre season games are tough a 3rd is definitely needed. $$$ issue with that.
Off season game again $$$. pro football over the years keeps cutting down pre season games and adding regular season games because regular season games make $$$ and pre season games do not.
Maybe a week of rookie camp ending with a game using the ratio numbers mentioned.
Also the CIS having its east west game in the spring before the season, instead of in January after the season, is much too long between the draft for evaluating rookies. You cant have your senior all star game before the season in the spring. Makes no sense for the CFL and there is barely anything for 5th year players
I really wonder why one of the several sports channels does not televise the East West game? We're all starved for some Canadian football. I would like to have additional CIS action by one of the networks. At minimum a 1 hour weekly show examining the weekly scores and some of the video highlights would fill the bill for CIS interests.
There is a weekly CIS football show in Krown Canadian University Countdown. Really good show currently only ShawTV with host Jim Mullin of the ShawTV CanWest football game of the week. has picked it up as far as I know but can be seen on Youtube.
It is only run during the season though.
Reports are that the CIS is in talks with Rogers(sportsnet/score) for a national TV deal for all sports(mainly hockey, football and basketball)
Hopefully it's a lucrative deal for the CIS that see's a good bit of $$ flow to the various CIS schools for those sports that are televised AND helps open some new/revive CIS programs in places like Brandon or out east in Moncton, St.John(s) to see at least 8 teams in each conference, along with allowing the various CIS schools to add a couple coaches or add games to their schedules.
Won't know until the TV deal comes out.
I'd agree a game around January could be good, but there are issues there:
1)the injury issue(only 4 months until the draft)
2) facility issue(only 3 indoor 'football' stadiums in Canada)
3) CFL scouts/GM's are going from US bowl game to US bowl game trying to catch up on NCAA talent(NI and I)
4) some CIS talent gets an invite to the US senior bowl/East-west shrine bowl which causes another conflict or classes/tests/exams that don't exist in May.
The facility issue is probably the biggest factor because it means they can only really play in BC, Toronto or Montreal.
Now the CIS could hold a second game for draft eligible guys or graduating 5th years(so guys who are FA's) and graduated(draft elibigle) NCAA guys during 'reading week' which would be mid-February, but the options of where it could be played would be severly limited.
But ideally if that's done it should be a week long event that starts with the combine and has the game after a week of practices. Continuing the regional combines the week before would be nice, and allows a good way to round out so there can be enough for two full rosters of draft eligible or rookie NI FA's come the game.
I like the idea, just gets extra complications in January
I don't really think $$ is an issue when it comes to adding a pre-season game, sure it might not sell much but really it's cheap to put on and it gets season ticket holders(or anyone else that goes) out for another game of buying concessions and merch.
Or the CFL could elect to annually hold 4 "neutral site contest(each team participating in one)" with the 3rd pre-season game.
I think the big issue with adding another pre-season game is the CBA/CFLPA, they don't want another game especially seeing as they don't get paid to play in it like a reg season game.
Which is why I think it could fly providing there are conditions(in the CBA) that prevent 3rd year+ veteran players from even dressing for the 1st pre-season game. Also prevent players with 14+ starts from playing.
Make the pre-season 1 full week of rookie(+QB's) camp(physicals Saturday, first practice Sunday), followed by vets reporting on the follow saturday for physicals + TSN pictures and first practice on Sunday. First pre-season game(all rookie/Sophomore) at the end of the first full week of TC.
NFL, CFL, and AFL scouts would just add the Canadian SR bowl with draft eligible, 5th year players and Junior players eligible.
Olympic may be the best venue for this event being most likley more available and the ALS and CFL have a friendly lease with Olympic unlike what they do in RC. Also better to keep in the east where over 20 of the 27 CIS teams are located.
Would love to see what robertson could have done in a senior bowl type game with returns. NFL scouts would also love to get a look at Plesius in action along with a week of skills and drills
True the scouts would come, the issue is there are really no days free of bowl games between mid December to Mid January.
Especially when adding in some of these players(NCAA and a few CIS) could be playing in the US bowls. Hold it in mid February during reading week and it should be possible to get basically every draft eligible player there unless it's due to injury.
While the Big Owe might not be an issue with arranging the game, unless it's had some big upgrades in recent years it has not been very player friendly, player safety should be top of the list so it would be best in that respect to go to BC place. Although if MTL does have a new field then staying close to Laval could be a good call for attendance.