Randy wants to focus on developing QB's

Randy Ambrosie on 3Down report is saying the League needs to focus more on developing young QB’s. Sounds good, but how to do that? Most players need to play to develop, but a Coach is not going to throw a young QB in if the game is close. I thought last night Dinwiddie could have given Argo backup Scott a few plays in the last 2 or 3 minutes but didn’t.
Maybe the League is going to have to make a separate cap for QB’s. Kind of difficult to entice a good young QB coming out of the NCAA for $70,000 Canadian.
I can imagine most of the CFL Team GM’s and Player Personel’s are wondering what more they have to do with the constraints they’re working under to develop these QB’s.


I have long been an advocate for all teams dressing 3 QBs for a game, whether they want to or not. It would make sense to me to allow the third QB free from the roster limit. Somewhere on the practice field for every team is a third, and maybe even fourth QB lurking around. Get him dressed for the game as well. And if it comes down to salary differences, there can be bonuses paid for a practice roster player taking snaps during an actual game.

Four coaches come to mind, Hugh Campbell, Don Matthews, Cal Murphy, Wally Buono all used to put their backup QBs into the game regularly. (I’m sure I’m missing many more) So much so that even myself, who on principle am very much in favor of, would have cringing nerves watching, at times. That’s how those diamonds in the rough get exposed.


Jolly Joe Faragelli (Papa Joe) used to swap out his QB’s more often than burnt out lightbulbs on a Christmas Tree. Remember J. J. Barnagel (John Hufnagel and Joe Barnes)? That combo worked really well. The only effective QB combos that I’ve seen on our team in the last decade were the deadly Nichols-Streveler or Zach-Streveler duos that were unbelievably successful in the Red Zone.

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You’re correct in what you’re saying, but I think this topic is less about the virtues of having tandem QBs coming in and putting together drives in their own ways, with their own packages, but more about putting in a raw recruit in order for him to get his ‘hands dirty’ and deal with nerves under intense situations.

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Right on the money…and during that time when Hugh was coach GM there was Wilkie, Moon, Ham, Allen, Dunnigan, most of whom spread out across the league after Edmonton.

But yeah, as coach he played his backups regularly. Wilkie started games up to when he retired, with Moon as backup…It used to be standard practice to put in the backup once you were well up in a game. Now we have stuff like Zach in the game until the last few minutes.

It’s how you get those young guys in the game. That’s their time to get in game action, but teams play their starter to the end.

Because every QB has a unique skill set they were used to make teams change up defence and change back and upset game plans but it seems coaches get set into this “this is our guy” thing. Like yesterday. Had the Elks been switching it up looking for a spark and a get going - nobody would have had hurt feelings at the end of the game.


Will Randy do anything to develop Canadian QBs ?

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I think last night was an example of getting a young QB some experience under fire by Chris Jones with 3rd stringer Doege. Elks might have something there with him if they bring him along right. I’ve always maintained that a young player if he eventually is to become “a keeper” is that he will show something when the bullets are flying and I thought Doege did. Took a big “welcome to the League hit” from McManus and came right back. Showed natural ability escaping the rush and seems to have the arm strength as well. I would think Jones and company would be happy with Doege last night in his stage of development.

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Yeah, seeing Zach playing those last few minutes just had me shaking my head. I have nothing but admiration and respect for coach O’Shea even though I’m not the biggest Bomber fan around. But I really don’t understand what possible reasons he has for leaving him out there.? One bad unlucky incident, or worse, an opposing player losing his composure and making a brain-dead move, and now you’ve got Dru Brown starting the next game…?

For sure I agree. Something positive that comes out of that… (pick your own metaphor)

Do you have any ideas. The League has been running that program of having underclassmen QB’s from Canadian University attending CFL training camps. Probably helps the young QB’s at that level. But it is very difficult to find one with the total package that it takes to play QB at the CFL level, let alone 9 of them. Tre Ford may the closest to come along and I hope he succeeds. A guy like Rourke doesn’t really count as he was mostly American trained at the Div. 1 level. I have always maintained that if the League wanted to see some Canadian QB’s on the roster, they would do away with the QB rule now in place. Say 21 Imports and 23 Canadians. Coaches would go with a Canadian QB backup to have a starting American playing regularly at another position. I don’t know if they could find 9 good enough for across the League but guys like O’Conner and Ford would be ok. But I don’t think we will ever see that scenario.

He doesn’t give a rat’s @$$; and besides, what could he do anyways - force CFL owners to hire some fresh or different thinking GMs and coaches who are not from the same old clique with the learned bias against Canadian QBs and who would start regularly giving Canadian QBs TC opportunities ?

You’re right. the QB rule now in place works against Canadian QBs. Having a Canadian at least as a backup even if it means using an American elsewhere would be a good idea even if only a couple of Canadian QBs get a chance to develop

Changing the QB rule(see other comments) would be a good start

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Why do you want to see Canadian QBs? don’t you want to see the best QBs out there?
Rourke was good enough to make the Lions without showing his passport. Tre Ford is another good one, he is obviously good enough to make the Elks but not quite ready to start.
Forcing teams to develop and start Cdn QBs would do nothing to attract fans to games and add an uneeded expense.
Fans don’t come out to watch Canadians, it’s not the Olympics it’s pro-sports.
Having more Canadians on the Jays or Raps would make no difference at all to their support.
If you want to play QB in the CFL and you have the talent then just like every other QB that has come up, you have to be spotted by scouts, play for a US high school and then scholarship to a NCAA college.
NO shortcuts because you are Canadian


CFL teams dressed 3 QBs for years and years in the past while continuing to ignore Canadian QB talent from even getting try-outs. It’s not any rule that needs changing; IMO it’s the attitudes and mentality of the recycled clique of CFL decision makers. New owners like Doman or PKP in Montreal might be able to affect some change with the football people they hire, but that is not a sure thing.

Ignore Canadian QB talent? there hasn’t been much Canadian talent. The good Canadian QBs have been given chances, they may have looked good playing against Usports defenses but it’s a different world when you play against ex-NFL, NCAA players that are bigger, faster, stronger and better coached.
I don’t want to see some young USports player forced on to the roster just because he’s Canadian.
The QB position is the most important on the field and it should always go to the best player out there.
All CFL teams invite USports QBs to camp to learn from experienced CFL QBs and coaches, if any are standouts they will invite them back, just like they did with Tre Ford.


I think the suggested change was to include QBs in the ratio (and increasing the # of Nationals) rather than having them as a category separate from the ratio.

Another strategy would be to create a ratio specifically for that position so that all teams must dress a National QB. It could be introduced gradually over several years.

I’d like to see the league extend the QB internship program it has now. First, have the young USports QBs stay with the teams through the whole summer rather than just through training camp. Second, broaden the program so that graduating QBs can also spend a season as “interns” learning and developing on CFL clubs. Allow them to actually dress and play if the coach sees fit to put them in (like Jones did with rookie Ford did last year).

A third thing they could do is to forge a working relationship with the senior/semi-pro leagues (MFL, NFC, AFL) so that CFL teams could assign QBs (and/or other players too) to teams in these leagues so they can get live reps to develop.


CFL teams had a higher percentage of Canadians on rosters in the past and the GMs and coaches still chose to ignore Canadian QBs - no try-outs in a TC = zero chance to make a roster or ever play = that fact cannot be denied. A feel good, phoney PR stunt like an “intern” program is not a real try-out, and will likely never lead to such an opportunity.

The historical list of starters, all-star, top stat or Hec/Vanier winning Canadian U Sport ball QBs who have been either totally ignored by the CFL or else (a few) given a perfunctory, meaningless CFL look at a TC is quite lengthy and continues to grow. Just like the very lengthy list of American QBs brought up here continues to grow, and is lately including guys with low level US college ball resumes, but, right passport.

Again, this is all the choice of who get to make CFL roster/personnel decisions, and the only way (and I don’t favor this way) to make them look at Canadian QBs would be to mandate one on the rosters - where they would be likely 3rd stringers anyways who would never get a shot to play.

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Back to being a numbers game. There are 27 Schools that play U Sports football. The NAIA has 96 football schools which are U SPorts Level - then there are 250 Div III schools in the states. How is U Sports with 27 schools playing NAIA/Div III level football going to crank out CFL level QBs? Which are generally lower tier Div I and 1AA level players - Travis Lulay, Dave Dickenson, Michael Reilly, Damon Allen, Matt Dunigan, Tracy Hamm, Bo Levi Mitchell etc. I just don’t see going to U Sports as the answer - I think that the CFL needs to mine the lower tiers of the NCAA looking for talent at QB and carry 3 or 4 on a roster.


Yup. for guys joining the league the extra man seems like the difficult thing to deal with for QB’s.

Past that the development curve - even for guys like Ford - just takes time. Yes we want them to play, but we want them to be successful as well and build on winning not losing.