Canadian QB Noah Picton wants a chance to prove doubters wrong

For the second year in a row, Noah Picton was the best quarterback at the CFL combine but whether that will translate into a bonafide professional opportunity remains to be seen.

The difference this time around is that Picton, who threw at the event in Regina last March, was a full participant as it’s his CFL draft year. The Regina native, LeBoldus High School and University of Regina star has drawn attention from CFL scouts because of his video game-like numbers put up with the Rams.

Picton won the Hec Crighton Trophy in 2016 after setting a USports single-season record with 3,186 passing yards. He followed that up with a first-team All-Canadian selection in 2017. Picton is already the Canada West conference’s all-time leading passer (9,840).

Canadian quarterbacks Brandon Bridge and Andrew Buckley have given the nationals coming through the ranks more hope, especially given Bridge’s initiative to change the ratio rules around Canuck signal callers.

“What Bridge is doing right now is definitely helping us out… It’s really become a hot topic on the front burner,” Picton said.

But whether Picton gets a legitimate chance to play quarterback in the pro three-down league – he spent 2015 training camp with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as part of the CFL’s Canadian quarterback internship program – is the major question mark. He checked in at just over 5-foot-8 and 177 pounds at the CFL combine – undersized for a prototypical professional quarterback.

“He’s what you see on film, there’s a reason he’s so productive in college. He can sling the ball around all over the park. Obviously, his size is going to be the negative to his game, but boy he can make throws and compete,” Winnipeg Blue Bombers general manager Kyle Walters said.

Ottawa Redblacks general manager Marcel Desjardins believes Picton understands the Canadian game and came away impressed by what he saw in Winnipeg.

“Obviously, he’s got some ability as a quarterback, he’s a smart guy. He has the arm strength to maybe not make all the throws on a consistent basis but certainly to potentially have some degree of success,” Desjardins said. “His stature is always going to be a challenge for him. It’s easy to say take the size away but how do you do that because it is a factor in that position. It would be the same with an American kid.”

Picton has heard concerns about his size throughout his football career.

“They said I was small coming into university too, so I’ve had some success there. They said the same thing in high school. I’m treating this no different. I’m not too concerned about it. You don’t need everybody to believe you just need someone to give you a shot and I feel confident that if I get that shot I’ll be alright,” Picton said.

Doug Flutie starred in the CFL while playing at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds and some scouts have loosely compared Picton to the hall of fame quarterback.

“I haven’t watched a whole lot of Doug Flutie but just from the clips he was a gamer – he’s probably a little more athletic than I am – but I think that I can make some plays with my legs just like he did and find some throwing lanes and rip the ball out there,” Picton said “He looked like he had a lot of fun playing football and I have a lot of fun playing football. There are definitely some similarities I’m sure.”

There were three teams that interviewed Picton at the combine: the Ticats, Bombers and Argos.

“I feel comfortable with the mental side of it. Talking some schemes, I can keep up at that level and hopefully, I got that across as well. Hamilton had me up on the board. It’s neat being in a room with Kent Austin, you can tell he’s a cognitive guy,” Picton said about the legendary Riders quarterback.

“[Paul] LaPolice is a bright guy so you soak in some information and just realize what these guys know and what they can teach you. Toronto got to know you as a person. They were all a little bit different, but they were all positive I thought.”

Regardless of what happens in the CFL draft, Picton will be playing football in 2018 as he has one season of USports eligibility remaining. There are a number of university records in reach, but Picton would rather be getting a real CFL chance.

“If someone thinks I can compete and give me an opportunity that would be great, if not that’s there decision,” Picton said.

“But I think I’ve worked just as hard as a lot of guys who have made it so I think I can play some football and I think some people think that I can as well.”

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (892 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

93 Comments on Canadian QB Noah Picton wants a chance to prove doubters wrong

  1. greenenvy? // April 2, 2018 at 12:50 pm //

    Would be nice to see some good USports QB’s get a shot at the QB position but his size works against him, fair or not. I don’t see it happening.

    • Not just his size. He has only played against CIS calibre defense. We have seen a lot of CIS QBs putting up a lot of yardage throwing against CIS DBs.
      As soon as they come to camp and have to play against NCAA and ex-NFL guys it’s a different world.

  2. Amazing that so much of the article was devoted to his size or lack thereof and yet his dimensions are not listed – 5’9″ and 165 pounds to save anyone else from googling it.

    • Article states: “5-foot-8 and 177 pounds”

      • Read too quickly – I stand corrected – Dunk usually writes pretty good stuff.

      • 177?? He will get broken in half…

        • Green – Maybe he can run faster scared than the D can slipping in his poop trying to catch him 🙂

        • Wonder if the command center could get that call right ?

        • Can you imagine him being run down by a CFL “D” lineman that was a recent NFL cut or ex-NCAA guy? the NCAA defenses are bigger, stronger, better coached.
          It would be like a deer in the headlights scenario. An Eliman or Cameron Wake type player sacking him?? yikes.
          Or a blitz by an ex-NFLer that is faster or harder hitting than anything he has every faced in the CIS.

  3. Oskee Wee Wee // April 2, 2018 at 1:07 pm //

    The CFL should have a rule where each team must have a minimum 1 Canadian QB dressed each game. I think we should promote football more and promote more Canadian players to have more local diversity. Because even without this regulation in place teams already have Canadian QB’s such as Brandon Bridge and Andrew Buckley. So I think QB’s should no longer be exempt from the amount of National players on a team.

    • Tyler04 // April 2, 2018 at 1:10 pm //

      Agreed, Sounds like a good idea! They should have a rule about more Canadian QB’s.

      • Go Lions! // April 2, 2018 at 1:13 pm //

        Great Idea!

        • Montreal Guy // April 2, 2018 at 1:15 pm //

          Great recommendation. Should have been implemented way earlier.

          • Paul Bomber // April 2, 2018 at 2:00 pm //

            Not sure that’s the way to go. My concern is that a weak QB would make a roster just because and then hurt the reputation of Canuck QBs in general. Perhaps make any Canuck QB not count against the roster or salary cap instead? Just a thought

          • My thoughts as well Paul.

          • Cal Gary Shampeders // April 2, 2018 at 4:40 pm //

            Lime the reputation of Canuck QBs could be any lower!

            No, teams should be forced to do so. Eventually some would emerge as quality QBs. Won’t happen without that rule.

    • NO way!!
      The QB position is the one position on the team that should NEVER be given to a player because he’s Canadian.
      It’s the most important position on the field and the best players must compete for that position.
      We just don’t have enough quality QBs, Bridge is ex-NCAA and not a CIS QB. I give credit to Buckley that he came out of the CIS and has managed to hang on to a backup QB position. He has earned that spot on the team, he wasn’t given that spot because he’s Canadian.

      • We should NEVER have a rule about dressing a Canadian QB. It’s bad enough trying to find decent QBs, you start putting in CIS QBs and it gives the CFL haters even more ammuntion to call it “Bush League”.
        Last season in Ottawa the starting QB went down and his backup went down, can you imagine a CIS QB coming in as the 3rd stringer? no I agree ALL QBs have to earn a spot.

  4. rogieshan // April 2, 2018 at 1:09 pm //

    Six paragraph in, Mark. Picton “checked in at just over 5-foot-8 and 177 lbs at the CFL combine.”

    • MJ Bandit // April 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm //

      Measured at 5’8.8″ in the Combine roster (so rounded off to 5-9 I guess?); and Doug Flutie was often listed at 5-10 but he was more like 5-9 tops. Kevin Glenn, 5-10, has been given multiple CFL opportunity, over & over, with a bunchof different CFL teams , for years & years now.

      • greenenvy? // April 2, 2018 at 4:24 pm //

        The game’s changed. Even college QB’s are getting better. And the weight IS a concern. You have some QB’s under 6′ but even then they carry an extra 20 lbs. Cato was fairly small but how long do you last getting hit at that weight in the pros?

        • Dressler is about the same size, and would get hit far more often than a QB….and kept bouncing up. Finally, it has taken a toll, but he put in several good years.

          • greenenvy? // April 2, 2018 at 9:53 pm //

            Did you see the lickings Dressler took last year? The players are getting bigger & Dressler even got up to challenge one hit when he got tossed around. It’s also a little different for receivers, return men etc who are moving around when they get hit. QB’s get planted in the pocket & get hit when they are stationary. That does more damage. Plus they get blindsided more often I would argue.

      • Doug Flute, Kevin Glenn were tier 1 NCAA QBs.
        You can’t compare, this kid is a CIS QB and was throwing against CIS defenses !!!

  5. Doug Mc Clintock // April 2, 2018 at 1:44 pm //

    Amen ! CFL fans want more of a Canadian content.

    • I think the old traditionalists want more of a Canadian content but for the CFL to survive we need LESS Canadian content.
      Wake UP – this is not the 60s/70s, very few kids are playing football these days. Schools are dropping the program because of high costs, fewer kids in school, insurance and parents that won’t allow their kids to play.
      The CFL has to address and REDUCE the Canadian ratio.
      We can still have CFL rules, with Canadian fans but we should be letting more players compete one on one, not giving spots to a player because he’s Canadian!!
      The CFL needs to attract a younger demographic and young people couldn’t care less if there are Canadians on the team.
      Seems funny that of all the Toronto pro teams that the team that designates Canadian, has the least support

  6. White Horse // April 2, 2018 at 1:51 pm //

    Picton should be given a chance just on his proven CIS endeavours alone. Huff gave two time Hec Crighton award winner Andrew Buckley a chance. Just because these QB’s aren’t NCAA caliber means nothing. The opportunity should be given to Canadian QB’s. Buckley had one bad game in the snow last season in a meaningless game that the Stamps teammates let him down. Buckley will remain as 2nd string this season. I hope Picton gets his chance.

    • He will probably be invited to camp but when teams bring in NCAA and ex-NFLers that have competed at a much higher level it’s a different story. You can bet that the NCAA QBs will be bigger, faster and better coached.

  7. Thought maybe the Stamps would look at him

  8. Green&Gold // April 2, 2018 at 1:58 pm //

    Is that his brother on the Riders roster?

  9. MJ Bandit // April 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm //

    The Bombers D was all over Buckley early that game – he threw a pick and got sacked a few times – nothing game for the rest of the Stamps offence; but Buckley rebounded in the 2nd half and was 13 for 18 (72.2%) overall that game, and he finished the season with a 76.1& completion % = very good number. We shall see if he ever ends up playing much in the CFL – he could have a long career just as Bo Mitchell’s back-up I guess, if Bo stays healthy and stays in the CFL.

  10. Wingback // April 2, 2018 at 3:42 pm //

    The CFL has been the land of opportunity for the small QB. Ron Lancaster, Doug Flutie, Dave Dickenson, Kevin Glenn, are all distinguished players in this his league. I would say this day and age he better have a good layer of tight and toned muscle on him and he better be good at avoiding hits. Lack of strength and lack of athleticism is the small QB’s biggest enemy. Sadly it’s probably what caused Dave Dickenson to miss so many games in an otherwise illustrious career.

    • I remember Wally Buono going on national TV after the 1999 Grey Cup loss and saying that Dickenson really needed to get in the weight room in the off season and bulk up a bit – don’t think he ever took Buono’s advice but Buono kept him as quarterback for quite a while after that anyways.

      • CFL family // April 2, 2018 at 7:52 pm //

        Dave Dickenson is probably the smartest QB to ever play. Even at 9 games a year he was worth it

    • But Lancaster, Flutie, Dickenson, Glenn were all ex-NCAA and played at a much higher level.
      This guy competed in the CIS………….!!! not much competition. Just look back at the number of CIS QBs over the years that racked up a lot of yards.
      They come to camp and just don’t have the talent compared to the NCAA guys.
      Bridge was spotted by the NCAA in high school and told that the only way he was going to make it as a QB anywhere was to play in the NCAA.
      The NCAA scouts Canadian high schools and alerted to any player with potential.

    • greenenvy? // April 2, 2018 at 10:21 pm //

      We’re talking about a different era MJ. Go back & you can see all the players were smaller. When Lancaster played one of the bigger, tougher DT’s was Fennell who was 6’3″ & played at 250. That’s a DE nowadays, light for a DT. How many QB’s in the CFL are under 6′? Glenn is 5’10” but lists at 205. DD is 5’11” but listed at 214. Both are backups. Masoli is listed at 5’10” & 228. That’s a big gap from 177 lbs. Here’s some other facts. BC – Jennings 6′, 195 is one of the smaller guys. Lulay is 6-2, 216. Edm has 4 QB’s besides Glenn. Jenkins is the smallest at 6-2, 210, Reilly goes at 6-3,. 230. Every team except Hamilton has starters over 6 ft. Ray 6-3. 214, Franklin 6-2, 225, Harris 6-3, 212, Freeman 6-6, 240, Zach is the small guy in Regina 6′ 220, Bridge 6-5, 235. Calgary BLM 6-2, 210, Wpg has 3 other guys all over 6′ besides DD with Nichols at 6-2, 220. Picton may be a very talented guy in USports but when you look at all the rosters, nobody is at 5-8, 177 – not even close. You gotta be realistic. He’s never going to be a starter in the CFL despite the fact there are some good small guys at other positions. But even guys like Dressler are getting rarer. You just need to look at the sizes of the receivers in the league on the better teams. Look at the Stamps National receivers -they’re all monsters. Edmonton has Williams, Criner, Hazelton – all 6’3″ & in the 220-230 range. The teams are getting bigger. There is room for good, small guys. Even the NFL has them. But not at QB. Not now.

  11. I wish him well, but that’s really, really, little. Hard to believe he can see downfield when the O-line is a foot taller. Well, good luck …

    • Wingback // April 2, 2018 at 4:02 pm //

      Fortunately, the wider CFL field makes this less of an issue for shorter QB’s than it does in the NFL.

  12. Picton sounds sensible. Wish him all the best. May he have a terrific season wherever he plays.

  13. MJ Bandit // April 2, 2018 at 6:31 pm //

    Knew we could count on spam buddy here to write off Picton, or any Canadian player really – imagine if they had to face one of his “ex-NFL/NCAA” super-heroes – they’d get killed. They are so fast and hit so hard there, don’t ya know. The CFL needs to reduce the ratio to allow more of these superstars up here; and maybe ban Canadians from playing QB or other “skill” positions.

  14. Edward Leslie // April 2, 2018 at 7:13 pm //

    Lots of good comments… except from Jeff, who just perpetuates anti-Canadian rhetoric in almost each and every post.
    Picton is only slightly smaller than Doug Flutie, Ron Lancaster,Tom Wilkinson and Kevin Glenn. All of them did just fine. They all had lobg careers and didn’t get “broken in two”.
    Let’s face it, this is mostly about being a Canadian quarterback.
    Bridge only got a chance because NFL teams like Detroit and Dallas gave him a chance FIRST.
    I still can’t figure out how Buckley got an opportunity, but good for him. He looks like a keeper.

    The second QB at the combine, Christian Strong (born in Ottawa; raised in Florida and Brampton) was a record setting three year starter at NCAA Division 2’s Seton Hill. He isn’t short, he’s 6’4” and reportedly looked good too, just not quite as good as Picton did. What will the excuse be to not draft him I wonder?
    I hope somebody takes a chance on Noah Picton, he might surprise them. Same with Strong. Winnipeg interviewed Picton. Maybe he can grab the third string spot behind Matt Nichols and Darian Durant and develop watchibg those two seasoned veterans. Two Canadian quarterbacks in the CFL is okay, but four might silence some of the unpatriotic haters.

    • MJ Bandit // April 2, 2018 at 10:47 pm //

      Picton has put up great passing #s in college ball – and he’s been basically the starter from rookie on in; his 5-9 & slight stature are concerns for making it in the pros for sure. I doubt he gets any real CFL shot, but they’ve looked at him at their Combine for 2 straight years – so maybe he impresses one team enough to get a TC look.

      But lots of other top passing stat CIS QBs – who were not small – got zero CFL try-out even. This year’s draft has Laval’s QB Hugo Richard up to be drafted too. Like Picton – had the stuff to be a starter from rookie on in – they came in to CIS ball the same year (and Richard won CIS rookie of the year) – and has put up similar outstanding passing #s (both are near the top for all-time CIS completion % marks with almost identical marks (67%)) = they are accurate passers); and Picton has thrown for more yards in a Rams offence that passes/airs it out more; but while Picton is 5-9, 180 size range, Richard is 6-2, 220; he has a better TD to INT career number, and has also shown more in running/scrambling QB ability (988 rushing yards + 26 (!) rushing TDs in 4 years to 741 yards & 6 TDs for Picton); AND – Richard has also gained much more significant playing experience in play-off games – Conference finals + National semis & Vanier (won a Vanier) – against tougher competition.

      I’d be curious to know the reason/excuse why Richard was not invited to the CFL Combine this year? – too tough a question for draft “gurus” like Dunk or Ferguson to ask, if they want to not offend the CFL types they report on?

      Lots of top notch (and easily pro size) CIS QBs have garnered no real CFL interest in the past – few years or decades; I doubt it is going to change now. CFL fans who like or support the idea of Canadian QBs getting some sort of CFL chance (not handed a job – just a real try-out from a team in need) might have to be happy with Bridge & Buckley. It was something like 2 decades between a Canadian QB – in Bridge – playing a meaningful down in the CFL, and the last one before that (Caravatta or Jusdanis). Another decade or two ? ;o)

      • greenenvy? // April 3, 2018 at 12:38 am //

        Problem is, competition is better in NCAA. QB’s from top US colleges are developmentally further ahead. Of course the fact most football ops guys, coaches in the CFL are American makes a difference as well. But things are getting better. At one time Nationals were pretty much restricted to OL, safety & receiver, maybe interior D. Coaches loaded defences with imports. Recently Calgary & Ottawa have started more than the required 7. Edmonton may start 4 on D this year – DE, LB, CB & Safety. It’s getting better. But outside of Regina where Bridge may start some games or Calgary if BLM gets hurt, I don’t see a push for Cdn QB’s & honestly I don’t see either of those carrying teams. Jones said all last year Glenn was his starter even after he was pulled. It’s the same way with Collaros.

  15. riders should sign him they need a QB Collaros will fall hangs on to the ball too long fumbles or throws a pick six every game very injury prone his passes get knocked down they will soon find this out for sure real bad decision signing Collaros their defense will be on the field alot

  16. At the VERY LEAST the Riders should sign this kid to be the #3. A kid with a HEART much bigger than his overall stature who would do well if GIVEN A CHANCE to show his stuff. Reminds me of Doug Flutie coming from the NFL to the CFL. Too small for the times but his CFL playing showed a BIG HEART. Big enough to get him back to the NFL for another 6 years.

    • greenenvy? // April 3, 2018 at 12:43 am //

      So Jim now you’re telling us he’s better than Williams? I have said for those who rave about Williams you don’t really know what you got but I’d take him any day over Picton. He’s got more potential than Picton. THAT much I know. No offence to Picton or his accomplishments.

  17. Riders71 // April 2, 2018 at 8:37 pm //

    Hey maybe no one will draft him because of his size. I think he has proven himself at the different levels he has played at. I think one of those teams should give him a shot bring him to camp and see for sure before just passing him by. I’m not nieve I know you have to have some special talent to be a starting Canadian QB in the CFL.

  18. Rider 4life // April 2, 2018 at 8:43 pm //

    Hey Jim we have collaros as BB and we have a great 3rd Marquis Williams that is better then DD as broke all DD records and is faster then DD. But would be nice to grab him as Michael Noah and grab Arron have all 3 Picton lol

    • Wingback // April 2, 2018 at 9:31 pm //

      Apparently, there is great concern with Collaros. His leg movement is bad, as is his throwing motion. He’s got 6 weeks to get healthy.

    • greenenvy? // April 2, 2018 at 10:08 pm //

      Breaking records in college means squat. Alex Ross broke all his school records too. Who? Oh he’s with BC.

      • CFL family // April 2, 2018 at 10:15 pm //

        The history books are full of failed CFL players who set college records.

        • MJ Bandit // April 2, 2018 at 11:44 pm //

          It’s also way more full of top college ball players who did succeed. Andy Fantuz set all-time CIS receiving records; and he went on to lead the CFL in receiving in a season. Who do you expect to do well in the CFL? – average joes who did nothing in college ball ???

          • greenenvy? // April 3, 2018 at 12:57 am //

            That may be true MJ. But a lot of “Nationals” who get drafted in the CFL also attend US schools & the higher rated ones often are US trained. If you checked out CDN’s on NFL teams, not many came out of CIS. Even less were drafted out of CIS. There”s a reason most teams don’t start more than the required 7 Nationals & a reason half of those usually are from the OL That speaks volumes.

          • CFL family // April 3, 2018 at 11:42 am //

            Tom Brady, Brett Favre. Many average players have had HOF careers. Many factors to consider. Maybe William’s will be a star, but to bank on it just because he had a brilliant college career is foolish

          • MJ Bandit // April 3, 2018 at 4:39 pm //

            Something “speaks volumes” on this topic, that’s for sure.

            But generalisations and CFL cliches and excuses aside, and getting back to the specific subject – Picton has next to no chance of making the CFL – Canadian, CIS product, 5-9 = strike 3, yer’out. Is he going to get drafted? A real chance to compete in a CFL TC ? Might get brought in as an extra arm for TC with some team. Couldn’t imagine him competing with a superstar like Shiltz on the Als QB depth chart – that’s for sure. ;o)

  19. Colour me green // April 3, 2018 at 1:14 am //

    Support your country people. Give him a chance. If it doesn’t work out cut him. There should be a special QB rule for Canadians. Sadly most of this country doesn’t support its own.

  20. Edward Leslie // April 3, 2018 at 4:07 am //

    greenenvy, you are at least five years behind the times. There are just as many CIS players who make it to the NFL as Canadians from NCAA schools:
    Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Brett Jones, Geoff Gray, Anthony Auclair, Jon Ryan, Stefan Charles, Akiem Hicks, David Onyemata and Elie Bouka.
    Plus others who played, were on the Practice Squad or at least signed in the last few years: Israel Idonije, Cory Greenwood, Vaughn Martin, David Foucault, Matt O’Donnell, Linden Gaydosh, Tyler Varga, Henoc Muamba, Darryl Waud, Matt Sewell and Rashaun Simonise.

    • TNX I was sure that was the case, so I was going to look up all the players, in order to reply, but you did that for me. What many do not realize is that player size, or talent has nothing at all to do with playing in the CIS or NCAA. Coaching is better south of the 49th because the schools there have bundles of money to throw at coaching. How much money? Tons of it! Most colleges there charge EACH alumni tens of thousands of dollars EVERY YEAR just for the privilege of buying a season ticket. Smaller colleges may charge only 5 to 10 thousand…more prominent colleges charge multiples of that. Think of it: $10,000 every year for every good seat, PLUS the ticket price. And the wealthy grads, who have moved on to prominent careers, are glad to pay. Some CIS colleges can ill-afford to pay for even one coaching assistant…down there college coaching staffs can be as large as CFL coaching staffs.

    • greenenvy? // April 3, 2018 at 11:57 am //

      Edward, while it is true more players are coming out of CIS or USports as it is now known, of the 14 active Cdns in the NFL 9 came out of US colleges. While Charles. Brett Jones & Ryan came from the Regina Rams, Duvenay-Tardif & Auclair out of Quebec, the list of Cdns in the past who came out of US programs is bigger. At present Boyko (UNLV), Ankou (UCLA), Covington & Luke Wilson (Rice), Urban & Pasztor (Virginia), Tyrone Crawford (Boise), T. J. Jones (Notre Dame) & L P Ladouceur (U California @ Berkeley) are US trained. Without going deep into the past, Cdns trained in CIS were a rarity. You can’t tell me if you were a good Cdn prospect that going to a US football scholarship is not a distinct advantage over playing football in CIS. And by saying I’m 5 years behind the times, that’s true in the sense that getting drafted to the NFL via CIS is a most recent phenomenon. In that we can agree. But it’s ludicrous to pretend that Cdns playing in CIS are more “pro-ready” than Cdns in good US programs. Look at this year’s rankings. Sure over 8 rounds there are tons of CIS players but that’s because there’s tons more available. But your top 5 & 6 of your top 10 ranked prospects are US trained players – Knevel, Rutherford, Hunter, Godber, Laurent are 1-5 & Chapman is 10 (Winter rankings). They only get drafted later because of their opportunities down south.

  21. Jeff…you are so right! The Canadian handcuffing, dictating, automatically give a Canadian starting and roster spot because of their Canadian passport and their guaranteed, controlling Canadian ratio, needs to end! Which is obviously not selling CFL 3 down football and clearly doesn’t work in today’s highly competitive professional sports league! And that’s exactly why the NFL, NHL, NBA, MBL, and yes even MLS soccer, don’t have a ridiculous guaranteed Canadian starting ratio and a huge unrealistic and unobtainable guaranteed Canadian roster ratio. And if they did, they would be not near as successful or nearly supported as they are now, and I can guarantee you, MLS soccer teams in Canada would be out of business. Bottom line!
    It’s simple, if the top Canadian players including Canadian QB’s, who actually want to play in the CFL and not the NFL, and are actually good enough to start and play in the CFL! Then like Jeff said, make them have to actually have to make a CFL starting and roster spot, like the Americans players have to, and like every other professional sports league including MLS soccer, have to! And what’s so hypocritical, is B. Bridge wants to make a Canadian QB count as one of the seven guaranteed Canadian starters, yet he’s down in the NFL trying to play in the NFL when the CFL teams are forced to start 7 Canadian players and have half their roster made up of Canadian players, regardless if they have no business being on a CFL field. This is absolutely ludicrous! If the CFL has any chance to grow their fan base and grow their brand of CFL 3 down football the CFL needs to finally allow CFL teams to recruit the best and most talented available players to start and play at every position for entire CFL game, like every other professional sports league can, including MLS soccer! So CFL 3 down football can be played at its highest level with the best available players! Bottom line!

    • MJ Bandit // April 3, 2018 at 9:32 pm //

      Ahh – the good old Canadian inferiority complex – beauty,eh?

      You do realize that other pro sports leagues in the World have roster/”ratio” restrictions? Like English Premier League Soccer (on par with the NFL basically for money/prestige) – why don’t they just let their pro teams be controlled and dominated by foreigners? – have Spanish or Italian GMs & coaches mostly who favor players from their countries and assume they are better than any British talent and just hand them jobs?

      Japanese Pro baseball (again – huge there) has restrictions on foreign players; as do some European pro hockey leagues.

      Maybe cause people there have respect for and pride in their pro leagues and homegrown talent? And don’t want their leagues and teams handed over to biased foreigners. Are fans there cry-babying about just wanting to see the “best talent” play? – best talent according to who ? As in the mostly Americans running the CFL ?

  22. Bandit…Come on that’s not a realistic and credible comparison! So why doesn’t Canadian MLS soccer teams have a handcuffing, dictating, guaranteed Canadian starter ratio and half their roster have to be Canadian then? Amd why are MLS soccer games full with fans and in the same major CFL markets, CFL stadiums practically empty?

    • MJ Bandit // April 3, 2018 at 10:27 pm //


      Just bizzarre; are you actually comparing MLS soccer – around a few years and lucky to be considered 10th best soccer league in the World, to the historic CFL? I think it’s great that TO soccer fans go out and support their team.

      Do you have any clue of the respective TV ratings in Canada between the CFL & MLS soccer? CFL stadiums “practically empty” = you’re looking like a total clueless clown with that comment.

      Nice try wannabe – why don’t you go float your lack of respect for Canadian football talent on some other forum? Go hang-out with the RedPatch boys or frequent an NFL fan-boy /wannabe site ?

  23. Edward Leslie // April 3, 2018 at 11:01 pm //

    Ed: Where do I begin? You made a lot of dubious comments besmirching the CFL. Those comments make me question if you are even a fan, or simply a troll.

    First of all, Brandon Bridge NEVER suggested forcing teams to play Canadian quarterbacks.
    The CFL requires seven Canadian starters, but Quarterbacks aren’t included in the ratio. So, even if a Canadian quarterback plays, he doesn’t count towards that number.
    He just thinks that the QB should count, the same as any other position does. Where is the harm in that?

    The idea is that counting a Canadian quarterback as one of the seven, if they play, gives a LITTLE BIT of encouragement to actually give Canadians a chance at quarterback.
    But teams simply WILL NOT play a Canadian at the most important position unless they are good. Therefore this is a sensible idea.

    Another misconception is that the ratio was brought in to protect Canadians. It actually was brought in to allow Americans to play in the CFL. The number has steadily increased over the years to the point that there are now more American players than Canadians in the CANADIAN Football League.

    There are many leagues in many sports in many countries that have player quotas/ ratios or whatever you want to call them. I think the US is the only one that doesn’t. It is a bit protectionist, but whats wrong with that? This isn’t the United States, it’s Canada. Do you think we voluntarily should give away 50-60%(or more) of all the jobs in all industries in our country to Americans?

    Lastly, the CFL has been around a long time. Attendance levels have peaks and valleys. Comparing the CFL to the MLS is fine, but how come you don’t point out the numerous markets that have soft attendance in the MLS? As for the ones that do support the MLS, like Toronto and Vancouver, you have to take into account the novelty factor of something thats newer. Perhaps the attendance at MLS games in Canada will drop off in the coming years when those attending start to realize how dull the endless no contact, 1-0 games are? We shall see.

    • Agreed. Leslie would not even have given Russ Jackson a tryout…waste of time….too many good Americans to look at.

  24. Johnny Starship // April 4, 2018 at 3:42 am //

    Love all the opinions and banter on the subject … in the end if a team thinks Picton can help them win he will get signed regardless of his birth certificate or size limitations. Looking forward to another exciting season !

    Go Bombers Go !!!!

  25. Leslie… Get with the program! The Canadian ratio is hurting the CFL not helping the CFL! It’s watering down the CFL and in too many cases in the CFL there are way too many grossly overpaid guaranteed starting Canadian O-Linemen and other Canadian players in other guaranteed starting positions in the CFL, that have no business being on a CFL field! And are only in the CFL because of their Canadian passport and their controlling, handcuffing, dictating, unwarranted, ridiculous old school Canadian ratio! And that’s fact!

    You and others who are Canadian ratio blockers are certainly the minority and the real truth is if the CFL were to wisely abolish the dictating, handcuffing, guaranteed Canadian starting ratio to finally allow the best and most talented available players to start and play at every position for entire CFL game, like in the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, and yes even MLS soccer, the CFL would gain way more fans than they would ever lose! Because then the CFL would be more respected as a real professional football league and way more supported, like the another major professional sports leagues are,
    like I listed above. Who you seem to completely ignore! And if you think all the guaranteed Canadian starting ratio players are so good and who actually want to play in the CFL and not the NFL, then have them actually have to make a CFL starting and roster stop like the Americans players have to! And if you are so right, why is the CFL losing more and more fans and losing more and more viewers, and losing more and more season ticket holders and losing more and more revenue for the league and their owners? And if you are so right, then why are there so many sports fans in general and the younger generation sports fan and all the NFL fans in Canada, only watching the NFL and don’t even watch the CFL or even watch the Grey Cup in our own country? Who the CFL desperately needs as CFL fans! Leslie, it’s really easy to hide the real truth and facts when you are such a brainwashed obvious Canadian ratio blocker! Have fun sitting amongst all the empty seats in the CFL!

    • Theory and assertions are easy. Facts, not so much.
      So, in order to support your assertion, please go to each roster, and list all of the STARTING SEVEN players that don’t deserve a job. Since this controversy reared its ugly head, I have looked at each roster, and I will share my observations AFTER you have taken the time to do some research instead of just flapping your gums. You may surprise yourself. I was surprised, but not in the direction that you are going.

  26. Dakaz… Again, you are just another small percentage of brainwashed Canadian ratio blockers! You are terribly outnumbered! And the same exact sentiments about the dispised and not one bit credible or supported, dictating, handcuffing, guaranteed Canadian starter ratio, and the Canadian players and their basically Canadian player’s association, huge unrealistic and unobtainable guaranteed Canadian roster ratio, that are shared amongst many CFL fans and all the younger generation of sports fans and all the NFL fans who won’t watch CFL football period nor the Grey Cup in our own country, don’t lie! Nor does the enormous amount of embarrassing amount of empty seats throughout the CFL lie! Those are the real facts! If you have any kind of a sports brain!

    • Having a clean, uncluttered mind is an asset. Guys like you, with a myopic viewpoint, can’t see the big picture.
      You must be delusional to think that a few more Americans on D or O would fill empty seats. MOST professional leagues, of every stripe, throughout the world, have import ratios.
      Empty seats are NOT AT ALL related to ratios. The world is changing, and bigoted, unreasonable, people like you can’t see the big picture. Where are seats empty? In the larger centers like Toronto, and Vancouver. Why? Because the population base is inundated with increasing numbers of immigrants who don’t know or understand football. If you will recall, even your adored NFL flopped in its Toronto “test games.”
      Those large centers need to do a better job of marketing the CFL to the newcomer. Furthermore, the large cities have multiple professional teams to fight for their share of entertainment dollars.
      ie. A cab driver in Tranna, during Grey Cup week, asked a customer what was happening…he had no idea what the Grey Cup was. Smaller centers like Regina, Hamilton, and Ottawa have no problem selling their seats. Now that you have been schooled on the “CFL dynmic,” do some research: tell me which of the 7 starters on each team do not deserve a job.
      Feed your “sport brain” with real facts!
      Ignorance isn’t bliss, it is a blight.

  27. OH…and I forgot to mention. The “now generation”are so obsessed with their phones and video games, that they don’t support any “real live” games. To do that, they would actually have to divert their attention from their phones for a few hours. UNTHINKABLE!

  28. I believe the majority of real intelligent sports fans in Canada know better and know the real truth and really facts!

  29. Well…in that case, it follows that you DO NOT fit into the category of “real intelligent sports fans” because, obviously you don’t know the real truth and facts. When you state, as fact, something as stupid as ALL (you did say all) teams have declining attendance, you haven’t tried to get tickets in some of the smaller venues, as I mentioned previously.
    Furthermore, you can not refute any of my arguments re: your delusional, myopic, viewpoints. And not that it really matters, but decades ago I was a sports scribe…not to claim that scribes have some super-natural insight…but I still watch almost all CFL games, not just “my team’s” games…did some coaching…and probably forgot more about the X’s and O’s than you will ever know…and for a brief time, did some scouting. So…maybe…just maybe…I know something about the game. And, further, it is only BTW, but your premise that MOST fans would like to see the ratio reduced has no basis in fact. The commish entertained talk about this in his cross-country barnstorming tour, and there was little support for same.
    It never fails to amaze me how people like you can state, as fact, their own preferences/premises, and expect that people will accept same, without question, or challenge. Sorry, but I learned decades ago that the mantra of the media is: check the facts…although I will be quick to admit that, in the new world of instant news, the rush to lead, sometimes precludes due diligence.
    So, if you want to debate, based on fact, have at it.
    But don’t try to pi$$ on my leg, and tell me it is raining. I don’t buy the kind of Koolaid that you are selling.
    BTW…your grammar and spelling, while not perfect, is better than most…except I would like to introduce you to the period. Use the period, instead of running several sentences together without them.

  30. Edward Leslie // April 4, 2018 at 9:40 pm //

    Ed: DAKAZ makes an excellent point. If you think that the Canadian portion of the ratio should be lowered because many starters are unworthy, why not give some examples? And do you really think that replacing a large Canadian guard with a large American guard will result in big attendance increases? Do fans go to watch the O-linemen?
    Let’s examine your “unworthy Canadian starters” point anyway.
    What about Phillip Blake? He’s Canadian. Okay, I guess he went to a NCAA Division 1 school, Baylor. He is also a big reason why Robert Griffin won the Heisman trophy. He was even a 4th round pick by
    the NFL too. Hmm, lets skip him. Maybe he’s worthy.
    The wideside receiver is a position that is sometimes referred to as a “Canadian position” too. The Z receiver should be called “Zed receiver”, if its Canada. They usually only get 2-3 passes thrown their way most games.
    So how about Rob Bagg. He’s not only Canadian, but he went to a C.I.S. school too. Must be unworthy.
    Mind you he seems to catch at least 90% of the passes that are thrown at him. He also overcame two torn ACLs, which practically makes him a superhero. Okay, I guess he’s worthy too.
    I don’t think an American player like Caleb Holley could do better or help boost attendance, if he played instead.
    What about Andrew Harris? He’s not only Canadian, but he didn’t even play C.I.S. Football. He played junior football! LOL I guess he consistently does better than any other running back though. He came closest to being a 1000/1000 (rushing and receiving yards) of anybody in many years. He’s DEFINITELY worthy! Timothy Flanders, I don’t think you’ll be a starter in Winnipeg even if you are an American.
    Ed, maybe these Canadian players are
    better than you think.

    • Well said, ED. I actually looked at all of the CFL rosters, and identified the 7 starters. Obviously, on some teams, all 7 aren’t clearly identifiable as starters, but most are. It would be hard to make a case against any of them, (as you did in your blog) and pretty much all of the first 6 earned their jobs. I could easily count on the fingers of both hands, maybe even one hand, the number of starters that are “hangers-on,” and almost all of them are on miserable teams which probably don’t have better Americans to replace them.

    • Sorry, Ed Leslie, for addressing you as Ed in my reply.
      I hope nobody thinks that I was apologizing to the other ED, or agreeing with him…he is an irrational dufus.

  31. Why 3DownNation is there a comment you posted in red… Your comment is waiting moderation… now showing up on my posts? And where is my last post? Why are then posting Leslie and Dakez bashing posts of me? When Dakez and Leslie are bashing me with ignorant and nasty comments that I’m trying to defend and stand up for myself on. When I’m presented the real facts on behave of an abundance amount of sports fans in Canada and GM’s and Coaches and American players. Whom all have the same exact complaints and share the same exact sentiments on the real issues about the handcuffing, dictating, guaranteed Canadian starting ratio problem, and the huge unrealistic and unobtainable guaranteed Canadian roster ratio problem. That is a real and major issue that the CFL has to address to finally allow the best and most talented players available players to start and play at every position for entire CFL game. Like every other professional sports leagues can, including MLS soccer! If the CFL wants to be a real player in today’s highly competitive professional sports world and if the CFL has any chance to grow their fan base and grow their brand of CFL 3 down football. And that is the real truth and the real reality!

    • Is your brain stuck in a rut? Or, in real life, are you a parrot, saying the same thing over and over again.
      Your English leads me to believe that you flunked out of grade 9 and now work in a fast food joint. Perhaps your small circle of associates pretend to agree with you just to shut you up…but they do not represent the majority. I am still waiting for statistics to back up your alleged “facts.” Until then, shut up…repeating the same rhetoric doesn’t, magically, turn fiction into fact.
      Hitler was the last person to repeat the big lie often enough until a large segment of the population started to believe it.
      He, too, was deranged.

    • I take back my previous comment about your English…you failed grade 5 English.

  32. Dakaz, I spelled your name wrong deliberately because you are so pompous and so excessively hubristic, if you even know what it means, that I had to repeat myself so maybe it would finally sink into your dense head. But I know it won’t, because you obviously aren’t a respectful and reasonable person, displayed by you, just by your attacking cruel and ignorant comments.

    Sorry to prove you wrong, yes I did pass grade nine and with the highest marks! And also finished high school and graduated from college with honors too! I was also very successful in life and well respected, and well liked.

    You’re one to talk, your writing and ignorance is so sanctimonious and so rude and hateful! That makes be believe, that you are not one bit liked or have any friends. I believe you said enough revolting remarks about me, so please don’t reply to this email because I won’t be reading it and give that pleasure. You think you are degrading me, but you are really degrading yourself!

    • Obviously, you didn’t get high marks in grammar and diction (if you know what that means). I went into grade 12 at the age of 15. I intended to major in English in college, but changed my mind. I actually benefited from post-secondary, and learned how to write, not just so that I could boast about my marks, and subsequently forget everything.
      You are the one that is unreasonable. You haven’t posted a single fact to support any of your misguided premises.

  33. Dakaz? You wouldn’t happen to be the same person that actually wrote this article?

  34. NO. I would have proof-read, and used slightly improved diction, and punctuation. However, I must say that Dunk is probably one of the better writers. Some scribes should tremble when they receive their stipends.

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