B.C. Lions head coach and co-general manager Rick Campbell has seen the style of play from the CFL trickle down into the NFL.
Campbell has been coaching in Canada since 1999 and spent lots of time around his Canadian Football Hall of Fame father Hugh in Edmonton with the Green and Gold plus the Houston Oilers. The three-time Grey Cup champion and 2015 Coach of the Year recognizes the NFL morphing into the three-down kind of football.
“I think the reason the CFL has always stayed around, and you’ve seen a lot of other leagues come and go, other than the NFL, but the CFL is a really good game and product because of a lot of the rules,” Campbell told Kamloops This Week.
“There is even a lot of stuff happening in the NFL right now that wouldn’t have happened 15, 20 years ago, like small, fast receivers and athletic quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson aren’t playing in the NFL 15, 20 years ago. They’re playing in the CFL.”
Both Mahomes and Wilson have won Super Bowls in the NFL, which helped the elite athletes reach superstar status. Wilson was on the Montreal Alouettes exclusive negotiation list for a while when Jim Popp was GM. He could’ve been an ideal fit to play quarterback in the CFL but the Seattle Seahawks selected him in the third round, 75th overall during the 2012 NFL Draft.
“It just shows you the CFL has had a huge influence on football and it’s been the exciting part of football,” Campbell said, “which is an open game with fast players that can make plays.”