Insider Talk: the USFL, Burnham’s extension, the CFL’s best centre

Photo courtesy: B.C. Lions/Darryl Dyck

Insider Talk is a weekly feature on 3DownNation that includes anonymous quotes from people around the CFL — players, coaches, personnel people, executives, agents, etc. — regarding the latest news around the league. It’s a combination of insight, analysis, rumours, and friendly gossip.

This week’s Insider Talk is full of discussion regarding Bryan Burnham’s contract extension, the impact of the USFL, Edmonton and Winnipeg’s kicking situation, Dakota Prukop signing in Winnipeg, and the best centre in the CFL.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back next week for another edition of Insider Talk.

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I bet (B.C. Lions’ slotback) Bryan Burnham wishes he hadn’t re-signed so quickly. He got $165,000, which was pretty good before the market shifted. Then Kenny Lawler and Duke Williams got between $250,000 and $300,000 and all of a sudden Burnham’s underpaid.

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I still think (new Blue Bombers’ quarterback) Dakota Prukop could be a Jake Maier-type player in Winnipeg. He’s got an elite offensive line, a strong running game, and a defence that generates turnovers. That makes life way easier for a young quarterback.

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The USFL is taking a lot of the top available American talent and we (in the CFL) are going to feel the effects of that, especially at positions that are in high demand like quarterback and offensive tackle. It’s only going to get worse if the XFL starts up like they’re planning to (in 2023). We’re used to the American talent pool being really big but there’s a lot of competition now for some of the top players available.

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I wish the new regime in Edmonton good luck. Working under that board of governors isn’t easy.

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Winnipeg’s offensive line was the best in the league last year because it was the only one without any weaknesses. Every other line had at least one you could consistently exploit and many had two. It’s not that defensive lines have gotten better, it’s that offensive lines have gotten worse.

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B.C. will be the worst team in the league this year. They’re all-in on (Canadian quarterback Nathan) Rourke but honestly I just don’t think they have the talent around him to make it work.

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It’s probably safe to assume that (Sergio) Castillo will end up in Edmonton or Winnipeg by the time training camp rolls around, but the team that doesn’t get him is going to be in trouble. The Bombers wouldn’t have won the Grey Cup without Sergio.

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(Edmonton Elks’) David Beard is the best centre in the league and I don’t think it’s that close, to be honest. He’s smart, he moves well, and he’s stout. I can’t throw him around like I can other centres in the league who aren’t playing heavy enough.