Insider Talk: CFL four-down debate, Argos release Campbell, drafting local players

Photo courtesy: Ryan McCullough/Hamilton Tiger-Cats

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 the possibility of the CFL switching to four downs, Toronto’s decision to cut local offensive lineman Jamal Campbell, what moving the hashmarks would mean for defences around the league, the draft, and an under-the-radar player in Hamilton.

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

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Why are we having this four-down debate again? Have you heard even one CFL fan say they want this? It’s absurd. It’s embarrassing that this seems to be the only way the CFL knows how to make headlines in the off-season.

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I think going to four downs would increase scoring (in the CFL) but that doesn’t mean the game would be more exciting. Why throw the ball and risk an interception when you can run it? If it’s harder to get the ball back, teams will be less willing to put it in harm’s way with long throws.

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Moving the hash marks would make playing defence a lot more difficult because the boundary (side of the field) would become wider and tougher to defend. I’d be willing to accept that change because at least opposing offences would still have to execute instead of just being given an extra down for free.

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Toronto gave a 35-year-old running back (Andrew Harris) a bunch of money in free agency, then cut their young, ratio-breaking tackle (Jamal Campbell) who’s from there? That makes no sense to me (from a salary cap management standpoint). I’m sure the Riders were happy to scoop him up at a discount.

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I get that punting can be boring for fans, but short possessions make our game more entertaining because they allow teams to come back from being down two or three or even four scores in the fourth quarter. That doesn’t happen in four-down football.

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Adding a fourth down would just lead to more running plays and more receiver screens. I’m already bored with how many receiver screens we have in our game.

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Some teams overdraft guys just because they’re local and I think that’s a big mistake. If it’s the right spot to take the kid, then by all means take him. But if you take him two rounds early just because he’s local, you’re not doing him or your team any favours. All that does is create unreasonable expectations for the kid and leave a better player out there for someone else to draft.

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Hamilton really likes (Canadian defensive tackle) Donovan Glave. They had him on their negotiation list for a long time. He could be their heir apparent to Ted Laurent.