Insider Talk: Rourke’s NFL future, Carter looks washed, Collaros for MOP

Photo courtesy: Tiffany Luke/B.C. Lions

Insider Talk is a bi-weekly staple 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 Duron Carter’s play with the Edmonton Elks, Zach Collaros’ continued excellence, Nathan Rourke’s possible future in the NFL, potential head coaching changes for 2023, and the challenges with recruiting new players to the CFL.

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

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People aren’t talking enough about how well (Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ quarterback Zach) Collaros is playing. He makes all the big throws. He avoids pressure. He brings so much leadership. He’s had injuries in the receiving corps and he just keeps making adjustments. He didn’t have a lot of run support until lately. He’s the M.O.P. in my book.

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I keep reading about how Chris Jones is a ‘defensive guru’ and Paul LaPolice is an ‘offensive guru.’ How did Jones’ defence look against B.C.? How did LaPolice’s offence look against Calgary? Yeah. And the irony is there are a lot of great coaches in our league who are never called ‘gurus.’ They just go about their business and nobody talks about them.

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Barring a serious injury or a shocking collapse, the odds of (B.C. Lions’ quarterback) Nathan Rourke being in an NFL training camp next year are 99 percent. And you know what? I think he’ll make a roster. If not an active roster, he’ll make a practice roster.

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That team (the Edmonton Elks) is a joke. I also don’t get (head coach and general manager Chris) Jones’ infatuation with Duron (Carter). He looks completely washed.

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The best coaches in our league are the ones who keep concepts simple and teach them well. Our practices are short and a lot of our players don’t study after they go home – they hang out and play video games. You need to find a way to get the most out of those players, not just the ones who live in the film room.

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The XFL and USFL are really hampering the ability to recruit new talent, which makes it tough to overcome injuries. Players who used to be here (in the CFL) that get cut in NFL training camps are going to have a lot of offers. Reggie Begelton and Tre Roberson were great adds for Calgary last year.

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More than half the league could have new head coaches next year. In fact, I think they will. I could see as many as five or even six (teams with new head coaches).

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I bet the Riders regret letting (Canadian offensive lineman Dariusz) Bladek leave (for the Toronto Argonauts) in free agency a couple years back. He’s tough and he’s a leader. That offensive line they’ve got now (in Saskatchewan) could really use him.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.