Kansas City Chiefs’ receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is preparing for his first Super Bowl appearance but believes the big game might be a little more exciting if the NFL adopted some rule changes from the CFL.
Speaking to TSN ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Philadelphia Eagles, Smith-Schuster was asked what alterations to the rulebook he would make if named NFL commissioner for a day. His answer came directly from the great white north.
“You know how in Canada they have like where the receivers can start running really fast? I would do that,” Smith-Schuster said. “You’re at full speed by the time [the snap] comes.”
Canadian football fans have long championed unlimited forward pre-snap motion as one of the greatest innovations of the three-down game, but it seems more NFL players are becoming fans of the waggle.
Two weeks ago, Eagles’ centre Jason Kelce championed a similar CFL-inspired rule change on a podcast with his brother, Chiefs’ star tight end Travis Kelce. That makes three of the biggest stars in the NFL title game all putting their support behind Canadian motion rules.
Smith-Schuster has yet to try to run the waggle himself, but can’t help but wonder what the man he replaced this year in Kansas City might be able to do with a running head start.
“Dude, imagine [Miami Dolphins’ receiver Tyreek Hill] running top speed right when the ball says ‘hike’ and he’s already like halfway down the field,” he marvelled. “It would be impossible [to cover].”
Smith-Schuster came over in free agency from the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason after the Chiefs traded Hill to Miami. In his first season in Kansas City, the 26-year-old caught 78 passes from MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes, amassing 933 yards and three touchdowns.
Those numbers would likely be a little higher if he could charge at flat-footed defenders, but Smith-Schuster will have to stick to his usual standing start in Super Bowl LVII. The Chiefs and Eagles are scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 12.