Football: The plight of the Canadian QB, part 287

Columnists in both Fredericton and Regina this week addressed the CFL prospects for record-setting passers Josh Sacobie and Teale Orban, respectively.

One hopes each of them will get a chance to go to a training camp somewhere next season and get a real chance to make the team, not just be an extra arm to help work out the receivers. Let's be honest, though — there will not be a Canadian starting at quarterback in the CFL as long as the quarterbacks are exempt from the import rules. There's always an out — too small, not mobile enough, not enough arm strength, or in the case of five-year guys, too old.

Sacobie's coach with the Ottawa Gee-Gees, Denis Piché, did sum up the feeling of resignation to the Daily Gleaner:
"A Canadian quarterback has no chance. Last season was his (Sacobie's) draft year in the CFL and he didn't even get a sniff. It's not for me to say why or why not. That's just the way it is.''
One hopes that the growth of amateur football, which has resulted in more Canadians taking up football at an earlier age, might help bring about change.

The experience argument is going to fly out the window when you have players who started out in football at eight years old and have got great coaching in summer leagues such as the Ontario Junior Varsity Football League and with provincial-team programs. 

The other big one is the skillset. If you look around, it seems like the quality of athlete playing quarterback has grown at a faster rate than at other positions. Look at some of the tall QBs who can run, such as Saint Mary's 6-foot-6 Erik Glavic and freshman Jack Creighton (6-4), Guelph's Justin Dunk (also 6-4) and Acadia freshman Kyle Graves (6-3). If you can find someone with that kind of size who is a smart scrambler and has the arm strength, it will make it harder and harder for the CFL to say, "Not good enough," or convert him to another position.

That is not to say any of the above players will have an easier time than Orban or Sacobie, or is more likely to succeed. It's just that the Canadian football player  is getting better, and eventually, someone will break through the glass ceiling — at least that's the hope.

(A special thanks is due to the Daily Gleaner for mentioning this site in a column on Thursday.)

Despite the CIS numbers, Sacobie doesn't fit CFL mould (David Ritchie, Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Nov. 12)

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  1. Yeah, it annoys me that these guys can't even get a look. I'm not a fan of the CFL deciding that QBs aren't affected by the import rule; if they were, you still probably wouldn't see many Canadians, but at least there would be an incentive to reward giving Canadians a shot. As it stands, the league rewards dredging QBs up from American colleges far more than looking north of the 49th parallel.

  2. As a fan, I'd also be far more inclined to watch the CFL if there were more Canadians competing at the skill positions. You'd think that just makes sense.