Our all-stars could take their champions

I belive strongly that a CFL All-star team would stack up well against the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

I belive strongly that a CFL All-star team would stack up well against the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.

The possibility of an exhibition game between the two leagues is very remote. But CFL teams have played NFL teams many times over the years. The experiment ended in 1961 when the Hamilton Tiger Cats beat the AFL Buffalo Bills 38-21. Three days earlier, the Chicago Bears defeated the Montreal Alouettes 34-16 in a fight filled contest. It should be noted that the Als were 4-9-1(and failed to make the playoffs), while the Bears were 8-6 in their NFL division.

The games were played under Canadian rules for the first half, and NFL rules in the second half. My hypothetical game would be played under CFL rules for the entire game, but the roster numbers would match the NFL’s 54 man rule. I would also make the CFL All Star roster not subject to import/non-import rules.

The New Orleans Saints are a very offensive-minded NFL squad that plays behind the leadership and talent of quarterback Drew Brees. Brees is one of the best triggermen in the NFL; plus he relies heavily upon his ability to move the pocket when necessary. He is also only six feet tall in a league where that statistic is a curse.

Drew Brees would be a perfect CFL quarterback but he would be the NFL guy in this fantasy game. He would make the transition to our rules a little easier than most NFL quarterbacks, but he would face some alignment challenges.

The extra guy in the secondary has confused many American trained quarterbacks. NFL star quarterback Vince Ferragamo never could figure out that extra secondary man during his brief but brutal CFL career.

The motion in a CFL game from the offense prior to the snap would also prove to be a challenge to the NFL cover guys. Six-pack receiver sets in varying degrees of motion would be a serious eye-opener to the Saints’ linebackers and secondary. Plus their safety would have to decide which side of the massive field to which he wants to commit on plays.

The inside tackles on the Saints range in the low 300 pound range, while the defensive ends run around 260 — with one 280 pounder. Their size is not a lot different from many CFL front four guys faced by the CFL All-Star O-liners.

The Saint linebackers are bigger than most CFL linebackers and range from 212 to 247 lbs. The NFL linebacker game is based upon less pass coverage and more run stop on a smaller field. An All-Star CFL O-line would easily match up to the extra linebacker size on the Saints. The CFL defense would include the biggest and most mobile linebackers that play at the all star level. The big 240-pound Saint tight ends would play more slotback schemes in the game, so the All-Stars would have to use bigger men in the secondary as well.

CFL All-Stars on offence would include a very big fullback and a bigger tailback in the Joffrey Reynolds 220 lb range. Inside receivers would have to be bigger guys, but I would include Wes Dressler in the mix. Quarterback would be Anthony Calvillo, with Ricky Ray and Henry Burris on deck.

I have no doubt that the CFL would win the game under these conditions.

More of Jim Sutherland at mystarcollectorcar.com

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