How Will the Patriots New CFL Signings Adapt to the NFL?

Armond Armstead
This offseason the Patriots have already signed two CFL defensive linemen (Armond Armstead & Jason Vega) and a former CFL coach talks about how they will adapt to the league just south of the CFL. The NFL is a big world full more talented players than the CFL and new Bears coach, and former CFL coach, Marc Trestman explains there are many differences between the CFL and the NFL.

Trestman is at the NFL Scouting Combine this week and was asked by an ESPNBoston reporter just how different it is. Trestman stated “There are multiple differences. Generally, the box is still the box and the blitzes you see in the CFL are the similar blitzes you see south of the border, but the field is wider,” Trestman goes on to say “It’s intelligently creative, no doubt about it. It’s a three-down league. The defensive line is a yard off the ball and the field is a mile long and a mile wide. And obviously, we’re playing with 12 players, with multiple in motion, so it’s a different game, but it’s a terribly exciting game, a great game.” In those quotes you can tell he has an appreciation for the CFL, but also he is recognizing the NFL is a beast that the CFL just isn’t.

Jason Vega
When it comes to CFL players fitting in to NFL teams Trestman said that, character wise, players are pretty similar between the NFL and CFL and that players in both leagues work their hardest to improve on their game. In going on Trestman adds “There are some players up there certainly that have shown they can play in the NFL, that’s been proven over time. There haven’t been many but the guys who have shown up down here did a pretty good job of fitting in. Admitting that the list is pretty short, my Sinicism and skepticism begins to shine when it comes to these signings.

Players in today’s NFL are scouted since before they are in high school and so when a player goes unnoticed, and heads to the CFL, it immediately sends up a red flag to me. I like the aggressiveness to go out and get a pass rusher (because it was seriously lacking), but at the same time, I won’t be holding my breath for these players to be impactful. Over time these players can, hopefully, become ones that are disciplined, well coached and more in shape with a better workout regimen and can make a difference; even if only on Special Teams. I feel a little better that they are not playing a “skill position” so with a good motor and coaches stressing technique I’m optimistic they can become effective players over time.

Josh Brown