With the start of the XFL season on the horizon beginning in 2020 players are going to take precedence as this year comes to a close. With a wealth of talent already in line to make the transition from the National Football League and the now-defunct Alliance Football League, General Managers and player personnel departments will have a lot to choose from. Some will be trying to keep their dreams alive while others will be in the prime of their career looking for the right opportunity. Because the way the XFL now is structured every player in the CFL will be eligible as a free agent to play in the XFL.
However, there is a compelling narrative that includes most of the potential players will come exclusively from the NFL cutdown dates and rosters. While some will make their way to teams from the NFL, there will be a lot of talent and skilled players who have made a living in the CFL and who have developed their skills in the league up north. Many look at the CFL as a different league because of its wide open, pass-happy style of play. Where some of this may be true many of the players in the CFL posses unique skill sets that compliment the exciting brand of football the XFL wants to reimagine in its league.
I believe there are some players from the CFL who have a unique opportunity to make the rosters merely because they are coming from the CFL. So how will players from the CFL impact the XFL teams? Here are some of the reasons CFL players may have an advantage at making an XFL roster. I believe there are some players from the CFL who have a unique opportunity to make the rosters merely because they are coming from the CFL. So how will players from the CFL impact the XFL teams?
Here are some of the reasons CFL players may have an advantage at making an XFL roster.
Coaches Know The CFL Players
One of the first advantages will be coaches know the skill set of the players. Three head football coaches are making their transition from the CFL to the XFL. With their departure comes some players who may depart with them. Instead of putting some players thru drills and camps to see what they can do, these coaches will already know. It is also helpful to understand how a player’s skills translate to the field. Often a player will test out thoroughly with combine drills and 40 times but may not become an impact player on the field. CFL players have already proven what they can do on the field in the eyes of coaches who they have already played in the CFL.
CFL Players Know The Coaches
Secondly, CFL players know the style of the coaches from the CFL. If a player has played in the CFL and had mainly played for a coach, that player knows the form of that coach, and the players come in with an advantage, some other players may not know. Such as the coach is a player-friendly coach and is more relaxed. Another coach may be more intense and more demanding of its players. Along with coaching styles come the culture of the team and the organizations. Because each XFL coach will be the Head Football Coach as well as the General Manager, the team tone and culture will be set right away from the top down. CFL players who have played on the roster with a coach now headed to the XFL will have that part figured out before they step foot into the training facilities. You have not only added both players and personal but also the chemistry that sometimes is very hard to produce right away.
Players Know The Playbook
Lastly, players will know the schemes and playbook. There is nothing like knowing the plays and playbook. Knowing the playbook is half the battle when starting with new teams with new personnel. The learning curve with getting all eleven players on the field doing the right thing on every play is very high. But when you add players who are familiar with the playbook and schemes, it makes the process easier and quicker to adjust. Most players coming to a new team are handed a playbook and expected to learn a handful of plays per night. Adding plays sometimes makes the difference in a player making the roster. CFL players who find themselves on an XFL roster of a former CFL coach may progress the team along faster making the product of the field better.
As the XFL begins its new journey starting in 2020, players are the product everyone wants to see. Team cities, colors, and logos are essential to the fan, but the bottom line will be the quality of the product on the field. The CFL has proven it has a luxurious talent pool of players. With the addition of CFL coached now roaming the sidelines for the XFL, we shouldn’t be surprised at the amount of impact CFL players will make also. It will be fun to see how the XFL reimagines its teams with CFL players on their rosters.
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